Quillback Carpsucker

Is This Carpsucker Legal?

I find it so awesome that by looking into one subject, that crazy information machine called the internet can take you in so many alternate directions. In this case, I was writing a piece for an up-coming Fish’n Canada episode about the baitfish that I believed big fall Bay Of Quinte Walleye preyed upon. I know from past talks with an MNRF biologist, that there were Golden Shiner in “the bay”. In doing a Google search, I inadvertently came across the baitfish page of the DFO site (Fisheries and Oceans Canada).

Sites like these are extremely useful to anyone who fishes, but especially those who fish with live bait. With so many restrictions pertaining to live bait fishing, you cannot know too much!

The same goes for your provincial Ministry of Natural Resources or fishing and hunting web sites and or the regulations book/PDF. These information sources are the “bible” of fishing rules and regulations.

I’ve been fishing for over 50 years now and I can pretty much guarantee you that I couldn’t tell the difference from a Silver Shiner (as per DFO site, illegal) and an Emerald Shiner (legal with caution), a Lake Chubsucker (illegal) and a Northern Hog Sucker (legal) and so on.

I guess my point is, at the very least, learn and abide by the regulations in your area. For my area, that means laws like:

  • Species listed as invasive fishes under the OFRs cannot be possessed alive.
  • The use of bait is prohibited in some waters.
  • No crayfishes, salamanders, live fishes or live leeches can be brought into Ontario for use as bait.
  • It is illegal to release any live bait or dump the contents of a bait container (including the water) into any waters or within 30 m of any waters (Pete: this is a rule that I’ll bet still gets abused due to anglers not knowing)

In reading this baitfish information, it reminded me of fishing and hunting in general. It pays to read and know the regulations. Pays in the sense of not paying a fine because it could have been avoided and in fining guilty pre-meditated crimes (should be more jail time in my opinion).

There is an incredible amount of charges laid out in hunting and fishing. Some are easily avoidable, some heed studying, while others are either complete stupidity or a blatant disregard for the law.

These are some examples that might make us all understand:

Not knowing new or amended laws: This is the first conviction under the amended Marine Mammal Regulations as part of the modernized Fisheries Act. The new regulations significantly strengthen protections for marine mammals… (not directly related to fishing or hunting but close)

Blatant lawbreakers: Three anglers who ran away and hid in bushes after being caught fishing illegally have received fines… (book em’ Danno!)

This one takes the cake: Fish Poaching Investigation Leads To 41 Charges… (wow!)

BTW, looking back at the title of this piece, that fish is a Quillback Carpsucker. Could you imagine that baby under a big slip-float with a big circle hook through its back for enticing a Muskie or Pike? Well since I couldn’t find it anywhere on the DFO or MNRF sites, I will treat this gorgeous live bait offering as ILLEGAL… If it ain’t listed, don’t use it!

The moral of this intended baitfish story; before sticking that minnow on your hook, make sure it’s legal. It’s not only that little fishy on the line, but your BUTT as well!

2 Replies to “Is This Carpsucker Legal?”

  1. Now hold on a dog gone minute Pete! This is getting way out of hand

    I do see your point. Who in their right mind would have the wherewithal to be psychologically and intellectually adept in ectothermic, gill-bearing, aquatic craniate animals. It seems well meaning Anglers are being set up to fail. Are we now to equip/arm ourselves, when heading out to our local “Glory Hole”, with every known Olfactores Oracle or Baitcasting Bibliothèque on the market? What next a computer or laptop satellite system for your boat just to stay within the good graces of the M.N.R.F.?

    Maybe Angelo Viola the Fishologist, can give us all a heads up. Yes, that Branchial of Ichthyology whose wisdom as per se, is juxtaposed in unity, revealing a weberian ossicle of overwhelming ostariophysian intelligence. You know that Ace of Ankylosed, The Baitcaster of Benthopelagic, The Dean of Dermeral, The Earl of Esca, The Forecaster of Fluviatile, The Governor of Glossohyal, The Headmaster of the Hypural Joint and the Leader of Leptocephalic…..Can the King of Fishdom save the day. His prognostications have never failed to free us from the confines of our own filter feeding exploits of noncompliance.

    While we await “The Fishologists” final word on these proceedings, I will stick to using annelids, lures, store bought live minnows and some sort of “Power Bait” configurations. In the meantime, I think I will reread the Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary that I have stashed in my tackle box….The rest of you are on your own!!

    Thanks Pete! You made my next fishing excursion much more challenging.

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