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North Shore Steelhead Association will be requesting support from the City of Thunder Bay

North Shore Steelhead Association will be requesting support from the City of Thunder Bay

proposing the installation of fish counting devices and the making of minor changes to fishway at Boulevard Lake

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  January 10, 2022  (LSNews)  The North Shore Steelhead Association in co-operation with the City of Thunder Bay is proposing the installation of fish counting devices and the making of minor changes to the internal structure of the fishway at Boulevard Lake. These changes will improve the hydraulic function (the fish passing ability) of the fishway and gather fish passage information (fish types, numbers, water levels, temperature etc.).

Rational for this project.

While it has been confirmed that Rainbow Trout (Steelhead) are able to navigate the fishway, the NSSA feels that the fishery has not realized its full potential.

We believe that all parties would be well served by supporting the installation of fish counters and making changes to the internal structure of the fishway to effect improved hydraulic functionality.

Scope of the project:

Two fish censoring devices will be installed in the fishway (cell 1 and cell 11).  The NSSA will be investing up to $40,000.00 for the purchase and installation of fish counting sensors and associated fencing.

The NSSA is grateful to have secured funding of $33,000.00 from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Great Lakes Protection Initiative fund which will assist with some of the required design, planning and construction costs.  

Modifications to the internal structure will include creating small subsurface openings (orifices) in the lowest point in the internal walls to allow fish to more easily ascend the fishway. (With the exception of the cell with acts as a lamprey barrier). Boards will be added to the tops of certain cell walls to redirect and concentrate water flows

Aims of this project

  1. To fill in the data gap when it comes to the overall functionality of the fishway.
  2. To Improve the fishway in terms of hydraulic function and fish passage.
  3. To allow for a more adaptive management approach to the fishery and provide guidance for the Water Management Plan.

Background

The Current River fishway was constructed in 1991 using funding provided through the RAP program (BUI - lose of fish habitat and migration corridors) and the NSSA (development of a new urban fishery).

After 30 years of operation the questions remained about the functionality of the fishway.

In 2020 the NSSA received funding assistance from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Great Lakes Protection Initiative (GLPI) fund in order to hire a consulting firm to review the design of the fishway and to provide an assessment report regarding optimal water flow requirements.

In July of 2021 the NSSA presented the Emmons Oliver Resources Canada (EOR) Assessment Report to various agencies. The report revealed that the existing structure was deficient in three (3) areas; flow, hydraulic function, and attraction flows.

In 2021 a follow up report regarding the suggested modifications was prepared by Hydroscience and Engineering LLC consultants (funded in part by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Great Lakes Protection Initiative (GLPI) fund).

The report from Hydroscience and Engineering LLC, was presented to the various agencies in November of 2021, and identified modifications that could be made to the internal structure in order to accommodate the addition of fish sensors, improve the internal flow hydraulics, and increase the attraction flows. 

What comes next:

On January 10 2022 the NSSA will be doing a deputation before City Council requesting that the City of Thunder Bay, as owners of the fishway, support the recommended modifications and direct City Administration to work with the NSSA on this project.

It is hoped that the project can be completed by April or May of this year 2022.

Photo Credit Frank Edgson

#LSN_Outdoors  #LSNews_TBAy 

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