Winter fishing begins Jan. 1

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HALIFAX – Anglers will have more locations to enjoy sportfishing throughout the province when the winter season opens on New Year's Day.

Fishing venues are expanding with more lakes open for rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, chain pickerel or perch.

The Cape Breton Highlands Special Trout Management Area will be open for brook trout angling this winter and in the tidal waters of the Bras d'Or Lakes, anglers may now fish for brown trout as well as rainbow trout.

"Winter sportfishing is one of many winter outdoor experiences that Nova Scotia offers and it is an activity that can be enjoyed by all age groups," said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau in a news release on Thursday. "I would like to encourage all anglers to use caution this season when winter fishing from shore, in boats, or through the ice."

A 2012 general fishing licence is required to winter fish and can be purchased at Department of Natural Resources offices. Licences are valid until March 31, 2013. Anglers may also purchase one-day licences at a reduced rate.

Anglers can take advantage of the annual winter sportfishing weekend, Feb. 16 and Feb. 17, when residents and non-residents can fish in open winter sportfishing areas without a general fishing licence.

For more information visit www.gov.ns.ca/fish/sportfishing/angling/winterangling.shtml .

The following is a list of waterways open and restrictions for winter sportfishing Jan. 1 to March 31 unless otherwise noted:

NOTE: Five areas of the Bras d'Or Lakes are closed to all angling Jan. 1 through March 31 to protect brook trout and Atlantic salmon. They include the areas above the Baddeck River Bridge on Highway 105 (including Cains Pond), inside the East Bay sandbar, above Crowdis Bridge in River Denys Basin, above Black River Bridge in Dundee and above MacKenzie Brook bridge near the south side of River Denys.

Brook trout: bag limit of two trout

-- Hants County: Meadow Pond and St. Croix Pond

-- Halifax County:  First Lake

-- Guysborough County: Pringle Lake

-- Queens County: Victoria Lake

-- Inverness County: Petit Lac

-- Colchester County: Deyarmont Lake

Brook trout: bag limit of 10 trout

-- Victoria County: Cape Breton Highlands Special Trout Management Area

Brown trout: bag limit of two trout

-- Cape Breton: Tidal waters of the Bras d'Or Lakes

Rainbow trout: Bag limit two fish per day

-- Antigonish County: Cameron Lake and Gillis Lake

-- Cape Breton: Bras d'Or Lakes (see note), Levers Lake and No. 20 Dam

-- Cumberland County: Angevine Lake

-- Digby County: Everitts Lake

-- Guysborough County: Goose Harbour Lake

-- Halifax Regional Municipality: Albro Lake, Round Lake, Lewis Lake, Maynard Lake and Penhorn Lake

-- Hants County: Meadow Pond

-- Kings County: Silver Lake and Sunken Lakes

-- Lunenburg County: Sucker Lake

-- Pictou County: Gairloch Lake

-- Queens County: Hidden Hills Lake

-- Richmond County: Eco Trail Pond on Isle Madame

-- Inverness County: Petit Lac

Chain pickerel: bag limit of 25 fish per day

-- Colchester County: Shortts Lake

-- Digby County: Meteghan River, including all lakes and tributaries

-- Halifax Regional Municipality: Morris Lake, Russell Lake, Fish Lake, Bissett Lake, Grand Lake, Powder Mill Lake, Micmac Lake, Red Bridge Pond and Kinsac Lake

-- Hants County: Lily Lake (Cogamun Pond)

-- Kings County: Lake George and Lake Paul

-- Pictou County: Black Lake and West Branch Lake

-- Queens County: Louis Lake

-- Shelburne County: Walls Lake, Lake George, The Ponds in Port LaTour and Bakers Flats on Cape Sable Island

-- Yarmouth County: Annis River and Kiack Brook (near Belleville South), including all lakes and tributaries

White and yellow perch: bag limit of 25 fish per day per species

-- Annapolis County: Springfield Lake

-- Antigonish County: Cameron Lake and Gillis Lake

-- Colchester County: Shortts Lake

-- Cumberland County: Angevine (Dewars Lake)

-- Halifax Regional Municipality: Albro Lake, Bissett Lake, Fish Lake, Grand Lake, Micmac Lake, Red Bridge Pond, Powder Mill Lake, Lewis Lake and Maynard Lake

-- Hants County: Woodward Sanford Lake and Lily Lake(Cogmagan Pond)

-- Kings County: Lake George and Lake Paul

-- Shelburne County: Lake George

-- Digby County: Meteghan River, including all lakes and tributaries.

Organizations: Department of Natural Resources, Baddeck River Bridge on Highway 105

Geographic location: Cape Breton, Bras d'Or, Hants County Colchester County Nova Scotia Digby County Lake George Guysborough County Inverness County Antigonish County Cameron Lake Gillis Lake Cumberland County Lewis Lake Maynard Lake Pictou County East Bay River Denys Basin Meteghan River Dundee Fish Lake Bissett Lake Grand Lake Powder Mill Lake Micmac Lake Red Bridge Halifax County Lily Lake Pringle Lake Victoria Lake Shelburne County Victoria County Harbour Lake Round Lake Silver Lake Lunenburg County Sucker Lake Gairloch Lake Hidden Hills Lake Isle Madame Morris Lake Russell Lake Black Lake Cape Sable Island Yarmouth County Annis River Annapolis County Springfield Lake Sanford Lake

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