Lake Ontario Fisheries Assessment and Research Boat
Fisheries assessment and research
Ontario's fish populations are a valuable resource that must be carefully managed. A diverse and abundant supply of fish provides healthy, sustainable local food to Ontarians and also to the rest of the world through export.
It also provides sport fishing experiences for Ontarians and visitors alike.
Conducting assessment and research helps the province understand the state of the fish population and make informed decisions about fisheries management.
A new fisheries assessment and research boat
The new boat will enable the province to:
- Conduct high-quality assessment and research throughout Lake Ontario in most weather conditions on species such as salmon, lake trout, walleye and whitefish
- Study the whole lake, as this boat can travel long distances and stay out on the lake for extended periods of time
- Significantly improve its ability to contribute to international fisheries and ecosystem monitoring through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and to work with U.S. partner agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
The work done on the boat will provide essential data for the effective management of Ontario's commercial and sport fisheries and for monitoring the Great Lakes ecosystem.
Based in Glenora in Prince Edward County, the boat also provides improved safety and working conditions for a crew of three to eight, including up-to-date navigation equipment and digital/wireless technology for operating fishing gear, as well as kitchen and washroom facilities.
The boat will be used for gill netting, trawling, fish stocking, and night-time hydroacoustic (sonar) work.
Made in Ontario
Hike Metal Products Limited of Wheatley, Ontario, designed and built the boat. The contract created 15 construction jobs during the 18-month project.
The 20-metre all-steel boat is expected to be in service for more than 40 years. It was built to the latest Transport Canada safety standards.
The province has a fleet of eight large boats that conduct fisheries assessment and research on lakes Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario.
The province has operated fisheries stations on the Great Lakes since 1947. Over the years the government has used a variety of boats for assessment and research, often converting former commercial fishing boats.
Ontario's commercial and sport fishing industries
Ontario's Great Lakes recreational fishery contributes $500 million to the province's economy each year, and the commercial fishery is worth up to $215 million a year.