The town of Port Hope, Ontario has decided to postpone/cancel the 2020 Trout opening day scheduled for Saturday, April 25th.
Every year, on the last Saturday of April, thousands of anglers fish from the banks (and wade) in the tributaries that empty into Lake Ontario. The Ganaraska River in Port Hope is probably the most popular/crowded of all.
We’re sure Port Hope found this decision a difficult one since the revenue from a single “opening day” is huge for a small town. Each year everything from coffee shops to restaurants, to gas stations feel this one-day economic boom.
Not this year, however.
In fact, as of this writing, access to the river is already denied (see below):
Council authorized the closure of all lands and parks under ownership of the Municipality that border the Ganaraska River, effective April 22 until May 12, 2020, in an effort to limit group gatherings as it relates to the opening of the trout fishing season. This closure includes all greenspaces and trails from Molson Street South to Lake Ontario and prevents access to the River through municipal properties.
The trout opener on rivers like the Ganaraska isn’t your typical fishing situations. First off, there are select and specific areas that the fish hold in while waiting to still move upriver (a late spring) or drop back towards the lake after spawning is completed. Trout anglers know their game well and thus know where these productive “holes” or “hotspots” are. This of course, with the addition of hundreds to thousands of anglers, creates close confines while hitting the optimum fish-holding areas.
Not the ideal situation during a Pandemic.
Of course, you will have the responsible 95% of the anglers, but it’s the 5% that either just don’t get it (physical distancing, fishing etiquette, etc.) or just don’t care. Such a shame. This is the main reason for places like Port Hope to shut down access to the river. As usual, it’s those few bad apples that ruin the bunch.
We APPLAUD the municipality of Port Hope for making this tough decision.
Let’s just hope this Pandemic passes soon or better yet, a cure is found and distributed worldwide so we can all hit the water and enjoy the amazing sport of fishing.
Go to the Port Hope web page for the announcement details
Here is a local news link, in where the town contacted the government earlier in the month looking for assistance in this matter.
For an extensive list of other fishing closures, go here