Water levels remain low throughout Lake of the Woods. While it's one way to avoid flooding like last year, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is keeping a close eye on fish spawning. Here's MNRF biologist, Chris Martin.
"We are entering the time of year when a lot of fish are thinking about spawning. Quite a number of them actually do spawn in the upper couple feet of the water. Northern Pike in particular, they go up into areas of heavy aquatic vegetation like bays and river flood plains," he said.
But with such low water levels, a lot of the typical spawning grounds are actually out of the water. Martin explains how that can impact spawning.
"If that habitat isn't available because the water is too shallow, they may delay spawning until the conditions become suitable, so until water rises. Or if the conditions never do become suitable in the spring they may just re-absorb their eggs entirely," he said.
Martin says we still have a few weeks yet.
"This is about the time when pike might start to spawn but I think we have a few more weeks of flexibility. If the water starts to rise a bit or if we get more rain then those shallow areas should become accessible to the fish," he said.
Martin adds that the MNRF works closely with the Lake of the Woods Control Board. They try to maintain a balance between helping out cabin owners and protecting the natural ecosystem in Lake of the Woods.