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Low water flows in a popular fishing bay on the Grand River are a concern for cold-water fishing.SEDI News

Two days of steady rain and cool nights along the Grand River’s tributaries will help mitigate the effects of dry conditions on fishing this summer at a popular fishing spot in Brant County, Ont.

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Whiteman’s Creek is a popular spot for wild fish, including brown, brook or rainbow trout that swim from Lake Erie to the bay.

The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) said Whiteman’s Creek, a cold-water tributary that feeds into the Grand River between Paris and Brantford, is below 50 percent of normal levels for the summer, indicating that cold-water fishing could be affected. . .

Larry Mellors, co-vice-president of Trout Unlimited Canada’s Middle Grand Chapter, says the water flow is as bad as he’s ever seen it.

“It’s very rare this year that the flow is about one-third of what it should be on average for late summer,” Mellors said.

“So basically in late summer the flow averages 1.1 cubic meters per second, but it’s as low as .4 cubic meters per second. That gives us very little water and the creek is narrow.”

Low water levels lead to dissolved oxygen, which is not good for trout species and aquatic life, Mellors says.

Workers in waders stand in a shallow bay.
Trout Unlimited Canada volunteers work to restore aquatic life along tributaries. This photo shows recent work on a cold water tributary known as Landon’s Creek. It is a tributary of Whiteman’s Creek. (Submitted by Middle Grand Chapter, Trout Unlimited Canada.)

Continuous rainy days are essential

The GRCA recently urged all water users living in the watershed to reduce their usage by 20 percent as the entire watershed remains at level two under the Ontario Low Water Response Program.

“The ground is so dry that we need a day or two of continuous rain to penetrate that dry ground so that the water then goes into the streams, not just flowing off the surface, but filtering through the water table and into these streams and they into their tributaries. is,” Mellors said.

“So the rain right now is very critical and the cooler temperatures, especially in the evenings, cool those waters for trout survival.”

In addition to low water flows, the creek is also experiencing a green algae bloom this year that Mellors says “you can only see in four inches of water.” But beyond that, he says, the water in Whiteman’s Creek and its surrounding tributaries is cold.

“The bay is basically maintaining temperatures in the 20s β€” below 70 degrees Fahrenheit β€” which is the upper reach for brown trout and rainbow trout,” Mellors said.

β€œIt’s just because the cold water flows in and the other small tributaries coming into the Whitemans are being affected. [creek] water and keeping it cooler than last year. Last year it was 20s and a little more because there was more flow.”

When it approaches and exceeds the 20 C range, according to Mellors, most anglers temporarily ignore the creek and leave the fish alone because the probability of trout survival with catch and release is not very high. Instead anglers focus on other area tributaries where they fish for smallmouth bass.

A long brown bug sits atop a wet, muddy rock.
It may sound weird, but according to Mellors, the above photo of an aquatic insect called a stonefly is an example of a healthy water system. (Submitted by Larry Mellors)

Trout are attracted to cooler water and Trout Unlimited Canada helps keep the water cooler by planting trees along the stream along with other work on the tributary.

“We’re narrowing the stream, destabilizing it so we can get a stronger current. We’re keeping the sand sediment deposits together so there’s gravel for insects and fish,” Mellors said.

The Morning Edition – KW6:29Low water flows in a popular fishing bay on the Grand River are a concern for cold-water fishing.

The Grand River Conservation Authority is concerned about the potential impact on cold water fisheries due to low water levels in the watershed. Low water levels dilute dissolved oxygen and are not good for trout species and aquatic life. A higher water level means better water flow and more oxygen. GRCA says Whitemans Creek, a Grand River tributary in Brant County, is below 50 percent of normal levels for the summer. It is a popular spot for anglers fishing for trout. Larry Mellors, co-vice president of the Middle Grand Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada, spoke to Morning Edition about the dry summer and conditions on the tributary.

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