Originally Published by NorthumberlandNews.ca, March 29, 2017

By Todd McEwan

PORT HOPE — Town hall has shelved the idea of creating a $40 fishing pass until next year.

Mayor Bob Sanderson and council recently voted to defer the matter until spring 2018 following a mixed reaction from anglers and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) who “strongly opposed” the proposal.

“We consider the proposal of a municipal access fishing pass to be intended to create a restrictive private fishery that drives the majority of anglers away, leaving the fishery to an elite few,” Matt DeMille, manager, fish and wildlife services wrote to town hall.

Since 2015, the municipality has unveiled a series of initiatives and proposals to protect the Ganaraska River and combat an increase in illegal fishing along the river during the last few seasons.

On Feb. 7, staff submitted a report outlining recommendations for implementing a $40 municipal access fishing pass while suggesting to petition the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to revise provincial fishing regulations to prohibit night fishing on the Ganaraska River.

Following the report, council approved a new municipal bylaw prohibiting night fishing between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Aug. 15 to Sept. 30 from the Robertson Street Bridge to the Molson Street Bridge.

About one month later, council deliberated the $40 municipal access pass proposal and voted to hold off until next year.

“I think we have had a reasonable amount of success to date,” Mayor Sanderson said, in managing the fishery. “The additional component of night fishing is a good step forward.”

Staff surveyed the public and received 10 comments in favour of the fishing pass with 42 not in favour with eight comments from residents, 31 from non residents and 16 from unknown locations, according to the report.

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