White Lake Fish Habitat Project
White Lake, located west of Arnprior, was the setting of a fisheries habitat enhancement project led by Watersheds Canada staff and Lanark County Stewardship Council members during the week of October 5th, 2015. The project received funding through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to improve the overall health of White Lake by restoring natural shorelines, creating and enhancing spawning beds for walleye and improving existing fish habitat
Potential walleye spawning sites on White Lake that were previously identified by the Ministry of Natural Resource & Forestry (MNRF) were identified and assessed. Suitable sites require rocky substrate, low vegetative cover, and sufficient water flow to oxygenate the fertilized eggs. Three sites were chosen for enhancement and approximately 50 tonnes of washed river rock were placed at each site. Getting the rock to these remote locations was no easy feat. Through the generosity of Lou Laventure Construction, M. Sullivan Son Ltd. and local volunteers from the Lanark & District Fish and Game Club and the White Lake Preservation Project, we were able to complete the three spawning beds in two days.
“I was quite pleased to be part of White Lake Spawning Bed Project. At first glance the notion of delivering 150 tonne of river stone to remote areas of Lake seemed like an impossible task. Just as many hands make light work, it felt good to volunteer with other local contractors to make the impossible a reality. When watching news and hearing stories of environmental mishaps, I feel proud to have been part of White Lake team that was able to help balance scales and leave positive impact on environment.” Lou Laventure
These local companies donated all the heavy equipment to complete this project, including a large loader with extension boom, backhoe, large barge with dump trailer on board and a wonderful team of operators.
“Environmental projects are dear to our heart so it was an honour and pleasure for M. Sullivan & Son Limited to work with our community members and Watershed Canada to make White Lake just a little bit better.” Paddy Sullivan
Existing fish habitat sites, suitable for the addition of woody debris (10 foot brush bundles, tied and anchored to cinder blocks) were carefully selected so that they would not interfere with boaters, which was an important consideration given White Lake has a mean depth of 10 feet and has heavy boating traffic. A volunteer work party was organized by Watersheds Canada and held at the Cedar Cove Resort, who graciously housed the brush bundle building and deployment onto White Lake. Through the hard work of community volunteers, White Lake Preservation Project, Arnprior Fish & Game Club, Lou Laventure’s team and Cedar Cove Resort staff, we were able to build and anchor 16 bundles and 19 recycled Christmas trees (donated by Home Hardware in Perth) for 19 sites on White Lake.
” I felt privileged to be a part of such a fantastic project happening on White Lake! It’s great to see conservation in action and what can be accomplished by hard working and passionate individuals. Can’t wait to see the results!” said Adam Pugh, Cedar Cove Resort & Adam’s Outfitting.
Watersheds Canada would like to thank everyone for helping improve the fishery of White Lake.
Special Thanks to Fisheries and Oceans Canada for their generous funding support through their Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program.