THUNDER BAY, ON -- March 5, 2013 ---- This past year, the North Shore Steelhead Association focused on further developing our multi-year Fisherman’s Park project, located at the mouth of the Current River. This project is scheduled to be completed in 2013. Upon completion, there will be a Grand Opening ceremony held to thank all our contributors and volunteers.
The project is being funded by the North Shore Steelhead Association, the Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council, Lakehead University, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the City of Thunder Bay, and the Province of Ontario. This project is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2013
The NSSA is an organization dedicated to the conservation and preservation ethic, and we will continue in the future to organize and participate in habitat restoration of small streams contiguous with Lake Superior that provide essential spawning and rearing habitat for migratory salmonids. The North Shore Steelhead Association is the only public organization that has taken upon itself to work towards the conservation, preservation and most importantly, the restoration of cold water fisheries habitat.
Photo of Frank Edgson, Co-chairman of the Dinner Auction committee for the North Shore Steelhead Association holding watercolour paint by Peter Humeniuk and Ray Swaluk who also donated watercolour paints to the Dinner Auction. Photo taken at Lake Superior Art Gallery and Framing Centre, located in Victoriaville Centre. The paintings will be auctioned off as part of their annual fund raising dinner to be held at the DaVinci Centre on the evening of March the 22th starting at 5:30 pm. Tickets are still available, and can be purchased at DnR Sporting Goods on Memorial Avenue.
The North Shore Steelhead Association was formed on January 13, 1973, as a non-profit organization concerned with the conservation and preservation of all fish species found in the tributaries of Lake Superior. The primary concern of the founding members was the protection and enhancement of the north shore migratory rainbow trout (steelhead) fishery, but their foresight led to the inclusion of all species and their habitats in our constitution. Our constitution stresses public education and close association with authoritative bodies responsible for research, regulations, and enforcement as well as other non-governmental organizations and north shore community groups as tools for resource conservation. Our financial base is developed almost exclusively from fundraising activities. These activities not only support capital for our projects, they also heighten public awareness of the issues impacting Lake Superior’s North Shore and its tributaries.
Our dedication, volunteerism, and financial support have provided a significant contribution to the conservation of wild steelhead, brook trout, and other wild species in Lake Superior and tributary streams. The genesis of our organizations commitment to the preservation of fish habitat began with the installation of the Lake Tamblyn fishway on the McIntyre River in 1989.
Our NEW project for 2013 is the rehabilitation of a degraded Brook Trout nursery stream located within Centennial Park. It is anticipated that over 150m2 of previously altered and unproductive habitat will be restored through the construction and implementation of a natural channel design. The lower section of the creek will be rehabilitated to ensure fish passage from the main river under varying flow conditions which will allow for increased accessibility and benefits. A further environmental benefit is related to aquatic and terrestrial species through the creation of a healthy riparian buffer area. This will involve planting, over an area of approximately 800m2, a variety of herbaceous, shrubs, and tree plantings to provide additional habitat while reducing the impacts associated with increased nutrient inputs, providing shade, and addressing general water quality concerns.
"The project is being funded by the North Shore Steelhead Association, the Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council, Lakehead University, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the City of Thunder Bay, and the Province of Ontario. This project is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2013"
Over the past 40 years the N.S.S.A. has undertaken a wide variety of projects in its efforts to ensure the protection of the North Shore cold water fisheries and to educate the public about the need to conserve and protect those resources for the enjoyment of future generations. We take pride in our achievements, which included the construction of the McIntyre River Fish ladder, the operation of an upwelling box which helped to restock the McVicar Creek with Rainbow Trout, the construction of the Current River Fish ladder, and successfully achieving a change in fishing regulations for Rainbow Trout on Lake Superior and its tributaries. The daily and possession limit was changed from (5) to (1) with a size restriction on the Neebing and McIntyre River systems of over 69cm.
The NSSA has encouraged the collection of scientific data to support any future changes to regulations and continues to funded programs aimed at ensuring data is collected. The Cooperative Angler Program, the Portage Creek Program, and the McIntyre River Program allow anglers to participate in steelhead assessment as they fish Canadian waters of Lake Superior. Since 1991 anglers have been collecting biological data (length, sex and scale sampling) on tributary streams from Thunder Bay to Marathon. The information collected allows managers to assess the effects of harvest and environmental factors on these wild steelhead populations. The more qualitative nature of this study can be used in combination with the more detailed population data been collected on the McIntyre River and Portage Creek.
The North Shore Steelhead Association contributed financial support to the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority to fund the fish habitat enhancement component of the McIntyre River Bank Stabilization . The NSSA was assisted in this project by contributions from the Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Zone B) in support of this project. This pilot project saw several large root balls and large rocks placed at the low water mark to reduce flow rates and enhance fish habitat. Soil was added to the rocks on the slope and plantings of native species of dogwood and willow will help return the area to a natural setting. The Ontario Stewardship Ranger Crew along with members from the Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council and the North Shore Steelhead