(MNR 62713)
(ISBN 978-1-4435-9695-4)

Preface

This document has been prepared to assemble information on the live bait industry in Ontario prior to a policy review of live bait management in the province. Various types of live bait are described and the feasibility of aquaculture for different bait species is investigated. Licence sales, reported harvests, and economics are provided for the Ontario bait industry. Management of the Ontario bait industry is reviewed. Results of a North American jurisdictional scan on bait policies and management practices are presented. Finally, problems and issues currently facing the bait industry are identified. An emphasis has been placed on ecological issues associated with the use of live bait. More than 370 citations have been provided as additional reference material.

It is hoped that this report will serve as a useful reference document for both internal and external committees who will be involved in the development of a new provincial bait policy.

Steven J. Kerr
Fisheries Policy Section
Biodiversity Branch
June 2012

Background

Angler use of bait

Bait may generally be defined as any substance used to attract and catch fish. The use of live organisms as bait has traditionally been popular among anglers. The type of bait used often varies with the species of fish being sought (Lowry et al. 2006). Surveys indicate that nearly 80% of Ontario anglers use live bait, mostly worms and baitfish, with a small percentage using frogs and crayfish (OMNR 2006). Leeches are used by approximately 20% of anglers.

In Ontario, anglers have the option of either harvesting their own bait or purchasing bait from a retailer. Prior to the implementation of a resident angling licence in 1987, resident anglers could use bait traps and dip nets without a permit but were required to obtain a permit to use a seine net. Currently, under authority of an angling licence, resident anglers can use one bait trap or dip net to harvest baitfish for personal use. It is illegal for anglers to sell their baitfish. In the 2005 recreational angler survey, the second-most popular bait/tackle was found to be live baitfish (54% of anglers) (OMNR 2009a). The survey also indicated that approximately 3% of anglers harvest bait for their personal use. Anglers are restricted to a limit of 120 baitfish in their possession at any time.

Figure 1. In Ontario, licensed resident anglers are allowed to either capture their own bait or purchase bait from a commercial bait dealer (Brenda Koenig photo).

Colour photo of an individual handling bait near a lake.

Types of bait

Types of bait used for recreational angling includes species of crayfish, fish, frogs, leeches, and earthworms. The regulated bait industry in Ontario applies only to fish and leeches however.

Crayfish

There are 9 species of crayfish in Ontario (BAO and OMNR 2005b). Seven of these species are native and two have been introduced from the United States (Hamr 1997).

Anglers may harvest their own crayfish and the limit is 36 per person. When compared to baitfish, crayfish comprised only a small portion of the Ontario live bait industry (Brousseau 2002). The commercial harvest and sale of crayfish was prohibited in 2007. At that time, crayfish represented only a small (<0.03%) proportion of the live bait industry.

In Ontario, crayfish are harvested almost exclusively by baited minnow traps using cut fish parts or commercial pet food. Crayfish are most active at temperatures between 15-20°C. Momot (1991) concluded that, as long as habitat remained intact, removal of up to 50% of the population was possible without any danger of growth or recruitment over- fishing. As long as their body and gill chambers are kept damp, crayfish can live out of the water for extended periods of time and can survive transport over long distances (Huner 1997). In Ontario, however, crayfish can only be used in the waterbody from which they were captured. Crayfish, whether dead or alive, cannot be moved overland.

Fish

Although many species of fish may be suitable as live bait for angling, there are only 48 species designated as baitfish for the purpose of harvest and sale in Ontario (see Appendix 1). This listing is based on species which are native to Ontario. In actuality, the bulk of the baitfish harvest and sales consists primarily of only 10-11 different species.

Figure 2. Baitfish are the most common type of live bait used by anglers in Ontario. (Brenda Koenig photo).

Colour photo of baitfish in a net.

A number of factors ultimately determine the capability of a waterbody to produce baitfish (Table 1).

Table 1 [reproduced as a list]. Characteristics of a good baitfish lake or pond (from Hildebrand-Young Associates Ltd. 1981 and Eddy 2000).

  • Simple fish community with an absence of predatory game fish species.
  • Relatively shallow and constant depth of water with some deeper (e.g., 3-4 m) overwintering areas.
  • High levels of dissolved oxygen throughout the year.
  • Small surface area .
  • Brushy shoreline with deadfalls and beaver lodges.
  • Presence of inlet and outlet streams which may serve as spawning habitat.
  • Soft substrate (e.g., mud).
  • Abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation.
  • Presence of broken rock substrate along lake shoreline

Harvest equipment for baitfish includes traps, dip nets, and seine nets. Traps are usually baited except perhaps during spring runs in creeks (Winterton 2005). Fish are often sorted (by species) and graded (by size) before being moved to some form of holding tank. Seining is another preferred means of capture for species such as shiners which are a schooling fish. The use of seine nets is usually restricted to areas which have substrate free of obstructions. Since seine nets usually capture more fish than a baited minnow trap, there is often more time and effort required to sort and grade fish at the site.

Sales of baitfish in the winter are usually comprised of species such as emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides), common shiner (Luxilus cornutus), and spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius), which are captured in large numbers during their fall movements. During the summer, the most common baitfish are species of dace (Rhinichthys, Phoxinus and Margariscus spp.), fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), common shiner, suckers (Catostomus spp.), and chubs (Semotilus, Nocomis and Couesius spp.). Emerald shiners are seldom available in the summer since they do not survive well in warmer water.

There has been some experimentation with alternate gear types for harvesting baitfish. Mohr (1985) experimented with the use of small mesh trap nets and found them to be a viable alternative to minnow traps under certain conditions and in certain lakes.

Historically, large volumes of baitfish (primarily emerald shiners), harvested from Lakes Erie and Simcoe, were transported long distances to markets as far away as Cochrane and Thunder Bay.

Frogs

There are thirteen species of frogs which are native to Ontario. Frogs are widely used as bait predominantly by bass anglers.

Both active and passive techniques are used to harvest frogs. Frogs are often subject to stress during transport (Winterton 2005). At all times they need to be kept cool and moist.

Prior to 2001, anyone could harvest and sell frogs without a licence. In 2001, regulations were introduced which:

  • Allowed commercial bait licence holders to harvest and sell only northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens).
  • Restricted the harvest of frogs to several designated counties in southeastern Ontario.
  • Permitted an individual harvesting frogs under authority of a sport fishing licence to catch and possess up to 12 northern leopard frogs and one specimen of any other frog species that was not specially protected.

Based on a 2002 survey (Brousseau et al. 2003), almost 7,000 dozen frogs, valued at over $46,000, were harvested from southern Ontario.

The commercialization of bull frogs (Rana catesbeiana) was stopped in Ontario based on concerns about their population status. In response to concerns about the decline in other Ontario frog populations (Shirose 2000), the commercial harvest and sale of frogs was prohibited in 2007. At that time, frogs accounted for only a small portion (< 0.02%) of the live bait industry. Anglers are still allowed to harvest northern leopard frogs for personal use. The limit is 12 frogs per person.

Leeches

There are believed to be 35 species of leeches in Ontario (Walther-Landon 1986). The primary species used as bait is the ribbon leech (Nephelopsis obscura). Due to the difficulty in identification, most anglers and bait dealers are unable to identify the species of leech being used or sold.

Figure 3. Leeches are a bait preferred by many walleye anglers (Brenda Koenig photo).

Colour photo of some leeches on the palm of a hand.

Leeches are found in a diversity of habitats and can tolerate a wide range of water quality parameters (Walther-Landon 1986). Peterson (1982) found that productive ponds for leeches were situated near agricultural lands, supported green algae blooms, and contained few fish species. Until the early 1980s, leeches were seldom used for angling (Winterton 1998a). Today, leeches are a bait especially preferred by many walleye anglers. Leeches are sensitive to temperature and are most effective when angling in cool (i.e., 15° C) waters. The demand for leeches increased greatly in the late 1980s and 1990s. The increased demand for leeches resulted in increased importation.

Leeches are harvested with baited traps set in warm, shallow areas of ponds and lakes. Since leeches are nocturnal, traps are set in the evening and checked in early morning. Leeches can be held for periods of 8-10 weeks while being transported to market. Proper handling techniques and maintenance of good water quality are required to minimize holding mortality (Friesen 2000). They can be sold either by the dozen or by the pound. Anglers may harvest their own leeches but are restricted to a maximum of 120 leeches per person regardless of whether they were harvested or purchased from a commercial dealer.

Historically, many American anglers brought leeches into Ontario from the United States (Walther-Landon 1986). It has been estimated that 50-60% of the leeches used by anglers in Ontario originated from outside the province (Friesen 2000). This practice was discontinued in 1999 when anglers were banned from importing leeches into Ontario. By 2005 the ban had been extended to commercial operators.

Earthworms

Records of anglers using earthworms to catch fish date back to the 15th century (Anonymous 1962). Although no native earthworms exist in Ontario, there are a total of at least 19 species which are currently found in the province (Evers et al. 2012). Earthworms are a very popular and widely-used bait. They are marketed under a variety of names including angle worms, leaf worms, night crawlers, dilly worms, and wigglers (Keller et al. 2007). The dew worm or night crawler (Lumbricus terrestris) is probably one of the most widely used earthworms sold commercially. Other species of earthworms may be used by anglers who collect their own bait. There are currently no restrictions regarding the harvest or sale of earthworms in Ontario.

Other types of bait

Several other invertebrates are less commonly used as bait by anglers. This includes caterpillars, crickets, garden slugs, grasshoppers, grubs, maggots, and wax worms. None of these products are currently regulated in Ontario. Salamanders cannot be used as bait in Ontario.

Some trout and salmon anglers utilize salted roe (spawn) as bait. The sale of roe is regulated under the provincial Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Roe may not be sold under authority of a commercial bait licence or by an angler.

Propagation of bait

As a general rule, propagation is considered to be the artificial rearing of gametes obtained either from a wild or domesticated source. Propagation may either be intensive or extensive in nature. Intensive propagation occurs when fish are reared at high densities under controlled environmental conditions. Conversely, extensive propagation is when fish are reared at lower densities when environmental conditions cannot be controlled.

In Michigan and Wisconsin, cultured baitfish accounts for approximately one-third of all baitfish sales (Busiahn 1996), Although the culture of bait species is a well developed industry in the United States, there are few operations in Canada. Golden shiners (Notropis crysoleucas), white suckers (Catastomus commersonii), creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus) and fathead minnows are the most common baitfish species which have been cultured in the United States (Hedges and Ball 1953, Stone et al. 1997).

Suckers are often reared intensively in a hatchery environment after wild egg collections. Fry are then subsequently transferred to ponds. Conversely, the propagation of fathead minnows and golden shiners usually involves the release of adult brood fish into ponds where they are allowed to spawn naturally. In some instances the brood fish are removed after spawning so as not to compete with their progeny (Davis 1993). Fish are harvested from the ponds once they have achieved the desired size.

Brubacher (1962) concluded that competition from wild supplies, high capital investments, and a relatively short growing season, made the commercial propagation of baitfish in Ontario difficult. As a result, there have only been a few attempts to culture baitfish in Ontario over the years. In 1967, an experimental project was conducted in the Kenora District to rear suckers to meet baitfish supply shortfalls in the summer (Saunders 1967). A wild spawn collection was conducted in the spring. Eighty percent of the eggs hatched and approximately 104,000 fry were introduced into a rearing pond within 48 hours after hatching. The rearing pond was drained and seined in early November to determine sucker production. It was estimated that 30% of the sucker were of marketable size in early August and the remainder would have been marketable in late August or early September. In 1969, a total of 130,000 eggs were collected, hatched and the sac fry were placed in two artificially constructed ponds on the Matachewan Indian Reserve (Atkinson 1969). The goal of the project was to raise baitfish to sell to retailers. Unfortunately, the results of the project were not reported.

Probably the most intensive experimentation with regard to baitfish culture in Ontario occurred at the provincial Westport Fish Culture Station in the late 1960s. The project was designed to evaluate the feasibility and economics of rearing golden shiners. Over a three year (1968-1970) period, various ponds were used as spawning and rearing areas. Problems which were encountered included heavy mortality when moving shiner fry, unwanted algae and aquatic vegetation, predation, parasite infestation, and a short growing season. It was concluded that the profit margin was too low for the propagation of golden shiners (McNee 1971).

Leeches can be cultured in hatcheries or in ponds. Ponds need to be fertile and relatively free of fish. Under good conditions, leeches can be grown to market size in 9-10 weeks. In Minnesota, Collins et al. (1983) concluded that commercial leech production was cost competitive with natural harvest costs. Stocking juvenile leeches into commercial harvested ponds or lakes to supplement natural populations has not been found to be a practical management tool (Peterson and Hennagir 1980a, Peterson 1982).

It is possible to propagate some species of frogs. Propagation techniques can range from stocking ponds with tadpoles (extensive culture) to intensive culture in outdoor pens. Sanitation problems have frequently been encountered in frog propagation operations.

Crayfish are cultured in the southern United States (e.g., Louisiana). They are usually reared in small ponds (Forney 1957). Ponds are stocked in the fall or the spring with mature (fall) or egg carrying (spring) crayfish that mate and expel their eggs. Young crayfish reach bait size by July and are removed by seining (Brown and Gunderson 1997) or the use of baited traps (Bardach et al. 1972). The expense and length of harvest period are problems which are commonly experienced in crayfish culture (de la Bretonne and Romair 1990). In northern climates, crayfish display slow growth, reduced juvenile survival rates and a long lifespan. Momot (1991) concluded that these characteristics were counterproductive for commercial aquaculture.

Earthworms can be reared relatively easily in large containers filled with peat, sawdust, sand and other organic material. Moisture content of the bed is a critical factor. High fibre content food is often used to promote growth. Worms can first be harvested from new beds after 3 months and then harvested every 2-4 weeks thereafter (Masson et al. 1992).

There are several advantages for the propagation of bait to supplement wild harvest (Markus 1934, Burtle undated). Under controlled rearing conditions the possibility of transferring disease or exotic species is minimized (Goodwin 2012). Potential overharvest of wild bait stocks could be avoided. Finally, artificial propagation could serve to provide a stable source of bait throughout the year. If wild stocks of bait decrease and wholesale prices increase, the economic feasibility of bait culture in Ontario becomes more attractive (Winterton 2005).

Managing Ontario’s bait industry

Some of the earliest baitfish records date back to 1925 when a total of 99 licences were issued provincially (Goodchild 1997). At that time the capture and sale of live bait was generally considered to be a means of supplementary income for children and others (Brubacher 1962). Initially, the harvest and sale of bait was a localized affair since holding and transporting facilities were inadequate (McNee 1966). The baitfish industry in southern Ontario expanded considerably between 1930 and 1960 (Appendix 2).

The live bait industry in northern Ontario developed later than in the south. The baitfish industry in northwestern Ontario commenced in the 1950s (Hilldebrand-Young Associates Ltd. 1981). Licensed areas on Crown land were poorly defined resulting in many conflicts among harvesters. A licence was required to harvest baitfish but there was no annual reporting requirement.

Historically, the live bait industry was comprised of harvesters, dealers, preservers and importers. A harvester was an individual who was licensed to harvest live bait from a designated area using harvest equipment specified on the licence. Most harvesters sold the majority of their bait to retailers. A bait dealer was an individual who was licensed to sell bait to anglers. They were required to have a baitfish dealers licence to possess, transport, and sell. A preserver licence allowed for the preserving of bait by freezing, salting, or pickling. Surplus supplies of bait which could not be held were often processed in that fashion. The maximum weight of bait which could be processed annually was limited by regulation. Importers were individuals who could import bait from aquaculturists in the United States in order to alleviate bait shortages during the summer months.

In the early 1960s an angler was allowed to catch (by trap or dip net) and hold up to 50 baitfish without a licence (Brubacher 1962). By the mid 1960s, two different licensing systems were in use. In much of southern Ontario, harvesters were assigned specific waters for their use. Conversely, in northern Ontario, bait harvesters were assigned a defined “block” containing multiple waters. For the most part, only one harvester was allowed in any block. There are some exceptions to the block system. For example, in Lake Erie the baitfish resources are allocated to multiple users fishing the same areas.

In 1965, Payne (1965) reviewed the status of the baitfish industry and called for regulations which would meet market demands while preventing wild stocks from being overexploited.

By the 1970s, concerns were emerging about potential overexploitation of baitfish, particularly in southern Ontario. This prompted the formation of a Central Region baitfish subcommittee within OMNR and implementation of several policies intended to prevent overharvest. These policies included:

  • Only one licence would be issued to the harvester – the licence was required to be on his person – no duplicate licenses were allowed.
  • The amount of gear licensed was limited to one seine net, one dip net and an unlimited number of minnow traps.
  • A harvesters licence was only issued to the holder of a licence from the previous year. Licensees who had not fished the previous two years were not renewed.

In 1973, the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests was reorganized to form the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The new organizational structure included eight administrative regions and 47 districts (Figure 4). Bait licences and harvest areas were assigned by local district offices across the province.

A series of new provincial baitfish policies was implemented in 1978. These included:

  • Baitfish harvest licences would only be issued to Ontario residents.
  • Harvest licences would not be renewed for inactive operators.
  • Licence fees would not be less than $20.
  • Licensees would be assigned exclusive fishing grounds.

Figure 4. Organizational structure of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in 1973 (top) and today (bottom).

Organizational structure of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in 1973 showing eight regions on the map (top) and today (bottom).

