Ontario Taking Steps to Protect Quality of Lake Water

Province Provides Direction to Support a Strong and Sustainable Aquaculture Industry

HANOVER — Ontario is taking action to protect water quality in Ontario’s lakes while supporting an environmentally sustainable and prosperous fish farming sector, as part of its Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan commitment to keep our water clean and healthy.Ontario released its final policy paper on lake-based cage fish farming that helps provide business certainty and enables long-term investment in the sector by finalizing the provincial water and sediment quality objectives for how fish farms should be situated, sized and managed.

Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Mike Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, met with RJ Taylor, Co-owner of Cedar Crest Trout Farms, in Hanover today to talk about the province’s fish farming policy and the industry’s contribution to Ontario’s economy.

“Ontario’s aquaculture sector brings jobs and prosperity to rural, northern and Indigenous communities across Ontario,” said Minister Yurek. “Setting this direction will provide greater clarity and certainty for investment. It’s an important step in reducing barriers to industry growth and ensuring the industry continues to play an important role in providing our food, protecting our waters and strengthening the provincial economy for years to come.”

“Ontario’s fish farmers put more than 100 million meals of delicious and healthy trout on Ontario dinner tables every year. Aquaculture brings jobs and prosperity to Ontario’s rural, northern, and Indigenous communities,” said RJ Taylor, Co-owner, Cedar Crest Trout Farms. “Our farms are certified and internationally recognized for their environmental stewardship and best management practices. We are delighted to see the Ontario government embrace Ontario seafood farmers and help us create jobs, fuel our economy and feed Ontarians.”

“Healthy locally grown fish are important to both Ontario families and to our economy,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “This policy supports Ontario’s abundant wild fish populations and a healthy cage aquaculture industry.”

“Businesses like Cedar Crest Trout Farm play an important role in providing a quality food product for Ontarians and new economic opportunities for our region and province, and so I’m pleased to see our government supporting our local business and the aquaculture industry. I’m excited about the potential to significantly expand this industry, jobs and the economy,” said Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker.

Protecting and restoring water quality in our lakes is part of our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to ensure we balance a healthy environment and a healthy economy and that the province’s pristine beauty and strong communities can be enjoyed now and in the future.

Quick Facts

  • Cedar Crest Trout Farms is the largest supplier of young fish (fingerlings) to Ontario’s cage fish farms in Lake Huron. The mature fish are then processed in St. Thomas and throughout Ontario before distribution to retail stores across the province. These operations support food growth and production and a healthy economy in Ontario.
  • There are currently six provincially licensed commercial cage fish farm operations in Ontario and they are located in Lake Huron.
  • In 2018, the market value for rainbow trout in Ontario was $29 million.

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