Commercial Fishing

For over 100 years, Manitobans have been commercially harvesting fish. Commercial net fishing is a valued industry in Manitoba. There are over 200 commercially fished lakes in Manitoba. The Commercial fishing industry is a major provider of employment to many communities and brings significant economic value to Manitoba. Commercial fishing is managed through the use of quotas, gear restrictions, seasons and the number of licensed fishers. These management tools allow fish populations and the industry to remain viable over the long-term. Legislation and regulations related to commercial fishing can be found here.


Sustainable Fisheries

The Manitoba government conducts annual stock assessment program on many commercial fisheries to monitor fish populations. The Manitoba government has numerous partners who support this work through the Collaborative Stock Monitoring Program and the Coordinated Aquatic Monitoring Program. The data collected through these programs is used to inform decisions on the sustainable management of these important fisheries.

What is Eco-Certification?

Increasingly, consumers and seafood buyers from around the world are calling for sustainable fish and seafood products. Sustainable fisheries management is becoming an increasingly important consideration in the marketability of fish products, particularly in key markets in the United States and Europe. This has led to the development of processes referred to as "eco-certification" which are intended to determine, through a scientific and independent assessment process, whether a commercial fishery is managed and operated in a sustainable manner. The sustainability criteria for most programs are similar since they all focus on the sustainability of fish stocks, impacts on fish species and habitats, and impacts on by-catch species. Eco-certification considers the effectiveness of fisheries management such as whether there is adequate scientific research, monitoring and enforcement. If a fishery is determined to be sustainable, it receives a "seal of approval" referred to as an "eco-label". An eco-labeled product is entitled to bear a logo that comes with the assurance to the purchaser/consumer, that the product has been produced in accordance with certain environmental standards.

Sustainable fisheries ensure the long-term viability of economic stability, employment and a good source of high protein food. The Manitoba government continues to advance its mandate to secure the sustainability and certification of Manitoba’s commercial fisheries.

Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake Fisheries Inc. and Chemawawin Cree Nation have initiated a process to have the Cedar Lake Fishery considered for International Industry Certification to achieve a scientific measure of sustainable fishing. This process will assess three main principles: sustainable fish stocks, minimizing environmental impact and effective fisheries management. This science-based Fisheries Standard will ensure the long term sustainability of the fishery for the people who depend on Cedar Lake. This shared management approach requires a collaborative process which includes all resource users that have an interest in the long-term sustainability of the fishery. For more information on Cedar lake click on the link below.

Lake Winnipegosis

Lake Winnipegosis has been commercially fished since the late 1890s. Manitoba Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Natural Resources, as well as local Indigenous communities through the Collaborative Stock Monitoring Program, conduct annual index gill net surveys to assess the status of the Walleye stock, along with other species in Lake Winnipegosis. The Department is committed to improving fish stocks on Lake Winnipegosis to sustainable levels. For more information on Lake Winnipegosis, please review the reports below.

Lake Winnipegosis Fishery Summary

Lake Winnipegosis 2020 Fish Stock Assessment

Lake Winnipegosis 2022-2023 Management Plan and Fish Stock Assessment

Lake Manitoba

Lake Manitoba has been a commercial fishery since 1895 and has a long history as a mixed-use fishery, supporting commercial harvest, recreational fishing and subsistence fishing. Manitoba Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Natural Resources conducts an annual index netting program to assess the status of fish populations in Lake Manitoba, and has been in its current form since 2009. The Department is committed to improving fish stocks on Lake Manitoba to sustainable levels. For more information on Lake Manitoba fish stocks, please review the reports below.

Lake Manitoba Fishery Summary

Lake Manitoba 2020 Fish Stock Assessment