Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship has created a Special Conservation Area (SCA) that will be off limits to angling. The SCA closure is in place from April 1 to November 15, and no fishing will be permitted in the area during this time. The purpose of this SCA is to prevent pelicans that congregate here from getting caught by fishing hooks or entangled by fishing line. The SCA is heavily used by both anglers and pelicans and it is the area where most entanglement of pelicans occurs.
The SCA is shown on the map and is outlined in red. There is an existing area closed to angling year-round within a 23 metre radius of the fishway outlet, and is shown in yellow on the map. This closure will remain in effect year-round.
Pelicans have been hooked and entangled in fishing line in this area and they often die a slow and painful death as a result. The area is also the site of numerous fishery infractions for over-limit fishing, fishing in a closed area and other violations.
The SCA is bounded as follows:
This designation is intended to protect pelicans and provide opportunity for the development of a pelican viewing area along the east shore of the Red River immediately downstream of Lockport Dam.
A total of 265 comments were received, with 69 per cent in favour of the proposed SCA, while 26 per cent were not in favour and five per cent were undecided. Respondents were asked how they use the area and 57 per cent fish, 15 per cent watch birds such as pelicans, 15 per cent did both, and 13 per cent did not respond. When asked to comment on the size of proposed SCA 50 per cent responded that it should be the same size or larger, 38 per cent thought it should be smaller and 12 per cent were undecided.
Following the public meeting and public consultation process, the province is taking all the necessary steps to declare the SCA.
This work is being done in co-operation with Public Works and Government Services Canada, as the land along the river is federal property.