Gone Fishin’?

Written by  Lis Shoemaker Wednesday, 08 August 2018 10:30
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Not if you are up at White Lake, just north of 7!

On the south shore of this unique body of water sits the White Lake Fish Culture Station. Central Frontenac is fortunate to be home to one of only nine such facilities operated by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  

The ideal characteristics of White Lake make this Culture Station one of a kind. The lake has no inflow or outflow currents. This has protected the waters from the invasion of zebra mussels. As such, the lake trout, whitefish, splake, walleye and other species raised here can safely be used to stock lakes in Ontario without fear of introducing invasive species. The particular blend of rocky surface underlying and surrounding the lake gives the water an ideal mineral content so these fingerlings can healthily inhabit any other lake. Access to warmer upper-level and cooler lower-level water makes this facility the only one in Ontario suitable for some types of fish culture and research activities. National and international programs here are on the cutting edge of science protecting species at risk, including fish as well as freshwater mussels. 

Development has been minimal on the shores and gas motors do not ply the lake. Great care has been taken to keep any craft on the lake isolated from other waters that may contain zebra mussels or fish pathogens. Residents have made extensive efforts to curtail the growth of invasive phragmites, a plant that damages wetland environments. To preserve the ecology of the lake, there is no fishing. Without these protective measures and especially with introduction of zebra mussels, the Fish Culture Station cannot operate.  

The benefits of having the Station in our community are great. Its stocking program ensures that area lakes are healthy and happy places for anglers, drawing locals and tourists alike. The Fish Culture Station itself is an attraction. Tours of the facility are fun, interesting and a great way to spread the message of conservation and stewardship in our beautiful region. This facility is also an excellent employer in our community.

What can we do to maintain the integrity of the White Lake environment and keep the Fish Culture Station alive and well? We must pull together as a community to keep it clean, healthy and free of invasive species.

The municipality must reflect in its new Township Official Plan the need to protect the unique waters of White Lake. It is imperative to include and strengthen existing provisions which limit development that may render the lake vulnerable to degradation. 

So, the next time you land a big one while fishing in the area, remember, it may have started its life at the Fish Culture Station on White Lake, a precious resource for our township!!

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