The weather made it a challenging summer for local anglers in an otherwise decent year for fishing.
“I think the extremely cold winter and the cooler spring changed the cycle,” said Jake Van Rooyen, a director with Bluewater Anglers.
“The late summer water temperature is usually between 70 and 74 degrees, (21-24 C) but we never really got there this year,” he said.
Salmon, for example, were prevalent for the annual Bluewater Anglers Sarnia Salmon Derby in May, but then seemed to disappear.
“The salmon that we’re catching are in really good shape, but we just don’t (see) the numbers we had about 10 years ago,” Van Rooyen said.
His believes the fish went back to deeper water because the lake here was just too cold.
As for other sport fish, it has been a “respectable” year, he said.
“We didn’t see the heavy catches that we normally do. But the fish are there. You just have to work a little harder for them.”
At presstime the club was waiting for a call to begin collecting salmon eggs from the Owen Sound area, to be raised in the Point Edward hatchery for future fishing seasons.
“We’ll take a team up there and begin collecting our (government) quota of 110,000 eggs,” said Van Rooyen. “We’ll bring them back to the hatchery, fertilize them and set them in the incubator.”
He says the fish will continue to grow over the next 12-18 months before being released.
Also, 15,000 brown trout will be released from the hatchery later this month, while about 40,000 rainbow trout are just getting started, he said.
Despite the unpredictability of the weather, Van Rooyen said the recreational fishing industry in this area is “pretty stable.”