The effects of dams and hydroelectric facilities on fish populations and fisheries have been well documented over the past century and include the loss or serious decline of many iconic fish species, which are resources of importance to Ontario’s economy, biodiversity, and natural and cultural heritage.
Since 1963 the Little Long Generating Complex on the Lower Mattagami River in Northern Ontario has been the source of an environmental crisis of immeasurable proportions. Thousands of Lake Sturgeon have been entrained through spillway gates and left stranded waiting to be captured and relocated back to their adopted man-made habitat, leaving waters not fit for survival. Adam Creek Spillway is well known province-wide as a thorn in hydro electric energy and should not be defined or qualified as GREEN energy.
The fact that Lake Sturgeon and American Eel no longer exists in this section of the Madawaska River, is all the more reason that OPG should make every effort to rehabilitate these populations and include effective fish passage for these and other fish species at this facility. OPG is a provincial entity and as such should set the example as a beacon for responsible and sustainable hydroelectric facilities and operations in Ontario.
In November of 2011 ORA reviewed the Wanatango Falls Final Environmental Report (ER), and expressed concern to the Minister of Environment over its many deficiencies and uncertainties in our Part II Order request. It is surprising that after 2 ½ years of additional studies, preparation, and negotiating time, that this “Final” ER has not advanced in either its sophistication, readiness, or its economic and environmental viability or certainty. Xeneca is still not ready to bring this proposal through to Notice of Completion. Many crucial decisions have not yet been made so that the public and First Nations are left with many questions unanswered.
Below is a presentation made to the Ontario Rivers Alliance at their Annual General Meeting on 23 November 2013. Check out the notes below as well.
This document is a collection of events and recent developments related to the re-introduction of Lake Sturgeon in the Upper Reach of the Mattagami River near Timmins Ontario.
It was back in 2002 that the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources approached Club Navigateur La Ronde and the Timmins Fur Council to be partners on a project to re-establish lake sturgeon population in the upper reach of the Mattagami River near Timmins Ontario. In the Lands and Forest archives of the early 1900s were records of sturgeon spawning activity observed at Wawaitin Falls by a conservation officer of those early years of the Porcupine mining camp. Log drives, dam construction and subsequent operation combined with fisheries led to population drops to unsustainable levels. Continue reading
Excerpt: “This project has not been planned in an environmentally responsible manner, and has not fully taken into account the interests of local stakeholders and the public. Therefore, it is our position that for all the reasons noted herein, Xeneca has not fulfilled its requirements under the Class EA for Waterpower.”
TIMMINS – Call it the Timmins version of Jurassic Park.
An ancient creature that once lived alongside the dinosaurs is slowly returning to the Mattagami River, an area where it once thrived.
A century ago, when settlers first set up shop in what became the Porcupine mining camp, lake sturgeon measuring up to six feet and living over 100 years were not uncommon in the area.
But due to increased industrial activity, overfishing and a general lack of knowledge on the subject, the once-thriving local population of the fish nearly disappeared.
Recently, lake sturgeon in the entire southern Hudson Bay drainage basin have been designated as a species of “special concern.”
In 2002, various local community and conservation groups concerned about the giant fish’s endangered status and apparent disappearance from the region put their minds together and started the Mattagami Sturgeon Restoration Project.
Fish Spawning Miqration Upstream and Downstream
“There exist serious concerns about unimpeded upstream and downstream migration of walleye, river sturgeon and possibly American eel, reaching and migrating over or through any man-made structure proposed to be placed into the Petawawa River as, to our knowledge no proven design model exists elsewhere with a “migrating success rate” nearing 90%.”