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Creel survey underway

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The Ministry of Natural Resources is conducting a roving creel survey on Rainy Lake until Sept. 30.

The goal of this survey of anglers and their catch is to assess the status of the sport fishery and health of fish populations in Rainy Lake, as well as to ensure the fishery is meeting management objectives and is sustainable.

A survey crew will be completing boat counts and interviews of selected fishing parties for random sampling periods.

Rainy Lake is a specially-designated water in the Northwest Region. It has an attractive sport fishery for several species, including walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and black crappie.

Surveys help to evaluate which fish species are targeted and harvested by recreational anglers.

The survey, which began in May, will provide fisheries managers with estimates of angling effort, catch-and-release rates, and harvest by fish species.

It also will gather important socio-economic information, including angler origin and base of operation.

The survey crews also may sample walleye, sauger, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and black crappie from the catch of selected angling parties.

This includes the collection of length and weight data, and an aging structure from each fish.

This information then will be used to determine fish population characteristics, such as age compositions, length frequencies, and growth, for the major sport fish species.

Information on the sport fishery of Rainy Lake also will contribute to the preparation of fisheries management plans and the production of the Ontario-Minnesota Boundary Waters Fisheries Atlas in 2014.

A similar survey was conducted on Redgut Bay and the Ontario waters of the south arm of Rainy Lake in 2010.

The crew that carried out that survey contacted 2,170 anglers in 895 boats over the sampling period.

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