Ghost net discovered

Photo of a ghost net in Lake Nipissing that was posted on Facebook.

Photo of a ghost net in Lake Nipissing that was posted on Facebook.

JENNIFER HAMILTON-MCCHARLES, The Nugget

, Last Updated: 11:35 PM ET

A ghost net caused quite a stir on Lake Nipissing this weekend.

The net was discovered by several boaters and fishermen Saturday floating in the waters between the government dock and Manitou Islands.

Witnesses report the large unmarked net had about 200 rotting fish caught in it.

Jolanta Kowalski, senior media relations officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources, told The Nugget MNR staff are aware of the net and it is being investigated.

She said this isn't the first time the public has discovered a net floating in Lake Nipissing.

“MNR staff have located and pulled drifting nets in the past,” Kowalski said Monday.

“If an untagged or unmarked net is discovered, the public is asked not to remove, or otherwise tamper with it, but rather to note the location of the net and report it to the ministry using the toll-free MNR TIPS Reporting Line.”

News spread quickly of the discovery through various social media platforms.

A picture was taken of the large net near the lake's surface with white bloating fish entangled in it. The picture had been shared more than 200 times through Facebook.

Clint Couchie, manager of natural resources for Nipissing First Nation, said he is aware of the discovery.

He said registered nets with Nipissing First Nation fishermen are equipped with either a numbered white or yellow tag. Fishermen who net are required to report and fill out catch forms.

“Fishermen lose their nets sometimes, but we don't just leave them floating in the lake. We help them find them,” Couchie said Monday.

He said the public is being asked not to touch the nets and definitely don't try pulling them up. Instead the ghost nets should be reported to the Ministry of Natural Resources.

“When Nipissing First Nation nets are properly anchored to the bottom you will see a dead-head jog on top of the water.”

Couchie said not all nets belong to Nipissing First Nation fishermen.

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time, or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

j.hamilton-mccharles@sunmedia.ca

 


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