Enlarge Figure 4

As part of the provincial Strategic Planning for Ontario Fisheries (SPOF) initiative, a working group was established to review the bait industry. They released a report containing several proposals for baitfish harvest policies in Ontario (OMNR 1983). Highlights from that report included the following recommendations:

  • Expand research activities to develop a baitfish productivity model.
  • Encourage the establishment of local baitfish management councils.
  • Retain the exclusive block system as a provincial standard for allocating baitfish resources.
  • Amend legislation to separate the baitfish and commercial food fish industries.
  • Retain the baitfish dealer’s licence.
  • Develop new regulations to promote the husbandry of baitfish.

In the late 1990s, MNR initiated a process to create a new business partnership with the bait industry. It was recognized that the commercial bait industry was undervalued and minimally managed. Further, there was the need for more consistent policy and enforcement direction as well as more accurate reporting. A discussion paper (OMNR 1998) was prepared which outlined proposals for consideration. After extensive consultation with the bait industry, the plan was approved in 1998. The plan included increased licence fees to improve bait management, created the Bait Association of Ontario (BAO) as a new industry partner, developed a plan to modernize Ontario’s baitfish industry, and began to address many of the ecological issues affecting the industry at that time. The BAO assumed much of the administrative responsibility of bait management including education, training, and reporting.

The number of bait licences, both harvester and dealer, issued in Ontario peaked in the late 1980s-early 1990s (Figure 5). Licence fees were increased in 1999. The basic fee for a bait harvest licence increased to $300 (from $30) with an additional $32.50 for each bait harvest area. Fees for a dealer licence increased from $17.50 in 1998 to $150.00. This fee increase was at least partially responsible for a 28% decrease in the total number of commercial baitfish licences issued in 1999 (Anonymous 2000). Licence fees were directed to a Special Purpose Account and used, in part, to finance administration of the BAO.

Shortly after the formation of the BAO-MNR partnership, action was taken on a number of outstanding issues. This occurred when the new provincial Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act replaced the former Game and Fish Act. A ban was placed on the use of salted (preserved) minnows by commercial dealers. A ban on the import of leeches occurred in two steps: anglers were banned from importation in 1999 and a complete ban (including commercial dealers) on import was instituted in 2005. Finally, the use of traps and dip nets by non residents was prohibited. Leeches were added to bait harvest licences to recognize their increasing importance. Shortly thereafter, the commercial bait frog industry was regulated.

Figure 5. Sales of bait harvest licences and bait dealers licences in Ontario.

Line graph showing sales of bait harvest licences and bait dealers licences in Ontario from around 1925 to around 2010, with harvesting licences represented by blue dots connected with a line, and dealing licences represented by pink dots connected with a line.

An increasing demand for the ability to catch and sell lake herring as bait led to a northwestern Ontario initiative in 2002. A proposal (OMNR 2004a) was developed to allow bait harvesters to use small mesh gill nets on designated lakes, provided incidental catches of non-target species was low. The proposal was posted twice on the Environmental Registry and a decision notice to allow this practice was posted in February 2012.

The discovery of Viral Hemorraghic Septicemia (VHS) in Ontario had major impacts on the bait industry. VHS is a virus that can weaken and kill fish. Although discovered from an archived sample in 2003, VHS was first detected in Ontario waters of the Great Lakes in 2005 and, subsequently, inland in 2011. The pathogen resulted in numerous fish mortalities. In October, 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service placed a ban on all imports and interjurisdictional transport of 37 listed species of fish from eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces. Within Ontario, actions were taken to slow the spread of VHS to inland waters. For the live bait industry this involved harvest and movement restrictions through the establishment of “virus-free”, “buffer” and “VHS positive” zones (Figure 6):

  • A harvest moratorium was implemented in the VHS positive zone
  • Stored bait, harvested prior to the prohibition, could be sold in the VHS positive zone but not in either the buffer or virus free zones,
  • Live baitfish which were harvested from the buffer zone could not be moved into the virus-free zone
  • Live bait harvested from either the buffer or virus-free zones could be sold in the infected zone

These measures were effective from January to March, 2007. Upon review, some boundary changes were made and the buffer zone was eliminated effective April 2007 (Figure 7).

Figure 6. VHS management zones implemented in January 2007.

Map of Ontario showing Viral Hemorraghic Septicemia (VHS) management zones. Infected Zones are indicated with brown, Buffer Zones are indicated with yellow, Free Zones are indicated with lilac and Fisheries Management Zones are indicatd with blue.

Enlarge Figure 6.

In response to increasing concerns about the spread of non-native species and pathogens, the Ministry of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Bait Association of Ontario implemented a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan requirement for commercial bait licensees and a training program for commercial bait harvesters. The HACCP training program was originally developed for the bait industry in the United States to reduce the spread of invasive species. To ensure uncontaminated fish, water and equipment, the HACCP system is designed to identify invasive species hazards, establish controls and monitor these controls. HACCP is a preventive system to help ensure that fish, water and equipment are free of invasive species.

Figure 7. VHS management zone which was implemented in April, 2007.

Map of Southern Ontario showing Viral Hemorraghic Septicemia (VHS) management zone implemented in April 2007. The map legend shows settlements indicated with black dots, Viral Hemorraghic Septicemia (VHS) management zone boundary indicated by a red line with light red shading, and waterbodies indicated by blue. Multilane, two lane hard surface and two lane loose surface roads are shown by black lines.

Enlarge Figure 7.

The HACCP concept focuses on the part of the operation that is most likely to spread invasive species and minimize risk (Gunderson and Kinnunen 2002). Due to the more complex nature of bait harvesting operations, mandatory HACCP training was implemented over a multi-year period for bait harvesters while all commercial bait dealers were required to complete a simplified HACCP plan before their licences would be issued. Over a seven (2004-2011) year period, a total of almost 800 harvesters received HACCP training (Table 2).

Table 2. Ontario bait harvesters receiving HACCP training, 2004-2010.

Year # Training Sessions # People Trained
2004 (voluntary) 6 30
2005 0 0
2006 6 122
2007 14 184
2008 19 180
2009 15 247
2010-11 9 32

Since 2010 all commercial bait harvesting licensees must complete (and have approved) a HACCP plan before their licence is issued. This requirement has been in place for commercial bait dealers since 2007.

A study was initiated by OMNR in 2011 to evaluate the effectiveness of HACCP training and to determine the frequency of non-target fish in the retail baitfish industry. This likelihood of human-mediated movement of aquatic species and pathogens using the baitfish pathway in Ontario. From this study there generally was a low occurrence of non-target species in retail products.

Despite measures designed to slow the spread of VHS, the virus was discovered in fish from Lake Simcoe in 2011. As a result, commercial bait operators were prohibited from moving commercial baitfish into or out of a new Lake Simcoe Management Zone (Figure 8) effective January 1, 2012. Anglers were advised to buy baitfish when they arrived to fish in the Lake Simcoe area and not take baitfish into or out of the area.

Figure 8. Lake Simcoe Management Zone which was implemented in 2012.

Map of Southern Ontario showing Lake Simcoe Management Zone indicated by mustard-coloured areas, Viral Hemorraghic Septicemia (VHS) management zones indicated by light red areas, and waterbodies indicated by blue. Multilane, two lane hard surface and two lane loose surface roads are shown by black lines.

Enlarge Figure 8.

Currently, there are approximately 5,800 bait harvest areas in twenty-five different MNR districts in the province of Ontario (Note: There is no bait harvest allowed in Algonquin Provincial Park). Bait harvest activities are regulated through legislation and conditions of licence. Licence conditions address various issues including the movement of bait, travel corridors, types of gear utilized, and the timing of harvest. Mandatory reporting of fishing effort and harvest is a stipulation and an approved HACCP plan is required before a bait harvest licence is issued.

Current regulations involving live bait

Over the years, Ontario has established a number of regulations pertaining to the possession, transport and use of live bait (Table 3 and Appendix 3). Most regulations are designed to ensure the sustainability of wild live bait as well as prevent the transfer and introduction of non-native species.

Table 3. A summary of current regulations regarding the harvest and use of live bait in Ontario.

Topic Regulation
Angler Harvest
  • Resident anglers holding a valid recreational fishing licence may capture their own bait for personal use (Note: The capture and use of bait is not allowed in some waters). Non-resident anglers cannot harvest baitfish (except suckers and lake herring) for personal use by any means.
  • Anglers may only use one baitfish trap (< 51 cm long and 31 cm wide) or one dip net (< 183 cm square). A baitfish trap must be marked with the name and address of the owner.
  • Anglers are responsible to ensure that any baitfish in their possession are formally designated as legal baitfish.
  • Only northern leopard frogs may be captured or used as bait.
  • Crayfish must be only be used in the waterbody from which they were caught.
Commercial Harvest
  • Only individuals with a valid commercial bait licence can sell baitfish and leeches.
  • Harvesters must carry their licence on their person.
  • Harvesters are not allowed to preserve baitfish with salt for sale to anglers.
  • A commercial bait licence holder cannot buy or sell baitfish that have been preserved with salt.
  • Individuals may not possess any species of fish which is not defined as a baitfish.
Import of Bait
  • It is illegal to bring any crayfish, salamanders, live fish or leeches into Ontario for use as bait.
Personal Possession Limits
  • Maximum of 120 leeches per angler.
  • Maximum of 36 crayfish per angler.
  • Maximum of 120 baitfish per angler.
  • Maximum of 12 northern leopard frogs per angler.
Prohibited Species
  • Salamanders cannot be captured, imported, or used as bait in Ontario.
  • Cannot use an “invasive” or live fish that is not a designated baitfish species (exception for crayfish).
Release of Bait
  • It is illegal to release any live bait or empty the contents of a bait bucket, including the water, into any water or within 30 m of any waterbody.
Holding Facilities
  • Any live holding box must be clearly marked with the name and address of the user which are visible without raising the device from the water.
Transport
  • There are no restrictions on angler movement of live baitfish.
  • No overland transport of crayfish is allowed.
  • Commercial bait licence holders may not move live baitfish out of the VHS Management Zone or baitfish into or out of the Lake Simcoe Management Zone.

Bait harvest from Ontario waters

Ontario has the largest industry in Canada for the harvest and sale of baitfish (Table 4).

Table 4. An overview of the Canadian baitfish industry (based on a survey conducted by Canadian Aquaculture Systems Inc. 2007).

Province/Territory Year(s) # Harvest Licences Issued # Bait Dealers1
Alberta 2007 0 8
British Columbia 2007 0 16
Manitoba 2007 100 45
New Brunswick 2007 0 3
Newfoundland/Labrador 2007 0 1
Northwest Territories 2007 0 0
Nova Scotia 2007 0 10
Nunavut 2007 0 0
Ontario 2002-2005 1,384 – 1,439 261
Prince Edward Island 2007 0 3
Québec 1985 - 2004 53-66 33
Saskatchewan 1997-2004 2-160 27

1Value based on number of dealers listed in the Yellow Pages under “bait”.

Reported bait harvests are illustrated in Figure 9. Unfortunately, data is unavailable for much of the period between 1986 and 2002. Harvests declined considerably in 2007 coincident with the implementation of measures to control the spread of VHS.

Figure 9. Reported harvests of leeches and baitfish in Ontario, 1970-2011.

Line graph showing reported harvests of leeches and baitfish in Ontario from 1970 to 2011, with the vertical axis showing dozens harvested. Baitfish harvests are represented by dark blue dots connected with a line, and leeches are represented by pink dots connected with a line.

Over the past nine years (2002-2010), provincial bait harvests in Ontario have averaged almost 4.7 million dozen baitfish. Comparatively, between 2004-2008, there was an average of 52 baitfish harvest licences issued in Manitoba and a mean annual harvest of 199,282 dozen baitfish (live and frozen) reported (Manitoba Water Stewardship 2009). In 2003, 117 licensees harvested approximately 5,100 kg of baitfish in the province of Saskatchewan (Ashcroft et al. 2006). Between 1985 and 2001, an average of 7.2 million dozen baitfish were harvested annually in South Dakota (Broughton and Potter 2003). The three year (1976-78) average harvest of baitfish in Minnesota was 14.6 million dozen.

Economics of the commercial bait industry

Ontario is believed to have the largest live bait industry in Canada (Goodchild 1997) but estimates of its value vary considerably. Sales of baitfish in Ontario totalled $1.5 million in 1963 (Payne 1965). In 1980, the commercial baitfish industry was valued at $12.4 million (Goodchild 1997). By the mid 1980s the retail value of Ontario’s bait industry was conservatively estimated at $29 million (US) (Litvak and Mandrak 1993). In the late 1990s, the value of the commercial bait industry was estimated at between $40-60 million (OMNR 1998). More recently (2005) the commercial bait industry in Ontario was valued at $17 million in direct sales and $23 million when other related sales were considered (OMNR 2009a). In comparison, the 2009 live bait industry in Manitoba had gross sales of $1.04 million (Manitoba Water Stewardship 2009). Maine’s winter baitfish industry has been valued at $4.7 million (Kircheis 1998). The value of the 2001 baitfish harvest in South Dakota was estimated at $3.8 million (Broughton and Potter 2003). The direct sales of bait in Wisconsin during 1992 was estimated at $35.2 million (Manwell 1997). Minnesota’s baitfish harvest and sale industry has been valued at $50 million (Dickson 2012). In the United States, the freshwater baitfish industry has sales over $170 million annually (Goodwin et al. 2004). In the mid 1990s, Rosen (2005) estimated the value of the baitfish industry in Canada and the United States was approximately $1 billion.

Although prices vary considerably across Ontario, the prices charged for live baitfish have increased steadily over the years. In the mid 1960s the price for one dozen baitfish ranged from 22-39¢. By 1982, the price ranged from 50¢ to $1.50 per dozen. Table 5 illustrates the value of various sizes of baitfishes in 2000. In 2003, retail prices per dozen for various bait species was $3.50 for baitfish, $4.00 for leeches, $7.00 for frogs, $3.00 for crayfish, and $8.00 for lake herring. In a survey of selected bait dealers during the winter of 2012 bait prices varied based on the size of fish (e.g., “small” ranged from $2.5-$6.00 per dozen, “medium” ranged from $4.00 - $8.00 per dozen, and “large” ranged from $4.50 to $12.00 per dozen) (Lauretta Dunford, OMNR, personal communication).

Table 5. Baitfish values in 2000.

Grader Size Bait used for Wholesale Value ($)
in Gallons
Retail Value ($) in
Dozens
16 Fish returned to water N/A N/A
17 Crappies and perch $50 $1
23 Bass $50 $2
33 Walleye $50 $4
44 Small pike $50 $6
51 Large pike $45 $13
63 Large pike and musky 25-35¢ each $1-1.25 each
Lake herring Pike and lake trout $4 per dozen $8 per dozen

Note: A grader is a screen or sieve used to sort fish based on their size.

Problems and issues

Supply and demand

In a 1980 survey in northwestern Ontario (Hildebrand-Young Associates Inc. 1981), anglers indicated that they placed a high value on the availability of baitfish. A large portion of live baitfish, such as emerald shiners (Notropis atherinoides), are harvested during the autumn. Unfortunately, bait of a desired size is a perishable commodity which cannot be stockpiled for long periods of time (Davis 1993). Shortage of bait during certain periods of the year is a common problem in many North American jurisdictions (Noel and Hubert 1988, Meronek et al. 1997, Eddy 2000, Gunderson and Tucker 2000). In Ontario it is not uncommon for bait shortages to occur in mid summer (Anonymous 1956, Hughson 1968, Sandilands 1976) as well as some periods in the winter (Mulligan 1960, Brubacher 1962, Winterton 2005). Shortages may be attributed to the periods of heaviest angling pressure as well as the fact that it becomes more difficult to catch baitfish under ice cover during the winter or as the water warms up in mid summer.

Recently, management actions, such as emergency responses to the detection of VHS, have also served to alter supply and demand.

Capture/harvest of species at risk

Anglers or licensed harvesters capturing bait from waters that contain species at risk (see Table 6) may inadvertently capture a federally or provincially listed species. Under both the provincial Endangered Species Act (ESA) (2007) and federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) legislation, it is illegal to fish (whether angling, commercial or bait harvesting) for or possess species listed as Threatened, Endangered, or Extirpated.

Species designated as Special Concern are prohibited from being used as bait under the Ontario Fishery Regulations Under both the ESA and SARA, there is provision for incidental catch of species at risk as long as they are caught in accordance with the terms and condition of their licence and due diligence is exercised to avoid capture and possession. However, some fish species at risk are difficult to identify and may be missed during the initial sorting at the capture site and, if the harvester can’t return them immediately to the original capture site unharmed, the fish must be destroyed as per the conditions of their licence.

Table 6 [reproduced below]. Small fishes designated as Species at Risk in Ontario.

