Local Regulations During 2020 Smelt Run

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Dear Algoma-Manitoulin,

I am writing this brief notice subsequent to strong actions taken by municipalities and First Nations in order to protect their communities. As the weather gets nicer and the ice begins to melt, the smelt run is around the corner. At this time I ask you to take a moment and think of the potential negative impacts to your family, your elders, your community and the public at large before choosing to leave your home.

Parks and Trails have been closed, various municipal recreation centers have been restricted, and control measures for travel through First Nations have been implemented in addition to other various measures to protect the public. With that in mind, I urge you all to be aware of local decisions and by-laws that have been carried out due to COVID-19.

These are unprecedented times and things are changing by the hour. As we adjust and adapt to new procedures, new regulations and an ever-evolving course of action, please bear in mind that we are all working towards a common goal.

This notice is prepared in conjunction with various municipalities, First Nations and Public Health Units to remind the public to be aware and respect local decisions that are being made to protect YOU! These decisions have not been made lightly and are an attempt to not only protect municipal staff but to protect the public.

While public health units recognize that “smelt fishing is an enjoyable family/community activity,” Algoma Public Health reminds you that “if you decide to participate please go in small family groups and follow physical distancing recommendations of 6 feet/2 metres from others.” Sudbury & District Public Health states that although “the annual smelt run is an important nutritious food source for many in the North, with the risks involved with COVID-19 we suggest that if you don’t need the smelts you pass on the run this year or if you do harvest keep a distance of at least 2 meters from other participants.”

We understand that these are difficult times and straying away from annual social gatherings is not easy. With that in mind, we must remember, our common goal is to stop the spread and flatten the curve. Always respect and be aware of local regulations while making plans.

I thank you all for doing your part in this difficult time and following the recommendations to the best of your abilities. Stay safe!

Michael Mantha
MPP, Algoma-Manitoulin

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