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Operation Bait Bucket

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Operation Bait Bucket (OBB) is an education and outreach program targeted to ice anglers and affiliated recreational audiences. The goal of OBB is to increase awareness about maintaining lake health and preventing the introduction and/or spread of invasive species and diseases that pose a threat to the Lake Simcoe watershed.OBB’s primary message is focused on letting anglers know not to dump their leftover bait buckets (water and minnows) into the lake, and encouraging anglers to buy bait locally. In doing so, anglers can help protect the future health of, not only Lake Simcoe but other lakes and rivers in Ontario. 

In 2018, the OBB program was delivered in the Lake Simcoe watershed. Invading Species Awareness Program staff spent a few days engaging with ice anglers and promoted the Operation Bait Bucket program through valuable in-person interactions with hut operators and ice anglers. Due to the global pandemic, the OBB program will inevitably look a little different this year. The Invading Species Awareness program has been working hard to deliver the OBB message to Lake Simcoe via virtual platforms. To keep up to date with the OBB 2021 efforts follow @invspecies on our social media pages.

Quick Facts

  • More people fish Lake Simcoe during the winter than all other seasons combined. Thousands of ice anglers fish the lake every weekend throughout the winter, and it is home to several major ice fishing competitions.
  • During OBB, we are trying to engage all ice anglers so that they will feel committed to helping us control the spread of invasives both into Lake Simcoe and from this lake to others.
  • Prevention is the most effective tool we have in our efforts to combat the spread of invasives and disease.
  • In 2018, OBB staff were able to engage with 2,740 anglers on the lake.
  • For more information about Operation Bait Bucket Please contact Rob McGowan at

OFAH/OMNRF Invading Species Awareness Program. (2021). Programs – Operation Bait Bucket .
Retrieved from:

Reporting Invasive Species | Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program

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