By Chris Marchand
On the cusp of a new tourist season, Kenora District Camp Owners Association (KDCA) members got together, May 5, at the Waldhof Hall to discuss issues of importance to the local industry.
Throughout the day, the meeting was a chance to catch up on the activities of partner organizations like the Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters (NOTO), The Patricia Region Tourist Council, and the Sunset Country Travel Association.
KDCA members themselves discussed strategies to make the public more aware of the importance of the tourism industry to the local economy.
Changes to the Marine Liability Act will usher in changes to insuring guide boats for camp owners this summer. As bulk users of fuel, camp owners were keen to learn about and discuss what the new Carbon Tax will have in store for their operations. A local representative from Energy Tech was also on hand to talk about propane system inspections.
Fishery outlook positive for Zones 4 and 5
Ministry of Natural Resources Aquatic Science Specialist Kim Armstrong delivered a refreshing state of the fishery address, bringing the room up to speed on the nearly completed data collection process underway to assess the health of lakes in the various zones across Ontario — more specifically FMZ 4 and FMZ 5 in the local area.
Armstong explained the methodology and collection techniques used to track fishery trends, water temperatures, climate, fishing pressure and water chemistry.
Using data from the last round of monitoring (2008-12), Armstrong reported a positive outlook overall for both FMZ 4 and FMZ 5 based on the various data inputs involved in the studies. Zones in the Northwest are faring significantly better than other in the eastern and southern parts of the province with no great gains or losses.
Armstrong says invasive and alien species like rusty crayfish, rainbow smelt and spiny water flea continue to be a concern in regional lakes. He says zebra mussels have yet to assert much of a presence in the northwest — theorizing that local waters lack a minimum threshold of calcium to support them.