Some community members will find it much easier to get out on the water to fish in a few months' time.
Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt made the announcement on February 1st, saying they decided on the changes after consultations with stakeholders and an EngageMB survey. He mentions that one of the biggest changes will be moving to a single annual licence, as opposed to previously having the conservation licence and regular licence to pick from.
"I think it is very important for clarity purposes," says Nesbitt. "There's one limit for the license. Before, there were different limits for the different licenses."
Another change Nesbitt was glad to make was the addition of one-day fishing licences. This will make things easier for tourists who don't want to commit to a big licence just to enjoy Manitoba's outdoors for a day.
"The big thing in here, too, is seniors," says Nesbitt. "They're not having to buy a licence. They didn't have to buy a licence before, but they had to apply for a free licence online, which we thought was a lot of red tape. They will be able to show proof of age, same with active military members. They'll be able to fish for free in Manitoba as well."
Major Terry Henry with the Regional Cadet Support Unit Northwest, is an avid fisher, and very excited to get started when these rules are enacted in April.
"I'm super enthusiastic about it," mentions Henry. "Just any form of recognition to these audiences for their service to the country and community just as another way of saying, 'Hey, we recognize that service, now get out there and do some fishing.'"
He adds this is a great way for the government to say thank you, as he regularly goes out fishing with other military members.
"I think we were always hopeful that Manitoba would follow suit with some other provinces that have a similar approach to their conservation licencing," says Henry. "So, I think it's very much a positive."
For the full press release from the government of Manitoba, click here