The VOICE of Anglers and Hunters since 1928

Black Sturgeon River Dam

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is considering removing a dam that serves as a Sea Lamprey barrier on the Black Sturgeon River (a tributary to Lake Superior). Removing the dam could allow Sea Lamprey to invade the watershed upstream, but may also allow Walleye and Lake Sturgeon to access more spawning areas. The draft Environmental Study Report (ESR) for the dam is now up for public consultation (deadline to comment is March 10, 2017).  Conveniently, the ESR leans towards the same preferred option put forward by MNRF in previous consultations rather than presenting a systematic, fair and comparable evaluation of all alternatives.

 

  • The OFAH does NOT support the removal of the dam on the Black Sturgeon River.
  • If the dam is removed, Sea Lamprey will be able to invade upstream, which could lead to:
    • Increased costs to manage Sea Lamprey. The chemical used to kill Sea Lamprey in streams can also kill juvenile Lake Sturgeon
    • More Sea Lamprey targeting Lake Trout and other species in Lake Superior
    • The decline of native at-risk lamprey currently in the river
  • According to leading researchers, there is abundant Walleye spawning habitat available without removing the dam, and there is no compelling evidence to show that removing the dam will significantly increase Walleye populations
  • If the dam is removed, Rainbow Trout and Pacific Salmon could have a negative impact on native Brook Trout in the Black Sturgeon River.

 

What we are doing:

 The OFAH has been discussing the removal of the dam since the early 90s. In 2004, the MNRF began consulting formally on the issue of whether or not to repair or remove the dam. We are represented on the MNRF-led Fisheries Management Zones 6 and 9 Councils which composed a portion of the public consultation related to this project. We were also directly involved in the Structured Decision-Making process in 2013, which was organized to facilitate discussions on this proposal. Based on the evidence discussed during this process, we submitted an official response on behalf of our membership to keep the dam barrier in place.

 

What you can do:

  1. Share this web page
  2. Review the Draft Environmental Study Report (hyperlink to )
  3. Email the MNRF at blacksturgeon.project@ontario.ca. Please cc: ofah@ofah.org.

Do you agree with MNRF removing a Sea Lamprey barrier on a large tributary to Lake Superior???

 

Links to resources:

OFAH’s official response on the Black Sturgeon River Dam

MNRF’s EBR Post – Black Sturgeon River Dam

MNRF’s Draft Environmental Study Report for the Camp 43 Dam on the Black Sturgeon River

OFAH’s comments on the Draft Environmental Study Report for the Camp 43 Dam on the Black Sturgeon River