Egg Collection – Week 3

Wil Wegman
Resource Management Technician
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Aurora District- 905-713-7730

May 6 2016

Ok … Sometimes Mother Nature throws us a curve and I swear wants to test our fortitude … and that’s exactly what continued week 3 of our muskie trapnetting/egg collection program on G Pool! As outlined last week, in order to maximize our staffing resources and net-fishing time, we conducted only 2 net check days this week instead of 4. Although this was unorthodox – the extremely poor catches of most other species, the low water temps and with the lack of any muskie, we felt the move was warranted.

With all this in mind, our report this week is rather short – so you’ll see more photos than text.

On Tuesday we were encouraged by the water temps as they had finally risen to above the single digit range and were now into the high 10’s and low 11’s, but unfortunately no muskie were found. A couple nets had real good catches while others were still well below par. The highlight of the day was seeing a beautiful mature bald eagle take off from a big pine near  one of our net sights … as if watching over it while we weren’t there.

That same day, we did catch some outstanding channel catfish at one net in G Pool – including this one with the unusual white markings.


Aaron Law of the Aurora District Office above and Melanie Shapiera of Aurora below, each with their own channel cats


We ended the week on Thursday with temps warming slightly but still not in the low –mid teens.  With today’s Friday) air temp already at 22 and sunny – and even warmer weather forecast for the weekend, we are very optimistic about our chances at seeing muskie in week 4. Mark Newell … the ace hatchery manager at Fleming College who has been so instrumental in the success and growth of the muskie stocking program, reminds us that, “In 2014, it was a late start and we got eggs May 12, 13 and 15 … and that all ended up good.”


MNRF Conservation Officer Intern Michael Evers of Aurora District was able to gain some valuable hands on experience with the crew on Thursday and holds one of several nice largemouth bass caught and released from the trap nets. Below Graham Findlay of Midhurst with a nice smallmouth




Eva Bobak of the Aurora MNRF office  with a good sized smallmouth bass, while Brent Shirley (Midhurst) fills in the data collection sheets




One constant with this muskie netting program is a steady number of northern map turtles of various sizes that we see and catch. Below are Aaron and Mel – one with the turtle and another with a largemouth bass. I trust I don’t have to explain which is which.


This Sunday, May 8th …  Melanie and I will open nets … and crews will be fishing them for the full four days all of next week. Expectations are high for week 4 so we hope this time next week the Muskie Trapnetting  Update will be full of great news.

Have a great Mother’s Day Weekend!


Mike Mitchell