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Wrong image

Dear sir:

We are extremely lucky to live here on the shores of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. We often take it for granted!

I have operated a guiding service on Rainy Lake for three seasons and see the joy and relaxation my guests experience. It gives me a renewed appreciation of what our lake offers us. Rainy is very beautiful, sparsely populated, under utilized, covered with islands, but most of all sports world-class fishing.

Many people have worked hard to help promote our area not just for the fishing but for the great recreational opportunities. The most important aspect of this promotion expresses the community’s friendliness and hassle-free vacationing. The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championships being one example of this successful promotion.

I have tried to display the benefits of vacationing in the Fort Frances area to all my clients, many of whom return and spend their entire holiday in our area, not just staying overnight and disappearing further north. Lately, unfortunately, I have been experiencing many distressing incidents.

While spending a day of smallmouth bass fishing on Rainy Lake with a reporter and photographer on assignment, (employees of a major Mid-Wester newspaper), we were verbally accosted by four lakeshore residents, all of whom have water lines strung out into Rainy Lake.

I have never damaged or disturbed anyone’s waterline or other equipment. Some language and threats we witnessed were unbelievable! It also was noted by the reporters!

After a lot of joking and damage control I think that the incidents were forgotten, I hope. One comment made by the journalists was, “Welcome to Ornery Ontario.” I don’t think this is the image we wish the world to see us as.

People have been given permission to extend water lines into the lake, which is fine. No angler wants to disturb or damage any of these systems. Why would they? I know that we anglers don’t want to lose a $10 fishing lure on a water line. If a lure does become snagged on a water line, it is by accident.

Lakeshore owners must remember that many areas that they now inhabit have been fished for generations. They own land, they don’t own the water. Their waterlines are infringing on our public territory and if lakeshore owners don’t wish to have accidental snags on their water systems, get a well drilled.

In one month’s time, there will be 135 boats pre-fishing and competing in the 1999 Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championships. The traffic and fishing pressure will be intense. Many of these anglers will be fishing around or near cabins and homes and they have a right to do so. All anglers are informed of the rules and courtesies of the competition and all abide by them.

The last thing the tournament and community need is a belligerent person screaming obscenities and threats from their back deck. It just looks bad.


Scott Hamilton


Jackfish-Hammy’s Guide Service

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