The Thousand Islands section of the St. Lawrence River has long supported one of the best bass fisheries in Ontario and New York. It was this fishery that helped develop tourism on the River over a century ago. However the River environment today is far different from 100 years ago and the fishery is not limitless like was once thought.
Since 1987 Save The River has promoted catch and release fishing for muskellunge, a species threatened on the St. Lawrence River. The addition of bass to Save The River’s Catch and Release Program in 2014 is part of a continuation of our efforts to improve the overall health of the St. Lawrence River and to ensure a healthy, sustainable fishery.
Catch and release fishing and selective harvest have become globally accepted practices as ways to contribute to sustainable game fish populations. Many anglers practice these techniques but more can be done to maximize the benefit of this conservation practice on the River.
With increased fishing pressure on the St. Lawrence River we must work together to ensure a sustainable fishery. Anglers practicing selective harvest should take smaller legal-sized bass and release the larger bass that they catch. The conservation value of a larger, more mature fish is that it will be capable of reproducing and keeping the population up.
Save The River believes the bass population in the St. Lawrence River will benefit greatly if anglers keep only what they will eat that day and release the rest. Practicing catch and release fishing during bass season will help make certain there will be bass for our children and their children to enjoy. For more information visit www.savetheriver.org.
How You Can Participate
Check out Save The River’s Catch & Release Facebook page to enter a photo of your catch and release bass in our photo contest. Each month lucky winners will receive a special edition sweatshirt courtesy of Huck’s Marine, Rockport, Ontario and at our 2021 Winter Environmental Conference, we will announce an annual winner to receive a Bass Pro spinning combo. All participants will receive a 2020 Save The River Bass Catch & Release Decal.