Improving Brook Trout Habitat: Nipigon Bay's Kama Creek Restoration Underway
(November 7, 2011 - Nipigon, ON) Starting mid-October 2011, Nipigon Bay’s Kama Creek has been part of an ecological restoration project to help revitalize fish populations as part of the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan (RAP). Rehabilitation of an area near Kama Point and Kama Bay (20 kilometres east of Nipigon) will reinstate Kama Creek and its floodplain to a condition resembling its original pre-1960s configuration.
The Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan team and the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) identified the condition of creeks like Kama Creek as a primary factor in declining fish populations and fish habitat in the Nipigon Bay Area of Concern (AOC). The Kama Creek restoration is a key action to restore the fish habitat and fish populations in the Nipigon Bay AOC.
“The Remedial Action Plans PAC for the Nipigon Bay Area of Concern collaborated with government and University partners to identify Kama Creek as an ideal site for brook trout rehabilitation,” says Dr. Robert Stewart of Lakehead University’s Geography Department, who heads the RAP initiative at Lakehead University. “By coordinating this work through Lakehead University, we are able to provide hands-on, meaningful experiences for our graduate students who are currently coordinating the construction and ecological monitoring of the Kama project.” Dr. Stewart expects that future graduate students will carry out post-monitoring for the Kama restoration.
The Kama project is a unique partnership between the RAP Public Advisory Committee, Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministries of the Environment and Natural Resources, and Lakehead University to coordinate the design, development, and construction, as well as ecological assessment and monitoring of Kama Creek.
“This project is an excellent example of how Lakehead researchers, together with government and industry partners, can implement community based action-oriented research and decision-making that brings positive change to communities in Northern Ontario,” says Dr. Andrew Dean, Lakehead’s Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies Dean.
Historically, Kama Creek provided significant habitat for large numbers of Lake Superior coaster brook trout. In the mid-1960s, erosion concerns prompted realignment of the creek downstream of a railroad crossing. The realignment caused loss of brook trout habitat and created a barrier to fish migration into the upper reaches of the river system. Before the creek realignment, brook trout populations were estimated as above average for the North Shore of Lake Superior. Since then, brook trout populations in Kama Creek and within Nipigon Bay have dramatically declined.
Through the months of October and November, R&M Construction will reposition the current delta and channel in Kama Creek to improve fish habitat and populations, specifically coaster brook trout. The rehabilitation project will create four acres of restored and enhanced fish habitat, spawning and nursery grounds for coaster brook trout and other species, and two acres of wetland and natural floodplain environment. The project is expected to be completed by late fall 2011.
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MEDIA: For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Remedial Action Plan Coordinator Aaron Nicholson at 807-343-8514 or email@example.com.
About the North Shore
of Lake Superior Remedial Action Plan (RAP)
The North Shore of Lake Superior Remedial Action Plan (RAP) is an active program set up in 1987 by Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Lakehead University provides research and coordination capacity to the Thunder Bay and Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plans. The program is directed by a team of local, provincial, and federal government officials, and is advised by Public Advisory Committees (PACs). The North Shore of Lake Superior RAP program focuses on four separate Areas of Concern (AOC) including Thunder Bay, Nipigon Bay, Jackfish Bay, and Peninsula Harbour. Areas of Concern are locations where environmental quality is significantly degraded, resulting in the impairment of beneficial uses to both humans and wildlife.
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for a multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking. Over 8,280 students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work at campuses located in Orillia, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University promotes innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. In Orillia, development continues on building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards.
Last updated November 08, 2011