Fisheries Management

Fishing on the French River

Your Stewardship Council is in the process of assuming the activities and responsibilities of the French River Community Fisheries Advisory Committee (FRCFA)

The FRCFA was formed in 1992 by combining a couple of other groups that were working to understand and enhance the status of fishing on the river.

For the last 18 years, the FRCFA has been very active and working diligently with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the various lodges on the river, cottagers, and many local residents in this endeavour.

In 1993 a plan was built to support the natural stocking of the river specifically with Pickerel, but also improving the breeding habitat for Pike and Bass.  This included the implementation of restricted harvesting of fish stocks through implementation and  management of the slot size and reduction of creel limits

The next step of this plan is underway this fall and as you are reading this, a netting program is being implemented by the MNR in all parts of the river to enable the team to determine the level of success of their plan.

For this purpose, the river is divided into 4 sections as follows:

Eastern is from the Dokis Reserve to the Cedar Rapids

Eighteen Mile Bay is from Cedar Rapids to Meeshaw Falls, including Ranger Bay

Central is the main channel, the south side of Eighteen Mile Island to Recollet Falls, including Dry Pine Bay

Western is from Recollet Falls to the Delta

The complete details and results of this program will be presented in the spring of 2010.

Also at that time, your Stewardship council will form a project committee to continue this work and ensure that we not only maintain but continue to improve the fishing experience on our river.


We all owe the folks of the FRCFA a great THANK YOU for their efforts of the last 18 years or so.  When they began this program, fish stocks in the river were in serious decline and we were about to lose our reputation as a primary tourist destination.

A series of studies, both informal and scientific were conducted to enable the team to better understand the then current stocking level in all part of the river.  Individual surveys were done with tourists, residents, commercial businesses and the results compiled to provide a solid data base for the committee.

The plan called for continued monitoring of the fish population to ensure goals were being met.  While the results differed on different parts of the river, all sections showed significant improvement over the test period.

As the program continues its journey to its planned conclusion, we need to make sure we keep up the good work and bring the fish habitat back to all sections of the river to ensure they breed and multiply in a natural environment

Under the guidance of the MNR and the Stewardship Council, the new committee with be charged with identifying all existing and potential spawning sites, ensuring the sites are clean and being used in the spawning season, and implementing whatever enhancements are required to expand the natural reproduction cycles.

The committee will call on our members for assistance and direction.  Funding will be an important part of the program as we will need resources to implement this work.

We will continue to bring you more information in the next edition of the French River Today

Date Added: November 26, 2009 | Comments (0) | Filed under: News — webedit @ 12:56 pm Edit This