FLIPPR stands for “Fish and Lake Improvement for the Parkland Region”. FLIPPR is a “grassroots” volunteer group of Parkland residents, municipal and provincial government, and various industry partners. FLIPPR’s mandate is to develop and sustain an abundance of world class stillwater trout fisheries for economic and recreational opportunities throughout Manitoba’s Parkland Region.
The evolution of parklands trout fishing is quite interesting. In the 1950’s Manitoba Department of Natural Resources started the first stocking of rainbow trout in Nora Lake southwest of Erickson Manitoba. The lake quickly produced large trout – the first indication of the phenomenal growth rates produced by Parkland waters. The lake winter-killed every 2 to 3 years and the project was abandoned.
In the late 1960’s, scientists from Winnipeg’s Freshwater Institute initiated fisheries research within the Parklands Region. Many waterbodies had no official names so they were designated numbers such as, Lake 14, Lake 17, Lake 400, etc. The objective of the research was to facilitate the development of fish farming as a method of increasing the economic potential of the area. The research documented the incredible growth rates of trout in the waterbodies. An unnamed lake west of PR270 was home to the first aeration system in the Parklands.
After the widespread winter-kills of 1988, ’89, and ’90 local fish and wildlife groups thought they would “try” some brown and rainbow trout in these now empty or dead lakes. Perhaps the local proponents were not aware of the high fertility of these lakes or that the lakes literally swam with some of the largest gammarus scuds (freshwater shrimp) found anywhere. No one anticipated that trout would gain over a kilogram a year during prime growth years. Within 4 years many trout in excess of 27 inches were available.
FLIPPR was organized in 2000 and started identifying potential lakes to broaden the regions already established resource base of 7 great trout fishing lakes. By carrying out lake assessment activities in partnership with Manitoba Fisheries and local municipalities, FLIPPR sought to develop lakes and install aeration systems to better support longevity of trout stock and eliminate winterkill.
FLIPPR recognizes that assisting our lake development partners with ongoing lake management is a key component in sustaining world class stillwater trout fisheries throughout the Parkland Region. Active lake management and improvement efforts are an ongoing priority for FLIPPR and its partners.
Municipalities are aware of the economic benefit to the regional community. Lake access and shoreline amenities such as docks, improved parking, boat launches, and picnic and garbage facilities, and routine garbage pick-up are continually being improved. Proper signage and promotional billboards are also be continually added/updated, which informs anglers of lake locations and access, regulations and restrictions, (i.e. private lands, limits, tackle and motor restrictions) and general information relating to each lake. Signage and billboards also offers advertising opportunities for local businesses (i.e. bait and tackle, restaurants, hospitality, etc.), which provides an excellent resource for visiting anglers and additional revenue towards enhancements and maintenance of fishing facilities.
As an angler, informing FLIPPR on how our lakes doing through creel surveys is very helpful. Information such as catch per unit effort, size of trout, presence of native species, etc. tells us where and when direct management effort is required. Angler surveys can be found on our website as well as at swanvalleysportfishing.com.