Get hooked on Manitoulin
Manitoulin Island, as everyone knows, (or will now) is the largest island in fresh water in the world.
But Manitoulin itself is also home to over 100 lakes of every size and depth in addition to numerous small but productive rivers and creeks, some of which flows out to Lake Huron and others to the North Channel.
So think of it: a nice big island, but not too big to explore thoroughly, and inside it are conveniently located numerous easy-access lakes that are often ‘specialty lakes’ for only a few game species but, taken together, Manitoulin Island is one fine fishing hole where anglers can methodically set about catching just about any game fish they may desire, and all within easy driving distance of whichever resort you happen to be calling your home for a week or two.
Pretty convenient, isn’t it. Downright thoughtful. You would think someone had laid this all out for you to enjoy. Well, not quite. But Mother Nature has her helpers here.
Over 100 lakes
to wet your line
Manitoulin Streams, for example, is an award-winning volunteer-driven organization (with 1 to 2 professional staff members) that for the past decade has methodically set about to rehabilitate Manitoulin’s streams, in the interest of making it easier for them to produce the fish that you like to catch (and eat).
If you visit the village of Sheguiandah, the stream that runs through it is named Bass Creek and it’s a walleye spawning stream now that the stream has been adjusted (by means of the careful placement of big rocks) to allow spawning walleye to more easily navigate against the rushing water and find the perfect patch of gravel on which to lay their eggs.
The resulting fish hatch then repopulates the Sheguiandah Bay area of Manitoulin’s eastern shoreline (and beyond) and are there to entice anglers. There’s a handy viewing platform beside the stream where visitors can watch the fish in their spawning time. Many of the adult fish were reared by the local Little Current Fish and Game Club and planted in the bay in the first place, so even more helpers have been involved in setting the scene for the fish you’ll catch (and eat).
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This is only one example, one stream of many where Manitoulin Streams has worked with adjoining farmers and other landowners to restore shorelines so that game species of fish can maximize their reproduction and help maintain Manitoulin’s natural heritage as ‘the finest fishing hole’.
For those who like the royal treatment, almost every lodge will recommend a fishing guide. Charter boats run out of Little Current, Providence Bay, South Baymouth and Wiikwemkoong. Chinook, coho and rainbow trout are their most popular catches. Boats and motors can be rented across the Island, and supplies are available at general stores in even the smallest communities.