  • Black Redhorse (Moxostoma duquesnei)
  • Blackstripe Topminnow (Fundulus notatus)
  • Bridle Shiner (Notropis bifrenatus)
  • Channel Darter (Percina copelandi) Cutlip Minnow (Exoglossum maxillingua)
  • Eastern Sand Darter (Ammocrypta pellucida)
  • Gravel Chub (Erimyustax x-punctatus)
  • Lake Chubsucker (Erimyzon sucetta)
  • Redside Dace (Clinostomus elongates)
  • Pugnose Minnow (Opsopoeodus emillae)
  • Pugnose Shiner (Notropis anogenus)
  • River Redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum)
  • Silver Chub (Macrhybopsis storeriana)
  • Silver Shiner (Notropis photogenis)
  • Spotted Sucker (Minytrema melanops)

Incidental capture by Ontario bait harvesters, particularly by those using seine nets, was identified as a potential threat to many of the species identified in Table 6 including redside dace (Redside Dace Recovery Team 2010), cutlip minnow (Crossman and Holm 1996), lake chubsucker (COSEWIC 2008, Vlasman et al. 2008), pugnose shiner (DFO 2011) silver chub (DFO 2010), spotted sucker (DFO 2009), bridle shiner (DFO 2010), and eastern sand darter (Campbell 2009).

Spread of disease, parasites, and exotic organisms

The collection and sale of non-bait species, whether accidental or intentional, is not uncommon. Litvak and Mandrak (1993) reported finding six illegal baitfish species in four Toronto, Ontario, bait shops. Ludwig and Leitch (1996) found non-bait species in 28.5% of bait samples purchased from 21 bait dealers in North Dakota and Minnesota. Kircheis (1998) found ten illegal species in a survey of Maine bait dealers.

“Bait bucket” releases related to the live bait industry are regarded as the primary cause for the introduction and spread of many non-native aquatic organisms (DiStefano et al. 2009). Studies have shown that 41-46% of anglers empty their bait buckets at the end of their fishing trip (Litvak and Mandrak 1993, Dextrase and MacKay 1999). There are currently no restrictions on angler movement of live bait within Ontario. Historically, a large proportion of live baitfish were harvested from the Great Lakes and shipped inland for sale. This provided the opportunity to introduce many non-native species and fellow travellers to inland waters.

The improper disposal of live baitfish has been attributed as the source of introduction for at least 14 species in Ontario (Litvak and Mandrak 2000). In a two year study in Ohio, Snyder (2000) found that between 17-39% of baitfish purchased from retail outlets contained non-target fishes. Similarly, in a Pennsylvania survey, LoVello and Stauffer (1993) found seven different species of unapproved fish in bait dealer’s holding tanks. A three day inspection of southcentral Ontario bait dealers in 2012 recovered seven non- bait species (44 specimens) (Mark Robbins, OMNR, personal communication). It is believed that the rudd (Scardinus erythrophthalmus) was introduced into Ontario via a bait bucket release (Crossman et al. 1992, Kapuscinski et al. 2012). The dispersal of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) in Ontario has been attributed to the release of live bait (Litvak and Mandrak 1993). Goodchild and Tilt (1976) attributed the introduction of river chub (Nocomis micropogon) to eastern Ontario as the result of release of baitfish. The non-native rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) is believed to have been spread through Ontario and the northern United States by anglers using them as bait (Kerr et al. 2005, Berube and Kraft 2010, Hamr 2010). Frogs being sold as bait have been identified as a vector in the spread of the infectious disease Ranavirus (Kidd 2004). Reader (undated) concluded that the risk of spreading VHS, by movements of emerald shiners being sold as bait, was high. Similarly, Ludwig and Leitch (1996) concluded that angler use of live baitfish had a high potential of moving non-native species into new waterbodies and drainage basins.

Lodge et al. (2000) stated that the release of live bait was the most important vector for introductions of non-indigenous crayfish and advocated for a ban on the use of crayfish as bait. Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) were first introduced into Ontario from Ohio by anglers using them as bait (Hamr 2000, Jansen et al. 2009). The introduction of the aggressive rusty crayfish has led to declines of native crayfish species (Taylor et al. 1996). Berrill (1978) concluded that anglers persist in moving crayfish and are likely to promote extension of non-native species. Lodge et al. (2000) advocated making the use of live crayfish illegal in the United States in order to halt the introduction of non- indigenous crayfish.

There are some concerns about the introduction of non-native earthworms to various areas of North America (Hendrix and Bohlen 2002, Hendrix et al. 2008, Evers et al. 2012). Unused worms discarded by anglers is believed to be an important vector in their spread (Cameron et al. 2008, Hale 2008). Keller et al. (2007) concluded that the bait trade and subsequent disposal of nonindigenous worms by anglers constituted a major vector for earthworm introductions.

There are also concerns about the spread of viruses and diseases by anglers using live baitfish (Goodwin et al. 2004, Good 2007). The transfer and release of holding water can also serve to introduce harmful species (“fellow travellers”). A fellow traveller is an organism which inadvertently accompanies the intended or desired species. The spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) is an example of an invasive species which was spread as a fellow traveller through the use of live bait (Kerfoot et al. 2011).

Finally, the gear used for harvesting wild bait can also serve as a pathway for the spread of an invasive species. Organisms may adhere and accumulate on gear (e.g., nets, traps, etc) which is used in a variety of different waterbodies. Sometimes, non-target species and plant fragments can be collected with baitfish and transported to other waters.

To prevent the introduction, transfer or spread of aquatic invasive species, a number of best management practices have been developed for the live bait industry (Table 7).

Table 7 [reproduced as a list]. Best management practices and regulatory requirements for preventing the introduction or transfer of aquatic invasive species in the live bait industry.

  • Inspect and remove non-target fish and plant species.
  • Separate new and old shipments /catches of fish.
  • Dispose of unwanted live bait on dry land – never into a waterbody.
  • Never release bait or aquatic plants into different waters from where they came.
  • Clean boats, trailers, and equipment on shore before leaving the access point.
  • Hand clean and dry nets before reuse.
  • Drain water from boats and equipment before leaving the waterbody access.
  • Avoid storing live baitfish in holding facilities that are linked through an inflow or outflow to natural waters.
  • Do not use water known to contain nuisance species to transport live bait.
  • When in areas known to have aquatic invasive species do not use the same equipment in other waters.
  • Rinse and dry equipment, boats and trailers for five days. Before reuse, roll out, hand clean and dry nets for ten days.

Figure 10. Extension projects are designed to educate anglers about the negative impacts of unauthorized bait bucket releases (Wil Wegman photo).

Colour photo of an individual standing in front of a large colourful sign warning anglers not to dump their bait and to protect Lake Simcoe Fishery.

Baitfish are known to host several types of parasite. Even dead bait can carry diseases or parasites. In 2011 survey, Purdy (2011) recovered 248 parasites (38 species) from baitfish sampled at a number of collection sites in Wisconsin. The baitfish industry and human movements of baitfish may serve to extend the ranges of some parasites (Peeler and Feist 2011, Passarelli 2010). A recent example was the discovery of the Asian fish tapeworm (Bothriocephalus acheilognathi) which was found in a bluntnose minnow (Pimephales notatus) captured from the Detroit River in 2002 (Marcogliese 2008). This was the first report of the Asian tapeworm in the Great Lakes.

Management of the bait industry has become increasingly complex as the risks of aquatic invasive species are realized.

Reporting accuracy

Some bait harvesters and dealers are reluctant or unwilling to provide accurate records of their activities to government (Hildebrand-Young and Associates 1981, Kircheis 1998). Reporting inaccuracy and a low rate of voluntary reporting has historically been a problem resulting in underestimates of harvest and sales (Adair 1970, Sandilands 1976, Buckingham et al. 1978, Busiahn 1996, Goodchild 1997). Lack of knowledge regarding numbers of baitfish harvested and the value of the baitfish industry is a problem common in many North American jurisdictions (Canadian Aquaculture Systems Inc. 2007).

Mulligan (1962) reported that, between 1959 and 1961, the number of bait harvesters submitting annual returns ranged from 36-68% in the Sudbury area. In the Lake Simcoe watershed, Pugsley (1983) found that reporting forms were completed correctly by only 38% of respondents and that return data was inconsistent in 46% of cases. Many harvesters did not report their catch in standard measures (e.g., pounds, gallons, dozens, etc) or used size (e.g., small, medium, large) instead of identifying different fish species (Sandilands 1976).

One of the potential reasons for inaccuracy is the disconnection between how baitfish are measured when harvested compared to when they are sold. In the field, enumeration of the catch is often done by crude measurements or bulk estimates involving volume or weight. When sold by a retailer, measurements are more accurate often involving numbers of individual fish. In other instances, small fishes are sold by the scoopful thereby making enumeration difficult.

Despite efforts in recent years to improve the accuracy of returns, problems still exist (OMNR and BAO 2004). Undoubtedly, estimates of bait harvested are underestimates (Canada Aquaculture Systems Inc. 2007).

Differential treatment of bait harvesters and anglers

The bait industry has complained that a potentially unlimited number of anglers can trap the same water as the bait harvester and compete for the same resource at no charge other than the cost of an angling licence.

Anglers are also known to be a vector with regard to the movement and spread of non- native organisms (Kerr et al. 2005, Drake 2011). Members of the live bait industry often cite differential treatment when compared to anglers. A recent example involved restrictions imposed on the movement of live baitfish between VHS management zones by the baitfish industry yet no restrictions were placed on the movement of live bait by anglers. Currently there are no requirements for anglers to inspect their bait traps on a regular basis. There have been complaints that traps are often left unattended for extended periods of time and that captured fish die and are wasted. In a survey of selected North American jurisdictions, Murray and Lodge (2007) found that few governments had crayfish transport regulations which were consistent for both anglers and bait harvesters.

Compliance

There have been problems of non-compliance with commercial bait regulations. Problems have included not adhering to conditions on the licence, non-reporting, illegal transfers of fish, and unlicenced harvest and sale. Another common problem is that annual bait reports are not completed properly or not submitted at all. The penalty for failure to report is usually a fine. Anglers are known to move and release live bait in waters other than where they were caught. There have also been reports of anglers selling the bait they catch to dealers despite the law prohibiting the sale of baitfish caught under the authority of a sport fishing licence.

In 2006, MNR adopted a risk-based approach to compliance and enforcement operational planning. This process focuses compliance and enforcement efforts to incidents that pose the greatest risk to human health and safety, natural resources protection, and risks to the economy. Since 2006 two of the provincial priorities have had a direct relationship to bait policy. These two priorities fall under the categories of:

  1. Biodiversity – preventing the movement and spread of aquatic invasive species, and
  2. Commercial fisheries - unregulated or illegal harvest and sales of fisheries resources.

While these issues are broader than bait compliance monitoring, over the past five years, approximately 3,200 enforcement hours and 1,800 enforcement hours, respectively, have been dedicated to these priorities.

Resource tenure

Although bait harvest areas are designated primarily to individual harvesters, there have been some issues with regard to resource tenure. The issues include harvest by anglers and non-authorized individuals, damage to baitfish waters by competing enterprises (e.g., mining, forestry, etc), and the absence of any tenure guarantee necessary to encourage investment by the bait harvester.

Ecological impacts of overharvest

There have been long standing concerns regarding the lack of knowledge about baitfish productivity and sustainable levels of harvest. There is little biological knowledge on the productivity of bait species which can be used to establish quotas to prevent overharvest (Portt 1985). Currently, there are no quotas or royalties established for bait harvesters.

There is some evidence to suggest that many baitfish species are relatively resilient to harvest by traditional techniques. Duffy (1998) found that moderate levels of harvest had little influence on the dynamics of fathead minnows in prairie wetlands. Topolski et al. (2002) concluded that the current rate of harvest of mummichogs (Fundulus heteroclitus) and banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanous) for baitfish was not having a significant effect on the abundance, availability, or reproductive potential of either species. Larimore (1954) removed 76,217 minnows from a 1.5 km stretch of a small Illinois stream over a multi-year (1950-1953) period. He found that removal did not reduce population abundance for longer than a few months. Brandt and Schreck (1975) conducted experimental harvest of baitfish at varying degrees of intensity but found that differing harvest pressure did not appear to affect densities of either bait or game fish species. Conversely, Portt (1985) concluded that, in several Ontario streams, the abundance of baitfish decreased with successive harvests and that the effects of harvest extended beyond the sample site.

There is also a great degree of variance in productivity among waterbodies. For example, harvests of fathead minnows from various South Dakota waters ranged from 1.2 - 246.4 kg/ha (Broughton and Potter 2003). Duffy (1998) reported that densities of fathead minnows varied from 52,000 to 241,000 fish/ha in four prairie wetlands. In three small southern Ontario lakes, Fraser (1981) reported densities of golden shiners ranged from 481 – 2,111 fish/ha. Similarly, Jackson and Harvey (1997) estimated densities of creek chub ranged from 7 – 36 fish/ha in four small southern Ontario lakes.

Some concerns have been expressed about the potential overharvest of bait species including leeches (Friesen 2000, Pennuto undated), baitfishes (D’Agostini 1957, Weir 1957, Sandilands 1976, Noble 1981, Frost and Trial 1993), frogs, and crayfish (Roell and Orth 1988). Resource conservation concerns regarding the potential overharvest of some baitfishes (primarily emerald shiner) in Lakes Simcoe and Erie, was the rationale for banning the commercial harvest and sale of minnows as salted bait in 1999.

In Ontario, the management approach taken to date is to allocate exclusive use of designated areas to active bait harvesters. It is obviously in the harvester’s best interest not to overexploit the resource which they have been allocated. The determination of sustainable harvest and yields of various bait species is an area where more research is required.

Transfer and sale of bait harvest areas

When a bait harvester wishes to discontinue their activities, their bait harvest area(s) (BHA) reverts back to the Crown and MNR must determine if the licence will be reallocated or transferred. Under no conditions can a harvester sell their bait harvest area to another operator. This is believed to occur, however, under the guise that the purchaser is paying for improvements (e.g., dock, trails, boat slips, etc) to the BHA.

Alteration of fish habitat

Some bait harvesting techniques may result in harmful alterations to fish habitat. For example, the use of a seine net can uproot aquatic vegetation, remove woody debris, and disrupt the substrate (Fisheries and Oceans et al. 2011). Walking over spawning and nursery areas may also cause mortality to some non-target species including species at risk. It could also dislodge some species at risk such as mussels and turtles.

Areas where bait harvest is prohibited

One of the concerns which has been expressed by the bait industry is of declining access to waters, particularly on the Great Lakes, for the harvest of wild baitfish (Busiahn 1996). Increasingly, there are more areas of the province in which the practice of harvesting live bait is prohibited. One example is the restriction of commercial bait harvest in protected areas (OMNR 20010). Commercial bait harvest is not permitted in some provincial parks. Existing baitfish operations in park classes and zones where commercial bait harvest is not permitted are planned to be phased out. This will affect activities in 32 provincial parks and approximately 100 bait harvest areas (OMNR 2009).

There are no specific restrictions on commercial bait harvest in conservation reserves. There is the need for a broad review on the commercial harvest of bait on protected areas of Crown land. Concerns over bait harvest and use in protected areas include the risk of invasive species introductions, ecological sustainability of activities, and consistency with protected area and park class objectives.

Bait policies and regulations in adjacent jurisdictions

There have been several comparative reviews of bait regulations in North America (Stanley et al. 1991, Meronek et al. 1995, Goodchild 1997, Dunford 2012). Regulations and policies with regard to live bait vary considerably among North American jurisdictions (Figures 11 and 12).

Figure 11. Use of live bait for recreational angling in North America (from Dunford 2012)

Map of North America showing the use of live bait for recreational angling. Areas where live bait use is prohibited are indicated by red, areas where live bait use is prohibited with regional exceptions are indicated with yellow and areas where live baitfish use is allowed (may include species and/or waterbody specific restrictions) are indicated by green.

Enlarge Figure 11.

Figure 12. Import and movement restrictions on live bait in North America (from Dunford 2012).

Map of North America showing import and movement restrictions on live bait. Areas where import is prohibited (Viral Hemorraghic Septicemia (VHS) non-susceptible fish species may be exempt) are indicated by dark brown, areas where live bait may not be transported between
waterbodies are indicated with orange, areas where import is prohibited and may not be transported between waterbodies are indicated by blue and Unrestricted areas (may include waterbody and/or species specific restrictions) are indicated with dark green. Places where a jurisdiction has exceptions to the general restrictions that apply (South Dakota and Tennessee) are indicated with a red star.

Enlarge Figure 12.

In North American jurisdictions where the use of live bait is allowed, Ontario is one of the least restrictive in terms of regulations. Many Canadian jurisdictions have banned the use of live bait. The province of Québec plans to eliminate the use of live and dead baitfish during the open water season by 2017 (Nadeau 2012). Most jurisdictions in the Great Lakes basin have controls on the transport and use of live bait. Only the southern U.S. states allow the relatively unrestricted use of live bait.

Litvak and Mandrak (1993) found that, in a comparative survey from 1956 and the 1990s, most North American jurisdictions had become more restrictive with regard to live bait regulations.

Acknowledgements

Matt Garvin and Lauretta Dunford provided information on bait policies and regulations from other North American jurisdictions. Julie Formsma provided information on bait licence sales. Brenda Koenig provided details on provincial bait policy and legislation. Bob Bergmann, Larissa Mathewson-Brake, Lauretta Dunford, Scott Gibson, Karen Hartley, Brenda Koenig, and Mark Robbins provided an editorial review of an earlier version of this background report.

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Additional reading

Culture of live bait

Adams, C. and A. Lazur. 2001. Economic considerations for the prospective mud minnow culturist in Florida. Extension Note FE309. University of Florida. Gainesville, Florida.

Allan, P. F. 1952. How to grow minnows. Soil Conservation Service. Fort Worth, Texas. 63 p.

Brown, P. and J. Gunderson. 1997. Culture potential of selected crayfishes in the northcentral region. Technical Bulletin Series 112. Purdue University. West Lafayette, Indiana.

