Enhancing Fish Habitat
The Lake Simcoe Watershed Fish Habitat Enhancement Project is a multi-year partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans “Recreational Fisheries Community Partnership Program” that is decreasing barriers to fish passage in our streams and rivers.
It re-establishes natural watercourses, increases fish habitat, creates wetlands for waterfowl and other birds and educates the public on the importance of a healthy ecosystem. The project is the result of years of significant scientific monitoring and analysis by expert LSRCA staff. Finally, an inventory called the Stewardship Priorities and Opportunities Tool (SPOT) was created.
The Fish Habitat Enhancement Project began in 2016 when LSRCA reached out to rural landowners in targeted areas where brook trout habitat restoration was a priority. Landowners were invited to workshops that showcased how LSRCA supports heathy waterways and the different kinds of projects (stream bank enhancements, online pond removals, wildlife habitat enhancement and tree planting) that can be funded.
To date, over 14 watershed-wide recreational fish habitat projects have been completed. In 2016-2017, three projects were completed in East Gwillimbury, Bradford and Aurora; one beaver baffler, three stream debris jams were removed and one creek side buffer planting. In 2017-2018, eleven more small and medium sized projects were completed in King, Georgina, Oro-Medonte, Barrie and Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Over 1,000 metres of shoreline was stabilized and more than 1,300 native trees and shrubs were planted. In 2018-2019, plans are underway to complete a large project at Pangman Conservation Area in Whitchurch Stouffville.
Thanks to support from our donors, LSCF was able help fund materials and supplies, travel and contractor costs for the projects.