While the effects of large hydro projects (200 MW) have been well known and documented for over a century, small (up to 10 MW) and medium sized (10 MW to 200 MW) hydroelectric projects involve many of the same impacts per unit of power generated and, cumulatively, the environmental degradation can exceed that of large hydro projects. Small and medium sized hydro projects are situated on smaller and often more sensitive riverine ecosystems; however, like large hydro projects, will also alter the river’s flow regime and can have significant impacts on the aquatic environment, as flow is a major determinant of a river’s ecological characteristics and its aquatic biodiversity.
A recent study examined scaled hydropower impacts in the Nu River basin of southwestern China, where the researchers calculated impact per MW of capacity across 14 metrics between small and large hydropower projects (with small being below 50 MW as defined in Chinese policy). They found that small hydropower dams had greater impact per MW for 9 of the 14 metrics, including length of river channel affected and impact on habitat designated as conservation priorities.
Brook trout spawning in a coldwater stream. Film by Steve Noakes
Groups concerned about Erin’s proposed plant effect on coldwater fish, by Keegan Kozolanka
Ontario Rivers Alliance says town has ‘dismissed’ plans to protect Credit River brook trout from Erin wastewater plant, by Alexandra Heck
The Town of Erin (Erin) is in the design phase of a new sewage treatment plant, and the Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is concerned that the sewage plant effluent will endanger some of the most productive and highly valued brook trout populations in the West Credit River. Continue reading
The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is pleased to report that the WWF-Canada and CPAWS have awarded the Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize to Dr. Frederick Schueler and Aleta Karstad for their outstanding conservation efforts and accomplishments!! They truly are very deserving of this incredible Prize!!
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO Fred and Aleta!!!
We at ORA were eager to nominate Fred and Aleta for this important recognition of the significant sacrifice and contribution they have both made to science, conservation and the protection of freshwater ecosystems and land all across Canada. They have also been long-time partners and contributors of the ORA.
Read the Press Release: Continue reading
MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release – 14 May 2020
Time to clean the swimming pool but where to drain the water?
It’s that time of year when you are likely thinking about getting the pool or hot tub ready for the summer season. It’s a good idea to prepare by first checking with your local town or city to find out what you should do with the water when you drain the pool. “Beware, that releasing pool or hot tub water containing chlorine or salt directly into the street or a storm drain could bring a very heavy fine. That’s because those chemicals would then flow untreated into a local stream, river or lake and could result in a fish die-off or be very harmful to aquatic life”, said Linda Heron, Chair of the Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA). Continue reading
In ORA’s view, MNRF has been streamlined and restricted to the point where it becomes very challenging to effectively monitor and enforce any Bait Management Policy. It is also imperative that penalties are a sufficient deterrent and that funding is in place for sufficient staffing to effectively monitor and enforce the policy.
ORA has seen few dams that attract tourists to a town, but large healthy rivers and fisheries appear to be more attractive, especially to anglers and canoeists, that can bring additional tourist dollars into the community.
GUELPH – The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA), Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC), Canadian Wildlife Federation, and four other partners are announcing Phase II of the Hanlon Creek Crowd Funding Campaign. We are looking to raise $10,000 by the 31stof July. The funds are required to pay for the weir modification and river rehabilitation work, scheduled to take place in September of this year. “We have a very short time-line and need your help to reach our fundraising goal”, said Alex Meeker, Ontario Provincial Biologist with TUC.
Join ORA and partners in a project to improve a coldwater Brook Trout fishery and habitat in Hanlon Creek. These Brookies will be jumping for joy when this project is done!!
2013 FWIN Netting Report
by Jim Rook, French River Stewardship Council:
During the late 1980’s it became apparent that the French River walleye fishery was in decline. It was noted by recreational anglers as well as the local tourist lodges whose economic viability was threatened by the walleye decline.
In response to the declining fishery a French River Fishery Cooperative was created led by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) as well as interested tourist operators, and members of our local French River community.
Scientific studies based upon the Fall Walleye Index Netting Protocol (FWIN) were initiated. The FWIN program is designed to measure the relative abundance, size and age distribution, mortality, growth rates and conditions of a walleye population. Continue reading
Ontario’s fisheries contribute substantially to Ontario’s economy, with recreational and commercial fishing valued at more than $2.5 billion annually:
- 41,000 person years of employment.
- More than 1.2 million residents and non-resident anglers, contributing $2.2 billion annually to the Ontario economy.
- A driving force for Ontario’s tourism industry and a key economic component in many communities, particularly in Northern Ontario, with 1600 licensed tourist operators generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues annually.
- More than 500 active commercial fishing licences, contributing more than $230 million dollars to the Ontario economy.
- 1200 commercial bait fishing licences are issued annually, with $17 million in direct sales of live bait.