The much-rumored changes in Ontarios Quetico Provincial Park are now real. New fishing regulations prohibiting organic bait have took effect Jan. 1 in the wilderness canoeing park just north of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Under the new rules, anglers must use only barbless hooks, according to Lisa Solomon, park biologist. Anglers may have barbed hooks in their tackle boxes, but barbs must be pinched down before the lure is tied on a line, Solomon said.
Also, only artificial lures and flies are permitted, she said.
That means no worms, leeches, salted minnows, whatever, Solomon said. Anglers may use manufactured bait that has organic material in it, like Berkley Gulp [scent-impregnated plastics].
Purpose of the new rule is to keep invasive species and lethal viruses out of the park, she said. The spiney water flea was first found in the park in 2003. It is known to be only in Saganaga and Saganagons lakes, Solomon said. Park officials are especially concerned about preventing VHS (viral hemmorhagic septicemia), a virus that has caused fish kills elsewhere.