Castledine, A. J. 1987. Aquaculture in Ontario. Ontario Ministrries of Natural Resources, Environment, and Agriculture and Food. Toronto, Ontario. 80 p.

Clark, C. F. 1943. Creek chub minnow propagation. Ohio Conservation Bulletin 7:13.

Collins, C. B. 1994. Tips on feeds and feeding for catfish and baitfish. Aquaculture 20:68-71. Collins, H. L., L. L. Holmstrand, and W. Jesswein. Undated. Bait leech (Nephelopsis obscura) culture and economic feasibility. Research Report No. 9. Minnesota Sea Grant. Duluth, Minnesota. 20 p.

Coykendfall, R. L. 1973. The culture of crayfish native to Oregon. M.Sc. Thesis. Oregon State University. Corvallis, Oregon.

Culley, D. D., N. D. Horseman, R. L. Amborski, and M. P. Meyers. 1978. Current status of amphibian culture with emphasis on nutrition, disease, and reproduction of the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). Proceedings of the World Mariculture Society 9:653-670.

Dobie, J. R. 1947. Artificial propagation needed to relieve minnow shortage. The Conservation Volunteer (Minnesota Department of Conservation) 10:37-41.

Dobie, J. R. 1948. Minnow propagation. Bulletin No. 13. Minnesota Department of Conservation. St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dobie, J. 1972. Rearing suckers in Minnesota. Investigational Report 256. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dobie, J. R., O. L. Meehan, and G. N. Washburn. 1948. Propagation of minnows and other bait species. Circular 12. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Washington, D.C. 113 p.

Dorman, L. 1993. Tips for handling, hauling, and feeding baitfish. Aquaculture 19:10-26. Ealy, C. C. 1969. Guide to profitable baitfish farming. Thibault Milling Company. Little Rock, Arkansas.

Engle, C. and N. Stone. 2003. Industry profile: the aquaculture of baitfish – a review developed for the National Risk Management Feasibility Program for aquaculture. Department of Agricultural Economics. Mississippi State University. Starkville, Mississippi.

Engle, C., N. Stone, and E. Park. 2000. An analysis of production and financial performance of baitfish production. Journal of Applied Aquaculture 10:1-15.

Flickinger, S. A. 1971. Pond culture of baitfishes. Bulletin 478A. Colorado State University. Fort Collins, Colorado. 37 p.

Flickinger, S. A. 1971. Rearing baitfishes in the Rocky Mountain states. Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Denver, Colorado. 129 p.

Grey, D. L. 1988. Baitfish feeds and feeding practices. Publication No. 121. Southern Region Aquaculture Center. College Station, Texas.

Guidice, J. J., D. L. Gray, and J. M. Martin. 1981. Baitfish culture in the south: learning the basics. Aquaculture 7:26-31.

Guidice, J. J., D. L. Gray, and J. M. Martin. 1982. Manual for baitfish culture in the south. Publication EC-550. University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Gunderson, J. L. and P. Brown. 1997. Culture potential of selected crayfishes in the north central region. Minnesota Sea Grant. St. Paul, Minnesota. 26 p.

Gunderson, J. L. and P. Tucker. 2000. The status and needs of baitfish aquaculture in the North Central Region. Iowa State University. Ames, Iowa. 24 p.

Gunderson, J. L., C. Richards, and P. Tucker. 2010. Aquaculture potential for hornyhead chubs. University of Minnesota Sea Grant. Duluth, Minnesota. 7 p.

Hedges, S. B. and R. C. Ball. 1953. Production and harvest of baitfishes in ponds. Miscellaneous Publication No. 6. Michigan Institute for Fisheries Research. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 30 p.

Hubbs, C. L. 1934. Some experiences and suggestions on forage fish culture. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 63:53-65.

Hudson, S. 1974. Minnow farming – an American enterprise – then and now. Catfish Farmer World Aquaculture News 6:31-32, 37-38.

Huner, J. V. 1976. Raising crawfish for fish bait and food: a new polyculture crop with fish. Fisheries 1:7-8.

Huner, J. D. [ed.]. 1994. Freshwater crayfish aquaculture in North America, Europe, and Australia. Haworth Press, Bingingham, New York. 312 p.

Huner, J. D. and H. K. Dupree. 1984. Production methods for baitfish: golden shiners and fathead minnows. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Washington, D.C.

Langlois, T. H. 1937. Bait culturist guide. Bulletin No. 137. Division of Agriculture, Ohio Department of Conservation. 19 p.

Lazur, A. and D. Zunet. 1996. Economic considerations of golden shiner production in Florida. Circular 1167. University of Florida. Gainesville, Florida.

Lochmann, R. and H. Phillips. 1996. Nutrition and feeding of baitfish. Aquaculture Magazine July/August 1996:87-89.

Marcus, H. C. 1939. Propagation of bait and forage fish. U.S. Bureau of Fisheries. Circular 28:19 p.

Martin, M. 1986. The fathead minnow: an overview on propagation. Aquaculture magazine. 12:48-50.

Mason, W. E. T., R. W. Rottman, and J. F. Dequine. 2006. Culture of earthworms for bait or fish food. Circular 1053. University of Florida. Gainesville, Florida. 4 p.

McNee, J. D. 1971. Culture of golden shiner minnows at the Westport pond station, 1968-80. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Westport, Ontario.

Mittlemark, J., J. Skurla, D. Lankamer, and A. Kapuscinski. 1993. Economic analysis of baitfish culture in Minnesota. Minnesota Sea Grant. St. Paul, Minnesota. 6 p.

Munsell, J. W. 1942. Fishworm culture. Ohio Conservation Bulletin 6(12):20. Negroni, G. 1997. Frog culture. World Aquaculture 28:16-22.

Nolfi, J. R. 1980. Commercial aquaculture systems for crawfish in the northeastern United States. Proceedings of the World Mariculture Society 11:151-162.

Pounds, G. and C. R. Engle. 1992. Economic effects of intensification of baitfish production. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 23:64-76.

Radcliffe, L. 1931. Propagation of minnows. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 61:131-138.

Raney, E. C. 1941. Pond propagation of the silvery minnow (Hybognathus regius). Progressive Fish Culturist 55:43-44.

Richards, C., J. Gunderson, P. Tucker, and M. McDonald. 1995. Crayfish and baitfish culture in wild rice paddies. Technical Report NRRI/TR-95/39. Natural Resources Research Institute. University of Minnesota. Duluth, Minnesota.

Sealey, W. M., J. T. Davis, and D. M. Gatlin. 1998. Feeding practices for baitfish. Southern Region Aquaculture Center. A&M University. College Station, Texas. 2 p.

Stone, N., E. Park, L. Dorman, and H. Thomfordl. 1997. Baitfish culture in Arkansas. World Aquaculture 4:5-13.

Stone, N. and H. Thomforde. 2001. Common farm-raised baitfish. Publication No. 120. Southern Region Aquaculture Center. University of Arkansas. Pine Bluff, Arkansas. 4 p.

Strawn, K., P. Perschbacher, R. Nailon, and G. Chamberlain. 1992. Raising mud minnows. TAMU-SG-86-506R. Texas A&M University. College Station, Texas.

Tatum, W. M. and R. F. Helton. 1977. Preliminary results of experiments on the feasibility of rearing bull minnow (Fundulus grandis) for the live bait industry. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the World Mariculture Society 8:49-54.

Wallace, R. K. and P. L. Waters. 2004. Growing bull minnows for bait. Publication 1200. Southern Region Aquaculture Center. Auburn University. Auburn, Alabama. 4 p.

Washburn, G. N. 1948. Propagation of the creek chub in ponds with artificial raceways. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 75:336-350.

Wass, B. P. and K. Strawn. 1981. Experimental culture of mud-minnow for the live bait industry. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of Fish Farmers 1981:88-97.

Wass, B. P. and K. Strawn. 1982. Evaluation of supplemental diets for pond culture of bull minnows (Fundulus grandis) for the live bait industry. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the World Mariculture Society 13:227-236.

Willis, P. S. 1991. Evaluation of a crayfish polyculture system for the Midwest using young-of-the- year stocking and pond circulation. M.Sc. Thesis. Southern Illinois University. Carbondale, Illinois.

Wurts, W. A. 2000. Baitfish farming in the United States: a Kentucky perspective. World Aquaculture 31:55-56.

Bait policies

Douglas, C. A. 1957. Future policy for baitfish management in the White River District. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. White River, Ontario. 2 p.

Lewis, O. D. 1957. Future policy for baitfish management in the Kapuskasing District. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Kapuskasing, Ontario. 2 p.

Pearson, H. E. 1957. Future policy for baitfish management in the Fort Frances District. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Fort Frances, Ontario. 2 p.

Perrie, C. E. 1957. A review of the baitfish situation and future policy for baitfish management. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Geraldton, Ontario. 2 p.

Crayfish

Berrill, M. 1978. Distribution and ecology of crayfish in the Kawartha Lakes region of southern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Zoology 56:166-177.

Cange, S. W., D. Pavel, C. Burns, R. P. Romaire, and J. W. Avault. 1986. Evaluation of eighteen artificial crayfish baits. p. 270-273 In P. Brinck [ed.]. Freshwater Crayfish VI. International Association of Astacology. Lund, Sweden.

Crocker, D. W. and D. W. Barr. 1968. Handbook of the crayfishes of Ontario. University of Toronto Press. Toronto, Ontario.

DiStefano, R. J., M. E. Litvan, A. W. Meyer, and C. A. Taylor. 2008. Identifying crayfish: a guide for bait vendors and aquaculturists. Missouri Department of Conservation. Jefferson City, Missouri.

Hamr, P. 2005. An overview of crayfishes. p. 256-282 In G. K. Winterton [ed.]. The Comprehensive Bait Guide for Eastern Canada, the Great Lakes Region and the Northeastern United States. University of Toronto Press. Toronto, Ontario. 437 p.

Kutka, F., J. C. Richards, G. W. Merick, P. W. DeVore, and M. E. McDonald. 1992. Bait preference and trapability ot two common crayfishes in northern Minnesota. Progressive Fish Culturist 54:250-254.

Larson, E. R. and J. D. Olden. 2011. The state of crayfish in the Pacific northwest. Fisheries 36:60-73.

Momot, W. T. 1991. Potential for exploitation of freshwater crayfish in coolwater systems: management guidelines and issues. Fisheries 16:14-21.

Momot, W. T. and H. Gowing. 1977. Response of the crayfish (Orconectes virilise) to exploitation. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 34:1212-1219.

Morgan, G. E. undateda. Biological implications of the commercial harvesting of Ontario crayfish. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Bancroft, Ontario. 8 p. + appendices.

Morgan, G. E. undatedb. An evaluation of management strategies and tactics for harvesting Orconectes rusticus in Ontario. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Bancroft, Ontario. 15 p.

Morgan, G. E. and W. T. Momot. 1988. Exploitation of Orconectes virilis in northern climates: complementarity of management options with self-regulatory life history strategies. Freshwater Crayfish 7:69-80.

Nolfi, J. R. 1973. Commercial harvest of Vermont crayfish (Orconectes immunis and O. virilis): putting theory into practice. Freshwater Crayfish 5:429-444.

Romaire, R. P. and V. H. Osorio. 1989. Effectiveness of crawfish baits as influenced by habitat type, trapset time, and bait quantity. Progressive Fish Culturist 51:232-237.

Threinen, C. W. 1958. A summary of observations of the commercial harvest of crayfish in northwestern Wisconsin with notes on the life history of Orconectes virilis. Fisheries Management Division Report No. 2. Wisconsin Conservation Department. Madison, Wisconsin.

Disease

Department of Fisheries and Oceans. 1992. An assessment of the risks of introducing pathogens with the importation of baitfish. Aquaculture and Resource Development Report. Ottawa, Ontario. 9 p.

Lowry, T. and S. A. Smith. 2007. Aquatic zoonoses associated with food, bait, ornamental and tropical fish. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231:876-880.

McNee, J. D. 1967. Report on disease – baitfish. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Westport, Ontario.

Osland, V. E., B. D. Hicks, and D. J. Daly. 1987. Furunculosis in baitfish and its transmission to salmonids. Disease of Aquatic Organisms 2:163-166.

Parasites of bait

Bangham, R. V. 1929. Parasites of bait minnows. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 59:198-201.

Hoffman, G. L. 1999. Parasites of North American freshwater fishes. Second Edition. Comstock Publishers. Ithaca, New York.

Lewis, W. M. and R. C. Summerfelt. 1964. A Myxosporidian (Myxobolus notemigoni) parasite of the golden shiner. Journal of Parasitilogy 50:386-389.

Mitchell, A. J., A. E. Goodwin, and M. G. Levy., 2006. Bolbophorus infections in cultured fathead minnow. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 18:55-57.

Salim, K. Y. and S. S. Desser. 2000. Descriptions and phylogenetic systematics of Myxobolus spp. From cyprinids in Algonquin Park. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 47:309-318.

Summerfelt, R. C. 1964. A new microsporidian parasite from the golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleuscas). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 93:6-10.

Ward, H. B. 1912. The distribution and frequence of animal parasites and parasitic disease in North American freshwater fish. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 41:207- 244.

Leeches

Burner, R. 1982. Minnesota bait leech study produces results on cultured vs. wild harvest. Aquaculture magazine 8:46-47.

Collins, H. L., L. Holmstrand, and J. Denny. 1981. Bait leech: it’s nature and nuture. Sea Grant Extension Program. University of Minnesota. Duluth, Minnesota. 4 p.

Dextrase, A. 1997. Proposal to prohibit the import of leeches for use as bait – summary of public consultation. Lands and Natural Heritage Branch. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Peterborough, Ontario. 20 p.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. undated. Bait leeches: the right leech to use for bait plus tips on trapping your own. Report No. 52. St. Paul, Minnesota. 2 p.

Spread of aquatic invasive species

Brinsmead, J., B. Koenig, D. Copplestone, D. A. R. Drake, N. E. Mandrak, D. Marcogliese, and C.

Jerde. 2012. One of these things is not like the others: prevelance of non-target species in commercial baitfish in Ontario. Presentation at the National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Congress. May 27-31, 2012. Ottawa, Ontario.

DiStefano, R. J., M. E. Litvan, and P. T. Horner. 2009. The bait industry as a potential vector for alien crayfish introductions: problem recognition by fisheries agencies and a Missouri evaluation. Fisheries 34:586-597.

Drake, D, A, R., N. E. Mandrak, and H. H. Harvey. 2012. Risk, bait, anglers, and road: quantifying angler activity and species introductions to lake ecosystems across Ontario. Presentation at the National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Congress. May 27-31, 2012. Ottawa, Ontario.

Enneson, J. J. 2012. Recreational pathways, best management practices and the effects of access for aquatic invasive species. Literature review conducted for Ontario Parks. Peterborough, Ontario. 26 p.

Goodchild, C. D. 2000. Ecological impacts of introductions associated with the use of live bait fish. p. 181-200 In Nonindigenous Freshwater Organisms Vectors: Biology and Impacts. Lewis Publishers. Boca Raton, Florida.

Keller, R. P. and D. M. Lodge. 2007. Species invasions from commerce in live aquatic organisms: problems and possible solutions. Bioscience 57:428-436.

Kinnunen, R. E. and J. L. Gunderson. 2005. The HACCP approach to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by aquaculture, baitfish, and fisheries assessment programs. Presentation at the 48th Annual Conference of the International Association of Great Lakes Research. Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Lodge, D. M., C. A. Taylor, D. M. Holdich, and J. Skurdal. 2000. Nonindigenous crayfishes threaten North American freshwater biodiversity: lessons learned from Europe. Fisheries 25:7-20.

Momot, W. T. 1996. History of the range extension of Orconectes rusticus into northwestern Ontario. Crayfish 11:61-72.

Moser, F. and J. Allen. 2011. Preventing aquatic invasive species through live bait vector management: a model in the mid-Atlantic region. Presentation at the mid-Atlantic Panel Aquatic Invasive Species Fall Meeting. Maryland Sea Grant. College Park, Maryland.

Annual baitfish reports

Anonymous. 1966b. Commercial baitfish statistics for the Kapuskasing District in the 1964-65 fiscal year. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Kapuskasing, Ontario. 2 p.

Anonymous. 1970a. 1969 commercial baitfish industry in the Lake Huron District. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. 4 p.

Buckingham, N. L. 1977. Niagara District baitfish study. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Fonthill, Ontario.

Chappel, J. A. 1970. 1969 commercial baitfish report, Geraldton District. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Geraldton, Ontario.

Dore, D. E. 1968. 1967 baitfish report, White River District. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. White River, Ontario.

Dore, D. E. 1969. 1968 baitfishery report, White River District. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. White River, Ontario. 5 p.

Holder, A. S. 1962. A report on the commercial baitfish fishery for Lake Simcoe District in 1962. Lake Simcoe Fisheries Management Unit. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Sutton, Ontario.

Hughson, D. R. 1966. The 1965 Sudbury District baitfish industry. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Sudbury, Ontario. 8 p.

Hughson, D. R. 1969. The Sudbury District baitfish industry, 1968. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Sudbury, Ontario. 5 p.

MacCrimmon, H. R. 1957. Report on baitfish situation in Lake Simcoe District. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests.

Mulligan, D. A. 1962. A review of Sudbury’s baitfish industry, 1959-1961. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Sudbury, Ontario. 8 p.

