The Ministry of Environment is warning the Canoe Lake Cree Nation about erecting a toll booth for public access to Keeley Lake.

A fee is being proposed for anglers as there is a dispute about over harvesting on the Lake with the Canoe Lake Fisherman’s Cooperative.

“The Ministry recognizes the importance of the commercial fishery to the fishers of the Canoe Lake Cree First Nation, however the continued failure of the cooperative to control harvest and remain within the annual quota is putting the sustainability of Keeley Lake at risk,” said Environment Minister Warren Kaeding in letter to the First Nation.

Kaeding recommends removing the lake-wide quota from Keeley Lake and replacing it with a quota per fisher which he contends will give the cooperative better managing control.

There has been increased recreational fishing in Keeley Lake in recent years, prompting angling restrictions to be implemented for this year including; reducing Walleye limits to two fish with one exceeding 55cm and Northern Pike reduced to three fish with one exceeding 75cm.

“Any attempts by the Canoe Lake Cree First Nation to charge anglers licensed by the minister a fee to access this resource is not legal and will be reported for enforcement actions,” Kaeding explained.

A request for comment from Canoe Lake Cree First Nation Chief Francis Iron was not returned.

(Photo courtesy of Canoe Lake Cree First Nation Facebook.)