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The Orillia Fish And Game Conservation Club

Silver Creek Projects

A land owner , and long time member of the Club, approached the Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club’s Environmental Committee with a concern regarding the build up of sediment in a pond on his property on Uhthoff Line. This was a concern to our Club because this pond was fed by the headwaters of Silver Creek. Silver Creek is a cold water stream which winds its way throughout the county side and empties into the North River and is home to many varieties of fish, including brook (speckled) trout. The Club contacted Ontario Streams for assistance to determine the cause of the sedimentation. After a through investigation, it was determined that the sediment was a natural occurrence created by the deceleration of water flow in the area of the pond. It was noted that at the outlet of the pond there was a dam which was in need of repairs. Under the advise and guidance of Ontario Streams, the land owner decided that it would be prudent to remove the dam and restore the stream to its natural coarse. A survey was taken of all of the fish and amphibious species that were present in the pond and a structured plan to slowly draw down the elevation of the pond was prepared by Ontario Streams and followed throughout the spring and summer. Once all of the logs were removed from the dam and the stream reverted to its natural coarse, a section of steps had to be installed at the base of a culvert drop off creating a fish ladder with resting stages for fish to transverse the rapids below the culvert. The project was left for the winter and was to be re-evaluated in the spring. Spring found the project to be in excellent condition and functioning properly, however, it was determined that the middle sluice was still too high for some of the smaller species to overcome, therefore it was decided to add an additional step on the downstream side of the culvert. This increased the water elevation a few inches and enhanced the opportunity for all fish species to navigate upstream to the headwaters of Silver Creek. This was a partnership project with the land owners participating in the project and deciding what was to be done on their property, Ontario Streams provided the science and expertise as well as the required work permits to improve the stream and The Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club provided the manpower required to implement the project. It is amazing what can be accomplished when we all work together for a common goal!