Olsen, A. R. 1962. A summary of the baitfish industry in the Kenora District, 1961. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Kenora, Ontario. 7 p.

Palilionis, A. P. 1978. The commercial baitfish industry in the Napanee District. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Napanee, Ontario. 25 p.

Pozzo, E. A. 1966. Baitfish reports for the White River District, 1961-1965. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. White River, Ontario.

Williams, R. D. 1970. Kenora District baitfish report, 1969. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Kenora, Ontario.

Wohlgemuth, . D. 19691968 baitfish report for the Sault Ste. Marie District. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. 5 p.

Wohlgemuth, O. D. 1970. 1969 baitfish report for the Sault Ste. Marie District. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. 6 p.

Bait industry in other jurisdictions

Adams, C. M., A. M. Lazur, and P. Zajicek, 1997. An assessment of the market for live, marine baitfish in Florida. Project Final Report. University of Florida. Gainesville, Florida.

Berard, E., J. Kolar, and J. Vetter. 2001. Summary of the bait industry in North Dakota, January 1 - December 31, 2000. Report 43. North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Bismarck, North Dakota. 25 p.

Berry, C. R., K. F. Higgins, and G. Krull. 1992. Valuation of hay and baitfish harvested from ponds and South Dakota wetlands. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 71:37-44.

Brandt, R. E. 1995. Recommendations regarding management and regulation of baitfish in New York state. New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, New York. 15 p.

Carbine, W. F. 1940. Michigan minnow dealers. Report No. 627. Michigan Conservation Department. Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Carlson, B. and C. Berry. 1990. Population size and economic value of aquatic bait species in plaustrine wetlands of eastern South Dakota. Prairie Naturalist 22:119-128.

Espinosa, F. A. J., J. A. Deacon, and A. Simmons. 1970. An economic and biostatistical analysis of the baitfish industry in the lower Columbia River. Special Publication of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fowler, S. L. 1997. Survey of bait collection in Britain. Report No. 107. Joint Native Conservation Committee. Peterborough, England.

Fowler, S. L. 1999. guidelines for managing the collection of bait and other shoreline animals within U.K. European sites. English Nature (U.K. Marine SACS Project). 132 p.

Gordon, W. G. 1968. The bait minnow industry of the Great Lakes. Fishery Leaflet 608. United States Department of the Interior. Washington, D.C. 6 p.

Gourneau, J. and R. L. Hanten. 1987. South Dakota’s 1986 baitfish harvest summary. Progress Report 87-8. South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Pierre, South Dakota.

Hedges, S. B. and R. C. Ball. 1953. Production and harvest of baitfishes in Michigan. Miscellaneous Publication. Michigan Department of Conservation 6:1-30.

Kircheis, F. W. and J. G. Stanley. 1981. Theory and practice of forage fish management in New England. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 110:729-737.

LaBar, G. W. 1976. The bait business in Vermont. Project Completion Report No. 3-241-D. Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. Waterbury, Vermont. 10 p.

LoVullo, T. J. and J. R. Stauffer. 1993. The retail baitfish industry in Pennsylvania – source of ntroduced species. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 67:13-15.

Lysack, W. 1987. Baitfishery of the lower Red River. Manitoba Department of Natural Resources. Winnipeg, Manitoba. 256 p.

Meronek, T. J., F. A. Copes, and D. W. Coble. 1997. The bait industry in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. NCRAC Technical Bulletin Series No. 105. Iowa State University. Ames, Iowa.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 1980. Minnesota live bait industry assessment study. St. Paul, Minnesota.

New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC). Baitfish of New York state. Albany, New York. 30 p.

Nielsen, L. A. 1982. The baitfish industry in Ohio and West Virginia with special reference to the Ohio River sport fishery. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 2:232-238.

Nielsen, L. A. and D. J. Orth. 1988. The hellgrammite-crayfish baitfishery of the New River and its tributaries, West Virginia. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 2:317- 324.

Ogunsanya, T. and S. Dasqupta. 2009. Characteristics of baitfish retailers in Kentucky – further evidence of a market to support a regional industry. Journal of Applied Aquaculture 21:120-127.

Peterson, D. L. and F. A. Hennagir. 1980. Minnesota live bait industry assessment study. Investigational Report No. 367. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. St. Paul, Minnesota. 41 p. + appendices.

Pierce, J. M. and M. E. Wachtman. 1971. The live bait industry in Ohio: It’s extent, condition, and problems. Commercial Fisheries Research and Development Project Completion Report. National Marine Fisheries Service. Columbus, Ohio.

Peterson, D. L. and R. A. Hennagir. 1980. Minnesota’s live bait industry assessment study. Commercial Fisheries Research and Development Project Completion Report. National Marine Fisheries Service. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Soupier, C. A. 2003. South Dakota 2002 baitfish harvest summary. Report 03-14. South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Pierre, South Dakota.

Soupier, C. A. 2004. South Dakota baitfish harvest summary, January 1 – December 31, 2003. Annual Report 04-20. South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Pierre, South Dakota.

Strachan, R. 1964. The California coastal live bait industry. Proceedings of the 5th Annual Conference on the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations. Lake Arrowhead, California.

Threinen, C. W. 1982., The nature of the bait business In Wisconsin. Administrative Report No. 13 Fish Management Bureau. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 10 p.

Van Eeckhout, G. 1976. A survey of the baitfish industry in North Dakota. Project Completion Report. North Dakota State Game and Fish Department. Bismarck, North Dakota. 33 p.

Warnick, D.C. 1973. 1971 commercial fish industry survey, South Dakota. Project Completion Report 4-18-D. South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Pierre, South Dakota. 8 p.

Miscellaneous

Bendell, B. E. and D. K. McNicol. 1987. Cyprinid assemblages and the physical and chemical characteristics of small northern Ontario lakes. Environmental Biology of Fishes 19:229- 234.

Brandt, T. M. and C. B. Schreck. 1974. Collection and maintenance of fishing bait from streams. Extension Publication 602. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University. Blacksburg, Virginia.

Brandt, T. M. and C. B. Schreck. 1975. Effects of harvesting aquatic bait species from a small West Virginia stream. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 104:446-453.

Brock, V. E. 1955. Contribution to the problems of baitfish capture and mortality together with experiments on the use of tilapia as live bait. Final Report. Division of Fish and Game. Commissioners of Agriculture and Forestry 49:39.

Brown, D. 2000. Harvest of baitfish from brook trout lakes in northern Ontario: a review. Report prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Bait Association of Ontario. Peterborough, Ontario. 12 p.

Brownson, B. 2009. HACCP training for the baitfish industry: the Ontario approach. Presentation at the 16th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species. Montréal, Québec.

Brynildson, C. D. 1956. Minnow-sucker removal in Milner Branch and Big Green River, Grant County, in 1955 and 1956. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, Wisconsin. 5 p.

Buckingham, N. L., R. Jean-Marie, R. Toth, J. Milford, and J. Bennett. 1978. Report of the Central Region baitfish subcommittee. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Richmond Hill, Ontario. 8 p. + appendices.

Campbell, J. S. and H. R. MacCrimmon. 1970. Biology of the emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides) in Lake Simcoe, Canada. Journal of Fish Biology 2:259-273.

Carbine, W. F. 1944. Observations on the use of glass minnow traps in marginal trout streams in Oakland and Macomb counties. Report No. 916. Michigan Conservation Department. Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Caron, G. 1981. Chatham District baitfish survey, 1981. Technical Report. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Chatham, Ontario. 28 p.

Cooper, G. P. 1935. Some results of forage fish investigations in Michigan. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 65:132-142.

Cross, G. H., T. M. Brandt, and C. B. Schreck. 1974. Collection and maintenance of fishing bait from streams and ponds. Extension Publication 602. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Blacksburg, Virginia.

Cryer, M., G. N. Whittle, and R. Williams. 1987. The impact of bait collection by anglers on marine intertidal invertebrates. Biological Conservation 42:83-93.

Cudmore, B. and N. E. Mandrak. 2005. The baitfish primer: a guide to identifying and protecting Ontario’s baitfishes. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Bait Association of Ontario. Burlington, Ontario. 35 p.

Culp, J. M. and N. E. Glozier. 1987. Experimental evaluation of a minnow trap for small lotic fish. Hydrobiologia 175:83-87.

Desjardine, R. L. 1978. A management strategy for baitfish in Lake Simcoe and Maple District. Report 78-6. Lake Simcoe Fisheries Assessment Unit. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Sutton, Ontario.

Doan, K. H. and D. Robb. 1937. Report of an attempt to catch minnows for planting in Cache Lake. Manuscript Report. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. 2 p.

Dobie, J. 1947. Handling and holding of minnow. The Conservation Volunteer (Michigan Conservation Department) 10(61):34-36.

Hubbs, C. L. and G. P. Cooper. 1936. Minnows of Michigan. Bulletin 8. Cranbrook Institute of Science. 95 p.

Hunt, K. M. 2001. Live bait regulations: angler opinion versus biological justification. Paper presented at the 131st annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society. August 19-23, Phoenix, Arizona.

Kohar, M. E. 1974. FID baitfish project, Thunder Bay District. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Thunder Bay, Ontario.

McNee, J. D. 1967. Baitfish project progress report. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Westport, Ontario. 20 p. + appendices.

McNee, J. D. 1968. Baitfish project progress report. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Westport, Ontario. 11 p.

Niemuth, W. 1959. For business or bait: the minnow. Wisconsin Conservation Bulletin 24:11-14. Ogunsanya, T. and S. Dasgusta. 2009. Characteristics of baitfish retailers in Kentucky: evidence of a market to support a regional industry. Journal of Applied Aquaculture 21:120-127.

Payer, R. D. and C. G. Scalet. 1978. Population and production estimates of fathead minnows in a South Dakota prairie wetland. Progressive Fish Culturist 40:63-66.

Potter, B. 1980. Lindsay District baitfish study. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Lindsay, Ontario.

Prevost, G. 1958. Some remarks on the total ban on minnow fishing in Argenteuil County. University of Montréal. Montréal, Québec. 16 p.

Prevost, G. 1961. Focus on minnows. University of Montréal. Montréal, Québec. 25 p.

Pyzer, G. 1996. Minnows – a bucketful of lunker food. Ontario Out of Doors. February:25-29, 90- 91.

Schorr, M. S., M. R. Reader, and L. G. Hill. 1995. Incidental catch of sport fish in cast nets used to collect baitfish in Lake Texoma, Oklahoma-Texas. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 15:142-147.

Thompson, H. P. and A. D. Hasler. 1944. The minnow problem in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Conservation Bulletin 9(12):6-8.

Thurston, L. 1976. Facts about the capture and care of baitfish for the amateur and professional. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Parry Sound, Ontario. 25 p.

Washburn, G. N. 1945. Experimental use of glass minnow traps in certain Michigan trout streams. Report No. 984. Michigan Department of Conservation. Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Winterton, G. K. 1998. Enforcement strategy for bait. Report prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Bait Association of Ontario. Peterborough, Ontario. 9 p.

Yoder, C. T. 1948. The use of glass minnow traps in trout streams. Report No. 1173. Michigan Department of Conservation. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 49.

Appendix 1. Fish species designated as baitfish in Ontario.

While all of these species are allowed to be used as bait, the majority of bait consists of those species which are abundant and easily harvestable (identified by an asterisk).

  • Blackchin shiner (Notropis heterodon)
  • Blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus)*
  • Blacknose shiner (Notropis heterolepis)
  • Blackside darter (Percina maculata)
  • Bluntnose minnow (Pimephales notatus)
  • Brassy minnow (Hybognathus hankinsoni)
  • Brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans)*
  • Central mudminnow (Umbra limi)*
  • Central stoneroller (Campostoma anomalum)
  • Common shiner (Luxilus cornutus)
  • Creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus)*
  • Emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides)*
  • Fallfish (Semotilus corporalis)
  • Fantail darter (Etheostoma flabellare)
  • Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)*
  • Finescale dace (Phoxinus neogaeus)*
  • Golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas)
  • Hornyhead chub (Nocomis biguttatus)
  • Iowa darter (Etheostoma exile)
  • Johnny darter (Ethoestoma nigrum)
  • Lake chub (Couesius plumbeus)
  • Lake herring (Coregonus artedii)*
  • Least darter (Etheostoma microperca)
  • Logperch (Percina caprodes)
  • Longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae)*
  • Longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus)
  • Mimic shiner (Notropis volucellus)
  • Mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdii)
  • Ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius)
  • Northern hog sucker (Hypentelium nigricans)
  • Northern redbelly dace (Phoxinus eos)*
  • Pearl dace (Margariscus margarita)*
  • Rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum)
  • Redfin shiner (Lythrurus umbratilis)
  • River chub (Nocomis micropogon)
  • River darter (Percina shumardi)
  • Rosyface shiner (Notropis rubellus)
  • Sand shiner (Notropis stramineus)
  • Shorthead redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum)
  • Silver redhorse (Moxostoma anisurum)
  • Slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus)
  • Spotfin shiner (Cyprinella spiloptera)
  • Spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius)
  • Striped shiner (Luxilus chrysocephalus)
  • Tessellated darter (Etheostoma olmstedi)
  • Threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)
  • Trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus)
  • White sucker (Catosomus commersonii)

Appendix 2. Bait management in Ontario – a chronology of significant events.

1925

  • Some of the earliest baitfish records indicate 99 licences in Ontario.

1932

  • Prohibition of releasing live baitfish in waters other than where they were caught (Lambert and Pross 1967).

1956

  • Survey of bait harvests in the Kenora District was conducted (Fraser 1958). One of the recommendations was to require all minnow traps to bear the name of the licensee.
  • The term “baitfish” replaced “minnows” in the Ontario Fishery Regulations.

1961

  • Baitfish “block” system implemented in northwestern Ontario.

1964

  • The Northwestern Ontario Commercial Baitfishermen’s Association was formed.
  • The “block” system for licensing bait harvest areas was implemented in northwestern Ontario.

1965

  • Provincial review of the baitfish industry (Payne 1965)
  • Ban on the importation of live baitfish.

1966

  • Baitfish workshop held at the White Lake Fish Culture Station.
  • Import of baitfish into Ontario was banned.

1967

  • The Ontario Baitfish Dealers and Licence Holders Association was organized by the industry.

1970

  • Experimental use of bait traps in the St. Lawrence River (Miller 1970).

1976

  • Booklet entitled “About Baitfish in Ontario” was published (Wallace 1976).

1978

  • New baitfish policies were implemented. This included baitfish licences would only be issued to Ontario residents, licences would not be renewed for inactive operators, licence fees would not be less than $20, and licensees were assigned exclusive fishing grounds.

1981

  • Economic study on the northwestern Ontario baitfish industry (Hildebrandt-Young and Associates 1981)

1982

  • A survey of baitfish harvesters was conducted. Only 232 harvesters (7.9%) responded (Toth 1983).

1983

  • Strategic Planning for Ontario Fisheries (SPOF) Working Group No. 11 issued “A Baitfish Harvest Policy for Ontario” (OMNR 1983).

1984

  • Study implemented in northwestern Ontario with the objective of aiding fishers to increase the harvest of baitfish (Mohr 1986).

1988

  • Baitfish culture workshop was held (Te Brugge 1988)

1989

  • Permitted Uses Amendment Policy (“Phase-Out Policy”) – selected activities were to be phased out of provincial parks by 2009. These activities included private recreational camps and commercial harvest of fur, fish, bait and wild rice

1992

  • The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources embarked on a cooperative program with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters focusing on angler education with respect to live bait.

1997

  • MNR decided to conduct a formal review of Ontario’s bait management legislation and policies.
  • Analysis of the baitfish industry was conducted (Goodchild 1997).
  • Survey of the bait industry and affected stakeholders was conducted on a proposal to prohibit the import of leeches for use as bait (Dextrase 1997).

1998

  • The Bait Association of Ontario was formed.
  • Administrative review of baitfish licensing was conducted (Thede 1998).
  • Review of enforcement strategies for the baitfish industry (Winterton 1998).

1999

  • Major fee increases for both bait harvesters and dealers.
  • The sale of salted (preserved) baitfish was disallowed.
  • Leeches were added to the bait harvesters licence to recognize their increasing importance.
  • Anglers were banned from importing leeches into Ontario.
  • Ban on the use of bait traps and dip nets for non-residents.
  • Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act replaced the Game and Fish Act.
  • Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy provided direction for phase-out activities to continue with exceptions based on class, zone and geography

2000

  • A bait harvest daily log was introduced to increase the accuracy of annual returns.

2001

  • First regulation of the bait frog industry.
  • Survey conducted by MNR/BAO on the capture and sale of crayfish (Brousseau 2002).

2002

  • A bait dealers daily log was introduced that required all bait purchases by bait dealers to be recorded.

2003

  • An electronic bait licence system was implemented.

2004

  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) training provided to bait harvesters and dealers (on a voluntary basis) at 12 locations across Ontario – relatively few participants.

2005

  • The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Bait Association of Ontario published two books: “The Comprehensive Bait Guide for eastern Canada, the Great Lakes region, and northeastern United States” (Winterton 2005) and “The Essential Bait Field guide for eastern Canada, the Great Lakes Region and the Northeastern United States” (BAO and OMNR 2005).
  • Import of leeches into Ontario was banned for everyone including commercial operators (effective August 31, 2005).
  • Survey of tourist operators regarding commercial bait licences.
  • VHS was documented for the first time in the Ontario waters of the Great Lakes.
  • Ban on the possession of Eurasian ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus), grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys nolitrix), black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus), snakeheads (Channidae spp.), round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) and tubenose goby (Proterorhinus marmoratus).
  • MNR conducted a survey of tourist harvester and dealer licence holders to obtain their feedback on options regarding the tourist licence.

