As the province opens up, a new fishing tournament will be going down this fall.
The Baptiste Lake Association will be holding a pike fishing tournament on September 4th. Michael Di Cintio, Vice President and Fishing Director of the Association, says now that things are easing off a bit, it’s good to have a community event once again.
While the event is meant to be a fun way to draw the community together, Di Cintio says there’s a conservation element to it. Pike are in part responsible for damaging the musky and walleye populations around the Baptiste Lake system. Elephant Lake in particular used to be a renowned fishing spot, with people used to flying in and renting out cottages and lodges to fish. How pike got into the system, no one knows, although their entry was unauthorized by the government. Di Cintio says they compete with the same spawning beds as musky and walleye. On top of the limited places they can be born, pike usually hatch a month before other fish, meaning that when fish finally do hatch, they end up eating a lot of the young musky in the lake.
Money raised will go to efforts in rebuilding the habitats, and pushing the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry to recognize pike as invasive, as they are currently not. This will allow the season on pike to be eliminated and catch limits thrown out. Di Cintio says the goal is for pike to make up 10 percent of the fish population in the lake. If there is enough interest, Di Cintio hopes to make this an annual tournament, and so is hoping for a good turnout.
Entry into the tournament is $50. Di Cintio says they are currently looking for a way to accept cash or cheque donations in person. In the meantime, etransfers can be mailed to [email protected] An online registration form can be found on the Baptiste Lake website. For more info, you can also email [email protected]