In Ontario, fisheries management planning and Broadscale Monitoring are done on the basis of Fisheries Management Zones (FMZ). The Rainy-Lake of the Woods Basin is mostly contained within FMZ5 although the far eastern part of the basin is within FMZ6. In Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is responsible for fish and wildlife populations and their habitat (including water quality) while Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MOECP) is responsible for water quality from a human health and environmental standards perspective. Water quality data collected through the Broadscale Monitoring program are used to meet both of these objectives (collected by MNRF, analyzed by MOECP).
Ontario’s Broadscale Monitoring program began in 2008 with the first cycle running from 2008 to 2012 and the second cycle running from 2013 to 2017. The number of lakes assessed within each watershed will vary each cycle. The number of lakes in Canada-only or shared watersheds assessed in the second cycle (2013-2017) was (approximately):
Rainy Headwaters – 31 (17 within Quetico Provincial Park; 14 outside)
Rainy Lake – 24
Big Turtle River – Rainy Lake – 25
Lake of the Woods – 13
Lower Rainy – 0
Photo: Fisheries Management Zones in Ontario (MNRF)