2006

  • U.S. ban on import of bait from Ontario and Québec.
  • Prohibition on the sale of frogs from outside the designated harvest area.
  • Mandatory HACCP training was implement for bait harvesters.

2007

  • Actions implemented to prevent the spread of VHS from the Great lakes to inland waterbodies.
  • Commercial harvest and sale of frogs and crayfish was prohibited.
  • “White list” of 48 fish species eligible for bait harvest was enacted.
  • Two year (2007-2008) study initiated to examine the presence of “non-target” fishes in the Ontario live baitfish pathway (Drake 2011).

2008

  • BAO and MNR partnership is dissolved. The BAO is initially replaced by three groups: Baitfish Advisory Committee, Eastern Ontario Outdoorsman Association, and the Ontario Live Bait Angling Association.
  • Hearing to protest VHS licence conditions.

2010

  • Phase-Out policy review - Ontario Parks Board of Directors raised concerns regarding impacts of movement of bait and motorized access for commercial bait harvest on ecological integrity of protected areas. Since scope of Phase-Out policy was restricted to commercial bait harvest in select parks, Minister committed review of potential effects of bait use and harvest in all protected areas.

2011

  • VHS was detected in Lake Simcoe.
  • Final Phase-Out Policy - enabled annual renewals of bait harvest licenses, conditional on the outcome of a policy review of bait harvest and use in provincial parks and conservation reserves

2012

  • Actions initiated on the Lake Simcoe watershed to prevent the spread of VHS.
  • EBR decision notice posted on the proposal to allow (under designated conditions) bait harvesters the use of small mesh gill nets to capture lake herring for sale as bait.
  • Provincial bait policy review was initiated.

Appendix 3. Offence provisions related to sport and commercial bait harvest, possession and use in Ontario.

Fisheries Act

  1. No person shall, purchase, sell or possess any fish that has been caught in contravention of this Act of the regulations.
  2. (1.2). The owner or person in charge of a place that is inspected by a fishery officer or fishery guardian under subsection (1) and every person found in the place shall:
    1. give the officer or guardian all reasonable assistance to enable the officer or guardian to carry out the inspection and exercise any power conferred by this section, and
    2. provide the officer or guardian with any information relevant to the administration of this Act of the regulations that the officer or guardian may reasonably require.
  3. (3) A person referred to in subsection (1) shall keep any records, books of account or other documents that may be required by the regulations or by the terms and conditions of any lease or licence issued to the person under this Act and the records, books of account or other documents shall be kept in the manner and form and for the period prescribed by the regulations, lease or licence.
  4. (4) A person referred to in subsection (1) shall, on the request of any fishery officer or fishery guardian, provide the officer or guardian or any authority designated by the officer or guardian, with any information relating to a matter mentioned in subsection (2) that the officer or guardian may request.
  5. No person shall obstruct or hinder a fishery officer, a fishery guardian or an inspector who is carrying out duties or functions under this Act.
  6. (1) No person shall make a false or misleading statement, whether orally or in writing, to an inspector, a fishery officer or a fishery guardian or any authority designated by a fishery officer or a fishery guardian who is carrying out duties or functions under this Act.
  7. (3) No person shall produce for examination or copying by an inspector a fishery officer or a fishery guardian or any authority designate by a fishery officer or a fishery guardian any records, books of account or other documents that contain false of misleading information.

Ontario fishery regulations (2007)

  1. (1) No person shall, except as authorized under a licence,
    1. fish;
    2. ship or transport or attempt to ship or transport live fish other than baitfish;
    3. deposit or attempt to deposit live fish into any body of water other that the body of water from which they were caught.
  2. (2) Every person shall comply with the terms and conditions specified in their licence.
  3. (6) The licence holder shall, on receipt of the notice, attach the notice to the licence. (Note: Licences may be amended by fax, E-mail, etc amendments must be immediately attached to the licence)
  4. No person shall bring into Ontario, for use as bait,
    1. crayfish or salamanders;
    2. live fish or leeches.
  5. (1) No person shall possess live invasive fish without a licence issued under subsection (2).
  6. (1) No person shall fish for or possess a specifically protected species without a licence issued under subsection (2).
  7. (1) No person shall fish in the waters set out in column I of an item of Schedule V to the Ontario Fishery Regulations (1989) during the close time set out in column II of that item. (Note: This deals with harvesting baitfish in a fish sanctuary).
  8. No person shall use an artificial light to attract fish except
    1. to fish for lake herring, lake whitefish or smelt by means other than angling; or
    2. when angling as part of a lure attached to a line.
  9. No person shall release live bait or live baitfish or empty the contents of a bucket or other moveable container used to hold bait or baitfish into any waters or within 30 m of any water.
  10. (1) No person, other than the holder of a commercial baitfishing licence or any other licence that authorizes the culture of baitfish, shall catch and retain in any one day or possess more than 120 baitfish.
  11. (1) No person shall use as bait, or possess for use as bait, an invasive fishy or live fish that is not a species of baitfish.
  12. (2) No person shall use as bait possess for use as bait
    1. live baitfish in the waters set out in column I of Part 1 of Schedule 5;
    2. a fish greater than 13 cm in length in Lake Temagami;
    3. a fish in the waters of Clearwater Bay of Lake of the Woods, Echo Bay of Lake of the Woods, or Cul de Sac Lake;
    4. a fish in the waters set out in column I of Part 2 of Schedule 5 during the period set out in column 2;
    5. rainbow smelt in Zones 2, 4 or 5.
  13. (3) Despite subsection 1, a person may possess no more than 36 live crayfish for use as bait in the waters in which the person is angling if the crayfish were caught in those waters.
  14. (4) No person shall transport crayfish overland except under a Licence to Collect Fish for Scientific Purposes issued under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (1997).
  15. (1) No person shall sport fish using
    1. a dip net;
    2. a seine net with dimensions that are greater than 10 m by 2 m;
    3. a baitfish trap; of a length that is greater than 51 cm or a diameter that is greater than 31 cm;
    4. more than one dip net, baitfish trap or seine net;
    5. a baitfish trap unless it is legibly marked with their name and address.
  16. (2) No person who is sport fishing by means other than angling shall
    1. catch and retain in anyone day of possess more fish of a species set out in column 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 6 from the waters set out in column 3 in an amount that exceeds the quota set out in column 5 or 6 as the case may be.
    2. use any gear other than the gear set out in column 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 6 for fishing for a species set out in column 1.
    3. fish for, or catch and retain, a species of fish set out in column 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 6 from the waters set out in column 3 during the close time set out in column 4.
    4. fish for, or catch and retain, a species of fish set out in column 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 6 from any waters other than the water set out in column 3.
  17. (1) No person who is sport fishing shall
    1. catch and retain in any one day by any means other than by angling or possess more baitfish caught than the quota set out in column 5 of Part 2 of Schedule 6.
    2. when sport fishing for bait fish use any gear other than the gear set out in column 2 of Part 2 or Schedule 6.
    3. fish for baitfish by any means other than by angling during the close time set out in column 4 of Part 2 of Schedule 6.
  18. (2) Other than suckers or lake herring, no non-resident shall fish for, or catch and retain, baitfish by means other than angling.
  19. (1) No person who is sport fishing shall place or use in any waters a live holding box or impounding device unless
    1. it is legibly marked with the licence holder’s name and address; and
    2. the markings are visible without raising it from the water.
  20. No person who is fishing for baitfish under a commercial baitfishing licence shall use a dip net
    1. with dimensions that are greater than 305 cm by 305 cm if the dip net is angular; or
    2. with a diameter that is greater than 305 cm in the dip net is circular.
  21. (1) No person who is fishing under a commercial baitfishing licence shall use a baitfish trap that is not legibly marked with the licence holder"s name and address.
  22. (2) No holder of a commercial fishing licence or a commercial baitfishing licence shall place or use in any waters a live holding box or impounding device unless
    1. th the licence holder’s name and address; and
    2. the markings are visible without raising the box or device from the water.
    (Note: Only impounding type equipment has to be marked in such a way that it doesn’t require lifting to read the information).
  23. No person who is fishing under a commercial fishing licence or a commercial. baitfishing licence shall fish for, or catch and retain, a species of fish set out in column 2 of Schedule 7 or 8 as the case may be, in the waters set out in column 1 during the close time set out in column 3. (Note: This allows for a closed season for baitfish harvest).

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act

  1. (1) Except under the authority of a licence, a person shall not possess a gill net, hoop net, pound net, seine net, trap net, trawl net, trammel net, roll net or hook line.
  2. (1) A person shall not engage in aquaculture unless the fish that are cultured
    1. belong to a species prescribed by the regulations; and
    2. are cultured under the authority of a licence and in accordance with the regulations.
  3. (1) A person shall not buy or sell fish that belong to a species that exists in Ontario waters or fish prescribed by the regulations except under the authority of a licence and in accordance with the regulations. (Note: This provision requires a licence to sell fish in Ontario. Business that import dead (i.e., packaged or preserved) baitfish require a licence if the species "exists in Ontario waters or is a fish prescribed by Ontario regulations.).
  4. (1) A person shall not transport a container that contains fish unless the container is plainly marked on the outside with a description of the contents, the name and address of the person who is sending the container and the name and address of the person to whom the container is being sent.
  5. (1) A person shall not possess wildlife, invertebrates or fish that
    1. were killed, captured, taken, possessed, transported, bought or sold contrary to the laws of another jurisdiction; or
    2. were removed from another jurisdiction contrary to the laws of that jurisdiction.
  6. (5) The holder of a licence shall comply with any conditions to which the licence is subject.
  7. A person who is hunting, trapping or fishing shall carry on his or her person any licence or authorization issued under this Act.
  8. On the request of a conservation officer, the holder of a licence of authorization shall produce and show it to the officer.

Ontario Regulation 664/98

  1. 31.3 (1) Except under the authority of a commercial bait licence that authorizes the holder to take, buy or sell leeches or baitfish a person shall not
  1. 31.3 (1.1) Except under the authority of a commercial bait licence that authorizes the holder to take, buy or sell leeches, a person shall not take in one day or possess at any time more than 120 leeches.
  1. 31.3 (1.2) The holder of a commercial bait licence shall not buy leeches or baitfish for commercial purposes except from a person who is authorized to sell them.
  1. 31.3 (2) A person shall not buy or sell frogs for the purpose of bait for fishing.
  1. 31.3 (5) The holder or a commercial bait licence shall
    1. keep a log book, in the form required by the Minister, with information respecting the buying, selling and taking of leeches, frogs or baitfish, including the quantities bought, sold or taken and the relevant dates;
    2. make and submit an annual return in the for required by the Minister not later than one month after the expiry of the licence.
  1. 31.3 (6) The holder of a commercial bait licence shall retain the log book for five years after the expiry of the licence that was valid at the time it was kept.
  1. 31.3 (7) The holder of a commercial bait licence shall not make a false entry in the log book.
  1. 31.5 The holder of a commercial bait licence shall not use salt to preserve baitfish taken under the licence.
  1. 32.1 The holder of a commercial bait licence shall not buy or sell baitfish that have been preserved with salt.

Appendix 4. Bait restrictions in North American jurisdictions (based on a 2012 survey).

Canada

This Appendix 4 table shows bait restrictions in Canadian jurisdictions (based on a 2012 survey)
Jurisdiction Use of Live Baitfish Legal? Other Live Bait Prohibitions Transport Restrictions Other Regulations
Alberta No (banned in 1963)
  • Live crayfish.
  • Carp
  • Goldfish
  • Western silvery minnow
  • Illegal to possess or move live fish.
  • All personally harvested baitfish must be killed immediately.
  • Dead bait (listed species) may be used in some waters.
British Columbia No (banned in the 1940s)
  • Invertebrates including insects.
  • The use of any fish (or parts) except roe.
  • Illegal to possess or move live fish.
  • Personal harvest of fish not allowed.
  • It is illegal to possess or move any live fish in the wild.
  • There is a “white” list comprised of 26 species.
Manitoba Yes (but only in southern part of province).
  • Carp
  • Goldfish
  • American smelt
  • “White” list comprised on 26 species which are eligible for use as bait,
  • Anglers must kill baitfish before transport from where they were caught.
  • Leeches, frogs, and salamanders can be used as bait but cannot be imported.
  • Importation of live baitfish banned in 1993.
  • The use of frozen or preserved bait is permitted.
New Brunswick No
  • Crayfish.
  • Dead baitfish (from a "white list) may be used.
  • Prohibited – where the use of live baitfish is permitted the fish must be harvested from the water in which it is used.
  • Live fish (including crayfish) may not be possessed.
Newfoundland/Labrador No (with exceptions) -
  • Unknown.
  • The use of dead bait is not permitted.
Northwest Territories No -
  • Unknown.
  • Live fish or fish eggs cannot be placed into NWT waters.
  • The use of dead bait is permissible.
Nova Scotia Yes (with exceptions) -
  • Allowed but discouraged.
  • Only fish taken from Nova Scotia waters can be used as bait.
Nunavut No
  • Fish eggs.
  • Unknown.
  • Live fish or fish eggs cannot be placed into Nunavut waters.
Ontario Yes (with exceptions)
  • Salamanders and frogs (except leopard frogs).
  • There is a designated “white” list comprised of 65 species.
  • Alewife and yellow perch cannot be used for bait anywhere in the province.
  • No except crayfish cannot be transported overland.
  • Legal possession limit is 120 leeches, 36 crayfish, and 12 frogs per angler.
  • It is illegal to import any crayfish, leeches, salamanders or fish into Ontario for use as bait.
  • The use of dead baitfish (or parts) is permissible.
Prince Edward Island (PEI) Yes (with exceptions)
  • Fish eggs.
  • Only live fish taken from PEI waters can be used as bait.
-
  • It is illegal to relocate live fish.
  • Use of dead fish from a “white” list of species is permissible.
Québec No (with exceptions)
  • Species (dead or alive) on a prohibited list.
  • The use, possession, and transportation of fish as bait is prohibited.
  • There are no restrictions on the use of frogs, worms, crayfish or leeches as bait.
Saskatchewan No
  • Frogs and salamander cannot be used as bait.
  • Leeches and frogs may be transported.
  • It is illegal to transport live fish or fish eggs.
  • It is illegal to import any live bait.
  • It is illegal to capture baitfish without a commercial licence.
  • The use of dead baitfish is permissible.
Yukon No
  • No edible parts of a fish except cisco.
  • It is illegal to possess or transport live fish or fish eggs without authority of a permit.
  • It is illegal to import live fish, uncured fish eggs, crayfish, leeches or other aquatic animals.
  • The use of dead or preserved fish is permissible.

