If you have any questions about fish or fish habitat in the GRCA watersheds or you are interested in participating in any fisheries management programs, please contact Brian Morrison, GRCA Fisheries Biologist ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
The GRCA works together with the Municipality of Port Hope and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to educate anglers on important fishing regulations, prevent poaching on the Ganaraska River, and provide knowledge for a fun and enjoyable recreational activity. Looking to do some fishing in the Ganaraska River? Please review the fishing seasons before planning your trip.
Effective January 1, 2015 there are new catch and possession regulations for Brook Trout in MNRF Zone 17. The catch and possession limit is now 2 fish for a Sport Fishing Licence and 1 for a Conservation Fishing Licence (Down from 5 and 2).
Safe Fish Consumption (see image A below)
The GRCA also participates in developing watershed based fisheries management plans working in concert with the Peterborough and Aurora District Offices of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). The GRCA and MNRF have completed the Wilmot Creek Study, and the Wilmot Creek Fisheries Management Plan. The GRCA and Peterborough District MNRF are also in the process of writing the Cobourg Creek Fisheries Management Plan, and the Ganaraska River Fisheries Management Plan. The background report for the Ganaraska River Fisheries Management Plan is available to view as well.
The GRCA is currently in the process of writing two Fisheries Habitat Management Plans; one for Graham Creek and one for Lovekin Creek, Bouchette Point Creek, and Port Granby Creek. It is anticipated these will be completed in 2015.
Impacts of Fish Hatchery Supplementation and Enhancement on Wild Populations:
A summary pertaining to the current state of knowledge regarding fish stocking on top of existing wild populations.
Benthic macroinvertebrates are considered animals without backbones that are visible to the unaided eye and that live on, under, and around rocks and sediment on the bottom of lakes, rivers, and streams during some period of their life. Benthic invertebrates are useful biological indicators of water quality and stream health as they inhabit the stream over a portion of their life cycle, thereby reflecting impairments to water and stream quality. Typical invertebrates include snails, crayfish, clams/mussels, and the larval stages of mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies. Benthic invertebrate samples are collected through several sampling methodologies (e.g. Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network). The invertebrates are then sorted and individual specimens are identified to either the order/family/genus/species level. GRCA analysis uses a number of indices based on community composition and individual species traits.
The GRCA assesses fish communities in a number of watersheds within its jurisdiction. Fish Communities are used as indicators of local environmental conditions, including water quality, and in-stream habitat.
Rainbow Trout fact sheet
Wild Pacific Salmon fact sheet
By examining fish communities over time, GRCA staff are able to observe alterations or improvements in water quality and habitat. Fish community monitoring is generally conducted by using a backpack electrofishing unit, where sampling is conducted at numerous stations each year utilizing the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol. Fish are collected, identified, measured, weighed, biological information collected (e.g. scale samples) and released back into the stream unharmed. Analysis of the fish community utilizes an Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) multimetric tool.
The GRCA works to improve fish habitat in numerous different ways. The Cobourg Creek Rocky Ramp was completed in 2010, while another one was completed on the creek (near Dale Road) in 2014.
2016 Preliminary Data: The GRCA captured 49 smolts (6 recaptures – 12%) so far this season, of which 3 were adipose clipped individuals that were stocked in the Ganaraska River. Overall fin condition of the fish was much better this season, with the exception of 2/3 of fin clipped Ganaraska fish which had dorsal/paired fin erosion. The average size was also much smaller than past years (2016 avg. 120mm fork length – 2010-2015 avg. 148mm). Additionally, one juvenile was captured in Gages Creek on June 14th (103mmFL – recaptured June 27th).
Figure 1. Size at capture for Atlantic Salmon smolts from Cobourg Creek. Red diamonds are adipose clipped Atlantic Salmon smolts.
The GRCA, MNRF and Ganaraska Fishway Volunteers work on maintaining the fishway, operating the electronic fish counter, and biologically sampling adult Rainbow Trout migrating upstream to spawn. The fishway was constructed in 1974 to allow adult trout and salmon upstream passage over Corbett’s Dam. Yearly estimates of adult population size and life history traits for the spring portion of the Rainbow Trout are collected to determine population health. In the past 25 years, the population has ranged from over 18,000 individuals to less than 4,000.
Adult Rainbow Trout typically begin their spring spawning migration in mid-late March. Rainbow Trout can be seen jumping through the fishway once water temperatures reach approximately 4-5 degrees Celcius. The run can last from one week to as long as three or four (Figure 2).