Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Take a look at our exciting new July-August issue, about the war on the shores of Lake Simcoe, a new approach to landscaping, and bringing your living room outdoors!

This year's bass fishing season opens June 28 throughout much of southern Ontario, and thousands of bass anglers are anxious to begin fishing for their favourite species once again.

Bass are typically the last species to open … and for many, it has been a long wait since their season closed — Nov. 30, 2011, in Lake Simcoe and throughout the rest of Fisheries Management Zone 16.

This year many anglers will be eager to try a relatively new rig while pursuing bass in Ontario. There was some debate among these anglers as to how legal this rig was, so we have developed the attached fact sheet to help set the record straight for recreational anglers. 
The Umbrella Rig Quick Facts:

• The Umbrella rig, also known as the Alabama rig, was used to win a large bass fishing tournament in Alabama in October 2011.  This is now one of the most sought-after pieces of tackle in the bass-fishing community both here in Ontario and throughout the United States.

• The rig consists of a hard body with a line-tie followed by five wire strands in a fan design, each with a snap swivel at the end.  Anglers can attach a variety of lures to each swivel for a look that is meant to imitate a school of baitfish.

• In Ontario, it is illegal to fish with a line that has more than four hooks attached.  The original Alabama rig with five hooks or lures attached is not permitted for use in the province, but one modified to four strands or arms to accommodate only four hooks is allowed. (See photo.)

Information is also available on the the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources site:




Big Bay Point residents oppose public shoreline sale
Petition and Video launched to stop sale

Toronto, ON -- Environmental Defence and Innisfil District Association, a group representing over 300 local Simcoe County residents want to stop the sale of two pieces of public shoreline to a private developer on Big Bay Point, Lake Simcoe, Ontario. They are opposing the development due to its potentially negative environmental and societal impacts like destroying fish and wildlife habitats and silencing dissenting voices through Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP). Over the course of this development, the developer has sued, and withdrawn, $100 million in SLAPP suits against local residents and groups.

The developer, Kimvar, a subsidiary of Geranium plans to build a 1,000 slip marina on a lake already suffering from water and noise pollution. It has conditional approval to build 2,000 units—mostly limited occupancy, and a 400-unit hotel—in what is now a small, heritage cottage community at the north end of Innisfil.

More specifically, the developer wants to expand an existing marina by 30 acres, widen the channel, and harden about 200 meters of the marina entrance and shoreline with granite and concrete, which could negatively affect fish and wildlife. Geranuim needs to acquire public shoreline land through the Ministry of Natural Resources to build the marina.

“I don’t understand how Geranium gets permission to buy public beaches, harden the shoreline, cut down the trees and build in a wetland area around the marina for a huge development, when the little guy can’t even move a few rocks without being prosecuted. We are confused by this double standard,” said David Donnelly, lawyer for Environmental Defence and a local ratepayers group, the Innisfil District Association.

Environmental Defence and the Innisfil District Association want to stop the land sale, and allow local residents a fair opportunity to comment on it. If the province is entertaining the sale of public land, it should be a public sale, they argue, not a sole-source agreement.

“Now that the province is dealing with the distribution of public lands, it’s an ideal time for the public to have a say without fear of being slapped with a million dollar legal bill,” says Don Avery, Chairman of the Innisfil District Association.

Residents at Big Bay Point, the Innisfil District Association, and Environmental Defence have teamed up to make a video that describes the environmental impact that the mega-marina will have on Lake Simcoe. They have launched a petition to prevent the imminent sale or lease of public land to the developer.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (  We are Canada's most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

ABOUT THE INNISFIL DISTRICT ASSOCIATION ( We are a ratepayers group of about 300 members that is more than 30 years old. Our mission is to support the long-term development of Innisfil and Simcoe County, while protecting the lifestyle of its citizens, the health of Lake Simcoe and our natural environment.

On Sunday, May 27, 2012, the Law Enforcement Fishing Classic had their annual Charity Pike Tournament. It was my great pleasure to host this year’s tournament for members of the Toronto Police Service, York Regional Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, OPP, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Toronto EMS.  

The LEFC was founded in 1998 when four officers of the TPS- 31 Division “D” platoon got together and had a friendly wager on the water during a relaxing day of fishing. This tournament has grown beyond my expectations. This year there were 109 participants, 42 boats and some great Northern Pike were caught.  

Participants of the Amateur and Pro division fished the great waters of Cook Bay on Lake Simcoe.  This year we were privileged to have Chief Bill Blair (TPS) and Chief Eric Joliffe (YRP) participate in the first-ever LEFC Chief’s Challenge. The participants of the LEFC were humbled by both their attendance, congratulations to both Chief’s of Police for a successful day on the water.  

The great sponsors that helped make this day such a success included: Randy Dulude “Randy’s Appliances”, Molson Canada, Toronto Police Association, Toronto Police Amateur Athletic Association, York Regional Police Association, Boston Pizza, Steve Jojos “Ouzo Baits”, Jack Summers “Radio World”, Andy Pallotta- “Canadian Sport Fishing League”, Wil Wegman- “Lake Simcoe Living”, Kelly Dean - Edge Point Inc.,Vito Barone – Barone Transport, Jim Venilakis- Tracker, Ofah, “Sail” Vaughan, Normark Inc., G And G Electronics,  and Pizza Nova.  

This year, all proceeds of this event will be given to the OFAH Children’s Tackle Share Program and to the Melissa Styles Trust Fund and her children Meredith and Nolan, family of P.C. Garrett Styles #1405 of the York Regional Police Service. P.C. Styles made the ultimate sacrifice in July 2011 when he was killed in the line of duty.  It is with great sadness that I and the rest of his colleagues come to the realization that his young children will not be able to go fishing or enjoy the great outdoors with their father ever again.  It is our pleasure to show our support for Melissa and her children and make this significant donation.  

The Aurora Bassmasters hosted the weigh-in portion, and for the first time, all pike were weighed on stage on the club’s scales. This made for lots of entertainment for onlookers.

Congratulations to all the participants for another successful year.  The following are the results for this year’s tournament:

Chief Eric Joliffe        6.10 Lbs.  
Chief Bill Blair             5.44 Lbs.

1St Place- Tai Dang            10.70  Lbs.     
2Nd Place- David Macinnis        9.80    Lbs.    
3Rd Place- Gary Miller        9.78    Lbs.    

1St Place- Chris Kowaluk        8.68  Lbs    
2Nd Place- Chris Slywchuk        8.40  Lbs.    
3Rd Place- Dorian Tillack        7.88  Lbs.    

Don Mahar                1.84 Lbs.

Delyan Bachkov            7.82 Lbs.
V. Zvezdonkin                7.80 Lbs.  
Michael Street                 7.62 Lbs.
David Chong                7.46 Lbs.
Chris Plante                7.38 Lbs.
Colin Hunter                7.28 Lbs    

Looking forward to seeing you all next year for a bigger and better year!

Released By: Director Of The LEFC-C.Rabbito























In 2010 Wil fished the event with fellow Aurora Bassmaster Bob Kendall who won the event with this nice pike.

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