United States

This Appendix 4 table shows bait restrictions in United States jurisdictions (based on a 2012 survey)
Jurisdiction Use of Live Baitfish Legal? Other Live Bait Prohibitions Transport Restrictions Other Regulations
Alabama Yes
  • Live minnows used for bait in any state fishing lake shall be limited to the following species: goldfish minnows, golden shiners, and fathead minnows.
  • Unknown.
  • No person shall release in any state-owned public fishing lake any minnow, whether dead or alive, by emptying from a minnow bucket or any other method.
  • All minnow buckets or other receptacles shall at all times be open to inspection by Conservation Officers.
Alaska No
  • Live fish may not be used as bait for sport fishing in fresh water.
  • It is unlawful to possess, transport, or release any live fish or live fish eggs without authorization.
  • Herring and other species of fish for which no seasonal or harvest limits are specified may be used as live bait.
  • Whitefish, herring, and other species for which no seasonal or harvest limits are specified as well as the head, tail, fins, and viscera of legally taken sport fish, may be used for bait or other purposes
Arizona No – live baitfish may be used only in areas for certain species.
  • Waterdogs are not considered to be a baitfish.
  • Crayfish - in waters other than where caught.
  • Arizona has a “white” list comprised of nine species.
  • It is illegal to transport live fish but this does not apply to some live baitfish which is transported from licenced bait dealers.
  • It is unlawful for a person to import, transport or possess live crayfish other than on the water where it was caught.
  • Live bait may be taken by minnow net, dip net, cast net, pole and line, handline, crayfish net or seine.
  • All legal baitfish and crayfish caught must be for personal use only and are not to be sold or used for commercial purposes.
  • It is illegal to release live baitfish into any Arizona water.
Arkansas Yes
  • There is a listing of approved bait species which includes fish and crayfish.
-
  • Restriction on gear types to harvest bait.
  • Baitfish may not be taken in the area within 100 yards below a dam.
  • Baitfish may not be disposed of in water other than the water where they were caught.
California No – only legally acquired and possessed invertebrates, mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians (except salamanders), fish eggs and treated and processed foods may be used for bait. There are some regions where the use of live baitfish is allowed.
  • Salamanders or threatened species are not legal bait.
  • There are some restrictions on the use of crayfish.
  • Baitfish may not be purchased, bartered, sold, transferred or traded; or transported alive from the location where taken.
  • Approved baitfish may be taken only by hand, with a dip net, or with traps not over three feet in greatest dimension.
Colorado No – the collection, use, or possession of live fish for use as bait is prohibited in many state waters (some exceptions).
  • The only species allowed to be taken and used for consumption or personal use as bait (alive or dead) by fishing, seining, netting, trapping or dipping are minnows, bluegill, hybrid bluegill, carp, sunfish, gizzard shad, sculpin, white and longnose suckers, perch, and rainbow smelt.
  • Live baitfish may not be transported or stored for later use.
  • It is illegal to export, import, or transport 29 designated species.
-
Connecticut Yes
  • There is a list of designated species which are considered as legal bait.
  • Transport only when authorized by a permit.
  • Import is prohibited without authorization.
Delaware Yes -
  • Unlawful to transport or possess 5 designated species.
  • Import is prohibited.
Florida Yes
  • Bass.
  • Non-native species.
  • Unknown
  • Unknown.
Georgia Yes(with exceptions)
  • Live blueback herring.
  • No person recreationally harvesting bait minnows may possess more than two quarts at any time.
  • Unknown
  • It is illegal to stock or release fish or bait into any public waters except the water from which it was taken.
Idaho No (with exceptions)
  • Leeches.
  • Frogs.
  • Waterdogs.
  • Salamanders.
  • Shrimp.
  • Crayfish – other then in the waterbody where they were caught.
  • All fish must be killed or released prior to leaving the waterbody which was fished.
  • It is illegal to import any live baitfish without authorization.
  • It is illegal to release or allow the release of any species of live fish (including crayfish and bullfrogs) or fish eggs without authorization.
  • Crayfish and frogs are considered a game fish.
Illinois Yes
  • Mussels, live rusty and/or red swamp crayfish.
  • Bluegills or sunfish or illegal size.
  • Fish may not be transferred between waterbodies and bait must be used where legally harvested.
  • Gear restrictions for harvest of bait.
  • It is illegal to import, possess, sell or use live rusty crayfish and red swamp crayfish.
Indiana Yes
  • “Black” list of species including Asian carps, zebra mussels and quagga mussels.
  • Live carp or threadfin shad.
  • It is illegal to transport more than 100 crayfish across the state boundary within a 24 hour period for personal use.
  • Anglers are encouraged to collect their bait from the water in which they will fish.
Iowa Yes
  • Any species not on the approved “white” list of bait.
  • Gizzard shad, carp, quillback, gar, or dogfish.
  • No transport between waterbodies except under the authority of a bait dealers licence.
  • It is illegal to transport any frogs taken in Iowa across state lines.
  • Import is prohibited if species is not on the “white” list.
  • It is against the law to dump bait into any lake, river, or stream.
Kansas Yes
  • Endangered or threatened species.
  • Fish exceeding 12 inches in length.
  • Walking carp, silver carp, bighead carp, snakehead, round goby, white perch and diploid grass carp are “black” listed species.
  • No person may possess any live fish upon departure from any designated aquatic nuisance waterbody.
  • Import permits are not required for any native or naturalized species not on the prohibited list.
  • Black listed species cannot be imported into the state.
  • Live aquatic bait shall be certified free of pathogens listed in the regulations before import.
  • Wild caught bait may only be used in the water from which they were taken.
Kentucky Yes (includes shad, herring, crayfish, salamanders, all frogs except bull frogs, tadpoles, native lampreys and aquatic invertebrates)
  • Any sport fish.
  • Threatened or endangered species.
  • Species not native or established in Kentucky.
  • No live fish, live baitfish, or live bait organisms that are not native or established in Kentucky waters shall be possessed or in any way used or released.
  • No live fish, live baitfish, or live bait organisms that are not native or established in Kentucky waters shall be imported into the state.
Louisiana Yes
  • “Black” list of several species.
  • Federally listed threatened or endangered species.
  • Unknown.
  • Unknown.
Maine Yes (with exceptions)
  • Any species not on the approved “white” list which is comprised on 24 species.
  • It is illegal to transport live fish without a permit.
  • Import of live baitfish, smelts, live freshwater fish or eggs is prohibited without authorization.
  • It is illegal to dump unused baitfish into any waterway.
Maryland Yes (with exceptions)
  • Crayfish.
  • The transport of aquatic species is prohibited.
  • The import or introduction of aquatic species is prohibited.
Massachusetts Yes (with exceptions)
  • Smelt.
  • Sticklebacks.
  • “White” list consisting of 14 species.
  • Transporting live fish (except bait for personal use) without a permit is illegal.
  • Only commercial baitfish may be imported by a dealer.
  • No bait may be used in designated “catch-and-release” areas.
  • It is illegal to release fish or spawn into inland waters except when authorized by a permit.
Michigan Yes (with exceptions)
  • “Black” list comprised of numerous invasive aquatic species.
  • Threatened or endangered species.
  • Uncertified bait can only be used in VHS infected areas.
  • It is illegal to possess or transport and live transgenic organisms as well as five Asian carps, members of the snakehead family, bitterling, Ide, Japanese weatherfish, rudd, tench, Eurasian ruffe, tubenose goby or round goby.
  • It is illegal to import, plant or transplant live game fish including viable eggs of any game fish without a permit.
  • It is unlawful to import any uncertified baitfish species found on the list of susceptible fish species (for VHS).
Minnesota Yes
  • Mussels, game fish, goldfish and carp.
  • American smelt.
  • Lake herring.
  • There are restrictions on transporting and possessing on a variety of designated species.
  • Crayfish must be used in the waterbody from which they were collected.
  • Importing live bait into the state is illegal.
Mississppi Yes
  • Unknown
  • Unknown.
  • Unknown.
Missouri Yes
  • Game fish or their parts.
  • Live bighead and silver carp.
  • Bowfin.
  • A resident fishing licence is required to pursue, take, possess, and transport fish and live bait from state waters.
  • It is illegal to dump bait into Missouri waters.
  • Live bait taken from public waters may hot be sold or transported from the state.
Montana Yes (with some area exceptions)
  • “Black” list of species including black bullheads, carp, goldfish, smelt, sculpins, stonecats, and yellow bullheads.
  • It is unlawful to move live fish, aquatic invertebrates or plans from one waterbody to another without formal authorization.
  • It is unlawful to introduce any fish or viable fish eggs into any waters without authorization.
  • Live baitfish or leeches may not be imported without authorization.
  • Baitfish may not be exported without authorization.
Nebraska Yes (with exceptions)
  • Live carp, carpsucker, bullheads, buffalo, gar, quillback, gizzard shad, alewife, bowfin, or white perch in waters other than those from which they were legally taken.
  • Unknown.
  • It is unlawful for individuals to import live baitfish from out of state for use in inland waters.
  • Up to 100 legally captured baitfish and/or listed amphibians may be exported by as resident for personal use for fishing outside of the state if allowed by the other designated state.
  • It is unlawful to release any non-native fish or amphibian in waters of the state or to release any fish in waters from which they did not originate.
Nevada No (with exceptions)
  • Game fish and protected species.
  • In some designated areas, fish from a “white” list may be used as bait.
  • Any person possessing a fishing licence may capture, transport, and use live bait where legal.
  • A person in possession of a fishing licence may purchase fish authorized for use as bait from a licensed bait dealer in Arizona, California, or Nevada.
New Hampshire Yes (with exceptions)
  • The use of alewives, carp, or goldfish as live bait while fishing is prohibited.
  • Unknown
  • The use or possession of live fish for bait in trout ponds is prohibited.
  • Importation of fish or their eggs, including baitfish, is prohibited without authorization.bb
New Jersey Yes (with exceptions) (“white” list comprised of 16 species)
  • The possession of Asian swamp eel, bighead carp, diploid grass carp, silver carp, brook stickleback, green sunfish, flathead catfish, oriental weather fish, snakehead, warmouth and American eels (less than six inches in length) is prohibited.
  • Unknown.
  • A permit is required to stock fish or fish eggs into any waters of the state.
New Mexico Yes (with exceptions)
  • It is illegal to use nay live protected fish, gar, goldfish, common carp, river carpsucker, smallmouth buffalo, bullfrogs or bullfrog tadpoles as bait in any waters containing protected fish.
  • It is illegal to use baitfish other than fathead minnows and red shiners in any trout water.
  • Unknown.
  • It is illegal to release baitfish into fishing waters or to stock fish or fish eggs in any water without authorization.
  • It is illegal to import live fish or fish eggs into the state without authorization.
New York Yes (with exceptions) (“white” list comprised of 15 species)
  • Native salamanders, carp, goldfish, larval lamprey, round goby, endangered species.
  • No transport of live organisms for bait into New York state.
  • Certified disease-free baitfish are the only form of live baitfish that may be transported overland.
  • Any baitfish longer than 20 cm in length must be fished using a quick strike rig.
  • Frogs may be imported, bought, and sold at any time.
North Carolina Yes (with exceptions)
  • Eels (< 6 inches) may not be possessed or sold.
  • Blueback herring and alewife.
  • An state threatened or endangered species.
  • Species on a designated “black” list.
  • It is unlawful to transport or possess any live individuals of species listed (“black” list).
  • Unknown.
North Dakota Yes (with exceptions)
  • Live American smelt.
  • Excluding legal live baitfish, no fish species may be transported in water away from the waterbody in which they were taken.
  • No live aquatic organisms may be imported into the state by anglers.
Ohio Yes
  • Carp, goldfish, larval lamprey, endangered species, and native salamanders.
  • Fish species that are not already established in Ohio waters.
  • It is illegal to transport and introduce any species (fish, invertebrate, plant) from one waterbody to another.
  • Import is prohibited.
Oklahoma Yes
  • Unknown.
  • Regulations which inhibit the possession and transport of aquatic nuisance species.
  • Unknown.
Oregon No
  • Gobies and lampreys may not be used as bait or in an angler’s possession while angling.
  • It is unlawful to transport live fish within the state; hold any live fish in the waters of the state; or release or attempt to release any live fish into waters of the state.
  • It is illegal to transport live fish eggs from one waterbody to another without authorization.
  • It is unlawful to transport live fish into or out of this state.
  • It is illegal to transport live fish eggs into the state without authorization.
Pennsylvania Yes
  • Endangered or threatened species
  • American eel, goldfish, comets, koi, and common carp.
  • Transferring fish from one watershed to another where that species is not present is illegal.
  • Releasing fish from another state, province or country in Pennsylvania is illegal.
Rhode Island Yes (with exceptions)
  • Goldfish, American shad, alewife, blueback herring.
  • Unknown.
  • Releasing any live bait into freshwaters is illegal.
  • The importation, sale or possession of any type of goldfish is illegal.
South Carolina Yes
  • It is illegal to possess any fish species that is not native to South Carolina waters without authorization.
  • Unknown.
  • It is illegal to possess, import or sell any fish species that is not native to South Carolina without authorization.
South Dakota Yes (with exceptions)
  • Carp species, rudd, buffalo, carpsuckers, goldfish and gamefish are prohibited as bait for hook and line fishing.
  • State listed threatened fish such as northern redbelly dace, longnose dace, and pearl dace are not to be possessed.
  • A person may not transport an aquatic nuisance species except, in the case of crayfish and fish, if the specimens are dead.
  • Golden shiners, emerald shiners, spottail shiners, and gizzard shad shall not be transported away from the water in which they were taken.
  • Anglers may not import baitfish into South Dakota.
  • Release of fish and baitfish is prohibited.
Tennessee Yes
  • Silver carp, bighead carp, black carp, blueback herring, round goby, rudd, ruffe, snakehead, and swamp eel.
  • It is unlawful to transport or possess a prohibited species.
  • Stonerollers, creek chub, bluntnose minnow, and bullheads may be harvested or imported by anglers for use as bait.
  • Amphibians and crayfish shall not be imported into Tennessee or exported from Tennessee for use as bait.
Texas Yes
  • Tilapia, grass carp or any other fish listed as harmful or potentially harmful.
  • Game fish.
  • Unknown.
  • It is unlawful to import or possess a wildlife resource taken from outside the state without authorization.
Utah No
  • Live baitfish.
  • Game fish.
  • “Black” list of 17 other designated species.
  • It is unlawful to transport live fish or crayfish away from the water where they were captured.
  • Dead fish and crayfish may not be moved between waters.
-
Vermont Yes
  • Species not on the “white” list.
  • Personally harvested baitfish in waters other that those in which they are caught.
  • Bait shops have either a statewide (disease-free) or waterbody specific designation
  • Illegal to transport bait by motorized vehicle away from where caught.
  • Transport only when authorized with receipt from dealer with hatchery fish.
  • Gear restrictions for personal use.
  • No person shall have live fish in their possession that are transported in a manner which attempts to keep them alive when leaving waters of the state.
Virginia Yes (with exceptions)
  • River herring and candy darter.
  • Threatened or endangered species.
  • Overland transport of fish and fish eggs is illegal.
  • Importation of baitfish is restricted.
  • Baitfish purchase receipt is required.
  • Personally harvested baitfish must be used in the water from which they were caught.
Washington No (with exceptions)
  • Prohibited species on a designated “black” list.
  • It is illegal to transport, introduce, of use prohibited aquatic animal and plant species in the state.
  • Live aquatic animals (other than fish) may be collected from the water being fished and used as bait.
West Virginia Yes (with exceptions)
  • Unknown.
  • Unknown.
  • Unknown.
Wisconsin Yes (from a designated “white” list)
  • Game fish, alewife, goldfish, live crayfish.
  • It is illegal to move live fish away from a waterbody except for minnows which were purchased from a licenced bait dealer.
  • It is illegal to transport live rough fish (except goldfish, dace and suckers)
  • It is illegal to import live rough fish into the state without a permit.
  • You may not possess or use minnows for bait that are obtained from outside Wisconsin.
  • Use of crayfish as bait was banned in 1983.
Wyoming No (with exceptions)
  • Brook stickleback.
  • Wild caught baitfish shall not be transported out of the water from which they were collected.
  • It is unlawful to transport live fish or live fish eggs from the water of capture.
  • Live baitfish, amphibians, reptiles or crustaceans shall not be imported into Wyoming for use as live bait.
  • It is unlawful to import or export an aquatic invasive species in the state.
  • It is unlawful to plant or release live fish or fish eggs without authorization.

Appendix 5. Bait licence sales in various Ontario locations.

