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Manitoba invests in Lake Winnipeg monitoring and data collection

October 26, 2020  By Drainage Contractor

The Manitoba government has committed $375,000 to the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium to upgrade research equipment and $175,000 to Fish Futures Inc. for Lake Whitefish research.

“Lake Winnipeg is one of Manitoba’s most valuable resources and our government recognizes the importance of making investments that contribute to the long-term sustainability of the lake,” said Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen Pedersen. “That’s why I’m happy to announce our investments in the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium and Fish Futures Inc., two organizations that are doing excellent conservation and resource management work for Lake Winnipeg.”

Essential maintenance for research vessel

The Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium Inc., founded in 1998, is a charitable organization dedicated to facilitating multidisciplinary research on Lake Winnipeg. The organization operates a research vessel, the M.V. Namao, used to monitor conditions and conduct research on Lake Winnipeg. The Manitoba government conducts long-term monitoring of physical, chemical and biological conditions on Lake Winnipeg by participating in science cruises aboard the M.V. Namao.

The $375,000 will help complete repairs and maintenance to the M.V. Namao including overhauling the two main engines and the starboard generator. A portion of the funding will also be used to create a long-term strategic plan for the future operations of the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium Inc. and the ongoing operation of the M.V. Namao.


“The Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium has operated the M.V. Namao on Lake Winnipeg for 19 consecutive years and safety is our number one priority,” said A.H. (Al) Kristofferson, president and managing director, the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium Inc. “Now our vessel is in need of essential maintenance that will enable us to continue to operate it well into the future. The funding announced today is essential to allow us to carry on this vital work for the benefit of all.”

Keeping an eye on fish for lake health clues

Fish Futures Inc., a federally incorporated registered charity dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of freshwater fisheries, will also receive funding of $175,000 to support the establishment of the Whitefish Sampling Program Research Fund, a new co-operative effort between Fish Futures Inc. and the province. The project will monitor Lake Whitefish stocks in the north basin of Lake Winnipeg and, combined with government’s annual monitoring programs, will aid in managing the Lake Winnipeg fishery to benefit fish, the fishery and all Manitobans. This data collection and analysis plays a critical role in informing government-decision making on the management of the Lake Winnipeg fishery.

“Fish Futures is delighted to assist the province with this new whitefish research project,” said David Carrick, founder of Fish Futures and vice-chair, (fisheries) of the Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund (FWEF). “This project continues the close working relationship between Fish Futures and the province that is now in its 32nd year. We also want to recognize the critical research being done by the M.V. Namao to support the sustainability of Lake Winnipeg’s fisheries. Through their contributions to the FWEF as part of license sales, anglers have been supporting the consortium’s research for many years.”

“The 2020 speech from the throne affirmed the sustainability of Manitoba’s fish and wildlife populations is critical to protect natural resource jobs and conservation traditions,” said Pedersen. “These funding commitments will take steps toward protecting and conserving Lake Winnipeg and its diverse species.”

More information on Lake Winnipeg conservation can be found in the joint Canada-Manitoba State of Lake Winnipeg report, which provides progress measurement and key information to support current and future research on Lake Winnipeg.

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