Year Area Seine Dip Number of Licences Sold
Trap
Number of Licences Sold
Preserve
Number of Licences Sold
Dealer
Reference
1925 Province of Ontario 98 1 0 - - Brubacher (1962)
1930 Province of Ontario 76 15 0 - - Brubacher (1962)
1934 Province of Ontario 110 40 0 - - Brubacher (1962)
1945 Province of Ontario 178 112 6 - - Brubacher (1962)
1950 Province of Ontario 532 276 59 - - Brubacher (1962)
1951 Province of Ontario   9831   - - OMNR data
1952 Province of Ontario   1,1051   - - OMNR data
1953 Province of Ontario   1,1371   - - OMNR data
1954 Province of Ontario   1,2481   - - OMNR data
1955 Province of Ontario   1,3741   12 32 Brubacher (1962)
1956 Province of Ontario   1,4571   26 188 Brubacher (1962)
1957 Province of Ontario   1,6121   43 256 Brubacher (1962)
1958 Province of Ontario   1,7561   50 324 Brubacher (1962)
1959 Sudbury District 39 24 59 - 23 Hughson (1965)
1959 Province of Ontario 39 1841   59 287 Brubacher (1962)
1960 Lake Erie District 120 63 0 9 52 Brooks (1966)
1960 Sudbury District 32 20 55 - 26 Hughson (1965)
1960 Province of Ontario   1,853   76 419 Brubacher (1962)
1961 Lake Erie District 154 67 2 12 73 Brooks (1966)
1961 Parry Sound District 20 76 125 1 56 Rettie (1962)
1961 Sudbury District 36 14 78 - 30 Hughson (1965)
1961 White River District 9 0 21 0 2 Dore (1970)
1961 Province of Ontario 872 409 911 88 510 Brubacher (1962)
1962 Geraldton District 5 3 40 0 0 Gow (1963)
1962 Lake Erie District 152 70 4 12 66 Brooks (1966)
1962 Parry Sound District 18 77 124 1 45 Rettie (1963)
1962 White River District 5 0 18 0 6 Dore (1970)
1962 Province of Ontario   2,1331   84 557 OMNR data
1963 Kapuskasing District 6 1 15 0 0 OMNR data
1963 Kenora District 58 1 1,228 6 68 Olsen (1964)
1963 Lake Erie District 144 62 5 12 71 Brooks (1966)
1963 Lake Simcoe District 109 53 7 74 57 Holder (1964)
1963 Parry Sound District 16 73 113 0 54 Rettie (1964)
1963 Pembroke District 8 2 30 0 4 Wilton (1964)
1963 Sudbury District 33 23 80 0 33 Hughson (1965)
1963 White River District 5 0 21 0 9 Dore (1970)
1963 Province of Ontario   2,1251   101 591 OMNR data
1964 Fort Frances District 42 1 58 2 46 Caldwell (1965)
1964 Geraldton District 4 3 38 0 0 Gow (1965)
1964 Kapuskasing District 4 2 14 0 - Hendry (1965)
1964 Kemptville District 89 7 7 1 35 Irvine (1965)
1964 Kenora District 63 0 1,031 4 76 Olsen (1965)
1964 Lake Erie District 142 58 5 13 76 Brooks (1966)
1964 North Bay District 63 31 63 - - Bailey (1965)
1964 Parry Sound District 13 65 112 0 51 Rettie (1965)
1964 Pembroke District 10 1 29 0 1 Wilton (1965)
1964 Sudbury District 33 33 72 - 38 Hughson (1965)
1964 White River District 7 0 20 0 8 Dore (1970)
1964 Province of Ontario 841 359 914 121 651 OMNR data
1965 Kemptville District 87 9 7 1 38 Irvine (1966)
1965 Kenora District 51 - - 9 72 Olsen (1966)
1965 Lake Erie District 123 44 10 14 73 Brooks (1966)
1965 Lake Huron District 31 25 11 2 2 Anonymous (1966)
1965 Pembroke District 13 - 28 0 2 Wilton (1966)
1965 Sault Ste. Marie District 4 11 48 0 14 OMNR data
1965 Sudbury District 31 29 58 0 31 Hughson (1967)
1965 White River District 7 0 19 0 1 Dore (1970)
1965 Province of Ontario 805 338 885 125 613 OMNR data
1966 Geraldton District 2 2 38 - - Chappel (1967)
1966 Kenora District 55 0 1,764 7 124 Olsen (1967)
1966 North Bay District 562 19 58 0 117 Buss (1967)
1966 Pembroke District 11 0 25 0 31 Wilton (1967)
1966 Sault Ste. Marie District 3 5 39 0 21 OMNR data
1966 Sioux Lookout District   1671   - - Baxter (1967)
1966 Sudbury District 29 24 56 - 102 Hughson (1967)
1966 White River District 9 0 15 0 19 Dore (1970)
1966 Province of Ontario 1 1,9771   121 1,396 OMNR data
1967 Cochrane District 3 0 16 0 16 Wolfe (1968)
1967 Geraldton District 4 2 40 - - Chappel (1968)
1967 Kenora District 51 0 1,968 9 135 Olsen (1968)
1967 Pembroke District 7 0 23 0 27 Gostlin (1968)
1967 Sault Ste. Marie District 4 5 32 0 45 OMNR data
1967 Sudbury District 27 23 58 0 113 Hughson (1967)
1967 Thunder Bay District 6 0 59 0 30 Sameluk (1968)
1967 White River District 7 0 13 0 16 Dore (1970)
1967 Province of Ontario   1,8071   124 1,729 OMNR data
1968 Fort Frances District 41 2 866 7 48 Caldwell (1969)
1968 Kenora District 44 0 2,006 11 135 Anonymous(1969)
1968 North Bay District 47 17 65 0 135 Love (1969)
1968 Pembroke District 7 0 21 0 27 Gostlin (1969)
1968 Sault Ste. Marie District 5 3 36 0 50 OMNR data
1968 Sudbury District 35 33 69 0 127 Hughson (1970)
1968 Thunder Bay District 1 0 61 0 97 Sameluk (1969)
1968 White River District 9 1 23 0 24 Dore (1970)
1968 Province of Ontario   1,8591   116 1,808 OMNR data
1969 Kenora District 47 0 1,926 11 136 Anonymous (1970)
1969 Lake Huron District 58 21 34 0 47 OMNR data
1969 Pembroke District 5 0 23 0 28 Gostlin (1970)
1969 Port Arthur District 3 0 91 0 39 Rekrut (1970)
1969 Sault Ste. Marie District 4 2 36 0 48 OMNR data
1969 Sioux Lookout District 40 7 66 11 117 Adair (1970)
1969 Sudbury District 34 35 82 0 137 Hughson (1970)
1969 White River District 7 0 24 0 24 Dore (1970)
1969 Province of Ontario   1,9081   199 1,832 OMNR data
1970 Sault Ste. Marie District 1 2 39 - 52 Wohlgemuth (1971)
1970 Province of Ontario   1,9931   129 1,895 OMNR data
1971 Province of Ontario   1,6071   126 1,813 OMNR data
1972 Province of Ontario   1,6121   120 1,876 OMNR data
1973 Province of Ontario   1,6111   111 1,868 OMNR data
1974 Province of Ontario   1,6231   110 1,832 OMNR data
1975 Province of Ontario   1,5901   96 1,606 OMNR data
1976 Province of Ontario   1,5951   107 1,753 OMNR data
1977 Province of Ontario   1,6051   98 1,731 OMNR data
1978 Geraldton District 0 0 26 0 29 Carlson (1979)
1978 Red Lake District 0 0 26 0 49 Carlson (1979)
1978 Sioux Lookout District - 161 - 0 10 Carlson (1979)
1978 Province of Ontario   1,6791   92 153 OMNR data
1979 Northwestern Ontario   1421   96 Hildebrand-Young and Associates (1981)
1979 Province of Ontario   1,5491   114 1,791 OMNR data
1980 Province of Ontario   1,7281   124 1,858 OMNR data
1981 Province of Ontario   1,7121   149 1,861 OMNR data
1982 Province of Ontario   1,6941   134 1,847 OMNR data
1983 Province of Ontario   1,7821   148 1,961 OMNR data
1984 Province of Ontario   1,8021   141 1,965 OMNR data
1985 Province of Ontario   1,8281   162 1,945 OMNR data
1986 Province of Ontario   1,8451   160 2,107 Spencer (1988a)
1987 Province of Ontario   1,8741   155 2,105 Spencer (1988b)
1988 Province of Ontario   2,5781   174 2,117 OMNR data
1989 Province of Ontario   2,5301   170 1,959 OMNR data
1990 Province of Ontario   1,4761   175 2,058 OMNR data
1991 Province of Ontario   1,5951   111 2,976 OMNR data
1992 Province of Ontario   1,2241   29 1,217 OMNR data
1993 Province of Ontario   -   0 801 OMNR data
1994 Province of Ontario   -   18 814 OMNR data
1995 Province of Ontario   -   3 1,117 OMNR data
1996 Province of Ontario   1,6461   - 850 Goodchild (1997)
1999 Province of Ontario   7051     556 Anonymous (2000)
2002 Province of Ontario   6961     688 OMNR data
2003 Province of Ontario   6891     727 BAO & OMNR (2004)
2004 Province of Ontario   6761     749 BAO & OMNR (2006a)
2005 Province of Ontario   6701     769 BAO & OMNR (2006b)
2006 Province of Ontario   6891     734 Lewis (2012)
2007 Province of Ontario   8161     1,164 Lewis (2012)
2008 Province of Ontario   7881     1,163 Lewis (2012)
2009 Province of Ontario   5551     643 Lewis (2012)
2010 Province of Ontario   5571     651 Lewis (2012)
2011 Province of Ontario   5301     ~ 630 OMNR data

1Includes all bait licences (dip, seine and trap).

Appendix 6. Reported bait harvests from various Ontario locations.

Year Area Fish1 Reported Harvest (Dozens)
Leeches
Reported Harvest (Dozens)
Crayfish
Reported Harvest (Dozens)
Frogs
Reference
1959 Sudbury District 51,108 - - - Hughson (1965)
1960 Sudbury District 76,691 - - - Hughson (1965)
1961 Chapleau District 40 - - - OMNR data
1961 Fort Frances District 138,496 - - - OMNR data
1961 Geraldton District 18,000 - - - OMNR data
1961 Gogama District 1,140 - - - OMNR data
1961 Kapuskasing District 1,810 - - - OMNR data
1961 Kemptville District 87,241 - - - OMNR data
1961 Kenora District 151,085 - - - OMNR data
1961 Lake Erie District 1,730,487 - - - OMNR data
1961 Lake Huron District 19,695 - - - OMNR data
1961 Lake Simcoe District 483,597 - - - OMNR data
1961 Lindsay District 160,000 - - - OMNR data
1961 North Bay District 173,858 - - - OMNR data
1961 Parry Sound District 131,000 - - - OMNR data
1961 Pembroke District 27,290 - - - OMNR data
1961 Port Arthur District 91,072 - - - OMNR data
1961 Sioux Lookout District 64,676 - - - OMNR data
1961 Sudbury District 86,682 - - - OMNR data
1961 Swastika District 40,000 - - - OMNR data
1961 Tweed District 148,142 - - - OMNR data
1961 White River District 11,132 - - - Dore (1970)
1962 Chapleau District 570 - - - OMNR data
  Cochrane District 20,000 - - - OMNR data
1962 Fort Frances District 138,642 - - - OMNR data
1962 Geraldton District 12,200 - - - OMNR data
1962 Gogama District 570 - - - OMNR data
1962 Kapuskasing District 2,588 - - - OMNR data
1962 Cochrane District 20,000 - - - OMNR data
1962 Kemptville District 94,127 - - - OMNR data
1962 Kenora District 240,335 - - - OMNR data
1962 Lake Huron District 57,625 - - - OMNR data
1962 Lake Simcoe District 185,468 - - - OMNR data
1962 Lindsay District 200,000 - - - OMNR data
1962 North Bay District 125,000 - - - OMNR data
1962 Parry Sound District 124,000 - - - OMNR data
1962 Pembroke District 19,413 - - - OMNR data
1962 Port Arthur District 50,162 - - - OMNR data
1962 Sioux Lookout District 48,311 - - - OMNR data
1962 Sudbury District 86,700 - - - OMNR data
1962 Swastika District 14,600 - - - OMNR data
1962 Tweed District 393,992 - - - OMNR data
1962 White River District 8,643 - - - Dore (1970)
1963 Chapleau District 137 - - - OMNR data
1963 Cochrane District 13,799 - - - OMNR data
1963 Fort Frances District 169,628 - - - OMNR data
1963 Geraldton District 18,031 - - - OMNR data
1963 Gogama District 1,977 - - - OMNR data
1963 Kapuskasing District 8,469 - - - OMNR data
1963 Kemptville District 88,383 - - - OMNR data
1963 Kenora District 290,148 - - - OMNR data
1963 Lake Erie District 3,556,157 - - - OMNR data
1963 Lake Huron District 13,799 - - - OMNR data
1963 Lake Simcoe District 478,842 - - - OMNR data
1963 Lindsay District 210,000 - - - OMNR data
1963 North Bay District 147,500 - - - OMNR data
1963 Parry Sound District 144,738 - - - OMNR data
1963 Pembroke District 25,140 - - - OMNR data
1963 Port Arthur District 51,175 - - - OMNR data
1963 Sioux Lookout District 68,582 - - - OMNR data
1963 Sudbury District 103,538 - - - OMNR data
1963 Swastika District 18,031 - - - OMNR data
1963 Tweed District 128,912 - - - OMNR data
1963 White River District 8,201 - - - Dore (1970)
1964 Aylmer District 1,960,102 - - - OMNR data
1964 Chapleau District 383 - - - OMNR data
1964 Cochrane District 23,775 - - - OMNR data
1964 Fort Frances District 161,610 - - - OMNR data
1964 Geraldton District 13,932 - - - Gow (1965)
1964 Gogama District District 1,851 - - - OMNR data
1964 Hespeler District 43,964 - - - OMNR data
1964 Kapuskasing District 7,050 - - - Hendry (1965)
1964 Kemptville District 110,675 - - - Irvine (1965)
1964 Kenora District 294,479 - - - Olsen (1965)
1964 Lindsay District 177,700 - - - OMNR data
1964 Maple District 119,587 - - - OMNR data
1964 North Bay District 117,491 - - - Bailey (1965)
1964 Parrry Sound District 155,060 - - - OMNR data
1964 Pembroke District 26,830 - - - Wilton (1965)
1964 Port Arthur District 120,000 - - - OMNR data
1964 Sault Ste. Marie District 36,544 - - - OMNR data
1964 Sudbury District 80,724 - - - Hughson (1965)
1964 Swastika District 18,986 - - - OMNR data
1964 Tweed District 181,936 - - - OMNR data
1964 White River District 9,538 - - - Dore (1970)
1964 Fort Frances District 161,610 - - - OMNR data
1964 Province of Ontario          
1965 Aylmer District 3,228,275 - - - Brooks (1966)
1965 Chapleau District 620- - - - OMNR data
1965 Cochrane District 20,000 - - - OMNR data
1965 Fort Frances District 161,610 - - - Caldwell (1965)
1965 Geraldton District 36,302 - - - OMNR data
1965 Gogama District 3,078 - - - OMNR data
1965 Hespeler District 38,556 - - - OMNR data
1965 Kapuskasing District 9,373 - - - OMNR data
1965 Kemptville District 106,376 - - - Irvine (1966)
1965 Kenora District 341,475 - - - Olsen (1966)
1965 Lindsay District 158,333 - - - OMNR data
1965 Maple District 443,292 - - - OMNR data
1965 North Bay District 134,650 - - - OMNR data
1965 Parry Sound District 155,948 - - - OMNR data
1965 Pembroke District 31,968 - - - Wilton (1966)
1965 Port Arthur District 105,700 - - - OMNR data
1965 Sault Ste. Marie 26,741 - - - OMNR data
1965 Sioux Lookout District 63,820 - - - OMNR data
1965 Sudbury District 73,956 - - - Hughson (1967)
1965 Swastika District 16,530 - - - OMNR data
1965 Tweed District 180,213 - - - OMNR data
1965 White River District 13,520 - - - Dore (1970)
1966 Geraldton District 20,030 - - - Chappel (1967)
1966 Kenora District 337,007 - - - Olsen (1967)
1966 North Bay District 122,257 - - - Buss (1967)
1966 Pembroke District 27,738 - - - Wilton (1967)
1966 Sault Ste. Marie District 22,328 - - - OMNR data
1966 Sudbury District 67,970 - - - Hughson (1967)
1966 White River District 17,498 - - - Dore (1970)
1967 Cochrane District 23,033 - - - Wolfe (1968)
1967 Geraldton District 22,386 - - - Chappel (1968)
1967 Kenora District 351,092 - - - Olsen (1968)
1967 Pembroke District 29,130 - - - Gostlin (1968)
1967 Sault Ste. Marie District 23,755 - - - OMNR data
1967 Sudbury District 62,432 - - - Hughson (1968)
1967 Thunder Bay District 72,176 - - - Sameluk (1968)
1967 White River District 26,285 - - - Dore (1970)
1968 Fort Frances District 190,592 - - - Caldwell (1969)
1968 Kenora District 321,705 - - - Anonymous (1969)
1968 North Bay District 113,585 - - - Love (1969)
1968 Pembroke District 27,859 - - - Gostlin (1969)
1968 Sault Ste. Marie District 27,609 - - - OMNR data
1968 Sudbury District 68,322 - - - Hughson (1970)
1968 Thunder Bay District 72,732 - - - Sameuk (1969)
1968 White River District 30,111 - - - Dore (1970)
1969 Kenora District 332,563 - - - Anonymous (1970a)
1969 Lake Huron District 217,773 - - - Anonymous (1970b)
1969 Pembroke District 15,164 - - - Gostlin (1970)
1969 Port Arthur District 117,590 - - - Rekrut (1970)
1969 Sault Ste. Marie District 26,708 - - - OMNR data
1969 Sioux Lookout District 343,246 - - - Adair (1970)
1969 Sudbury District 71,916 - - - Hughson (1970)
1969 White River District 25,316 - - - Dore (1970)
1970 Sault Ste. Marie District 34,086 - - - Wohlgemuth (1971)
1970 Sudbury District 60,726 - - - Hughson (1971)
1977 Province of Ontario 5,809,9661. - - - OMNR data
1978 Geraldton District 54,000 - - - Carlson (1979)
1978 Red Lake District 90,450 - - - Carlson (1979)
1978 Sioux Lookout District 117,164 - - - Carlson (1979)
1978 Province of Ontario 8,513,111 - - - OMNR data
1979 Province of Ontario 5,338,761 - - - OMNR data
1979 Northwestern Ontario 985,000 - - - Hildebrand-Young and Associates (1981)
1980 Province of Ontario 14,871,895 - - - OMNR data
1981 Province of Ontario 14,580,243 - - - OMNR data
1982 Province of Ontario 10,416,393 - - - OMNR data
1983 Province of Ontario 9,800,504 - - - OMNR data
1980 Province of Ontario 14,871,895 - - - OMNR data
1984 Province of Ontario 8,416,026 - - - OMNR data
1985 Province of Ontario 11,352,222 - - - OMNR data
1986 Province of Ontario Spencer (1988a) 1986 Province of Ontario Spencer (1988a) 1986
1994 Province of Ontario 7,400,000 - - - Goodchild (1997)
2002 Province of Ontario 5,201,407 339,967 16,726 6,924 OMNR (2004b)
2003 Province of Ontario 5,842,644 432,595 15,273 9,819 BAO & OMNR (2004)
2004 Province of Ontario 5,134,987 594,757 20,931 15,544 BAO & OMNR (2006b)
2005 Province of Ontario 8,651,593 437,430 19,110 4,935 BAO & OMNR 2006b)
2006 Province of Ontario 5,030,173 789,457 11,310 3,286 Lewis (2012)
2007 Province of Ontario 2,947,752 30,765 0 0 Lewis (2012)
2008 Province of Ontario 12,454,526 3,410,649 0 0 Lewis (2012)
2009 Province of Ontario 11,979,233 2,860,199 0 0 Lewis (2012)
2010 Province of Ontario 12,035,041 2,227,806 0 0 Lewis (2012)

Note: The following conversion factors were used:

  1. Leeches – 1 pound = 20 dozen;
  2. Baitfish – 1 pound = 6 dozen; 1 gallon = 60 dozen.

1Includes lake herring and all baitfish species.

Updated: June 17, 2021
Published: July 18, 2017