Two days of incessant rain and cool nights along Grand River tributaries will be the cure to help mitigate the impact on fishing this summer at a popular fishing spot in Brent County, Ont.
Whitman Creek is a popular spot for wild fish including brown, brook or rainbow trout that swim from Lake Erie to the creek.
The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) stated that Whitman Creek, a cold water tributary that drains the Grand River between Paris and Brentford, is below 50 percent of normal levels for the summer and indicated that it Can affect cold water fisheries. ,
Larry Mellors, co-vice president of Trout Unlimited Canada’s Middle Grand Chapter, says the water flow is as bad as he has ever seen.
“This year it has been extremely rare that the flow should be about one-third of the average for late summer,” Mellors said.
“So basically late summer flows average 1.1 cubic meters per second, but they’ve been less than .4 cubic meters per second. That gives us very little water and the creek is narrow.”
Mellors says that low water levels dissolve oxygen which is not good for trout species and aquatic life.
continuous rainy days
GRCA recently urged all water users living along a watershed to reduce their consumption by 20 percent because the entire watershed remains at level one under the Ontario Low Water Response Program.
“The land is so dry that we need a day or two of continuous rain to enter that dry land so that the water not only flows from the surface, but also seeps through the water table, mixes into the stream and these in the streams and they are their tributaries,” said Mailers.
“That’s why rain is very important right now and cold temperatures, especially in the evening, make that water cold for trout to survive.”
In addition to the reduced water flow, the creek is also feeling the effects of a green algae bloom this year that you could only see four inches into the water, says Mellors. But on the plus side, he says, the water in Whitman Creek and surrounding tributaries is cooler.
“The creek is basically maintaining temperatures below 20 C – 70 degrees Fahrenheit – which is the upper reaches for brown trout and rainbow trout,” Mellers said.
“It’s only because cold water seeps in and other smaller tributaries coming into the Whitman are affecting [creek] water and keep it cooler than last year. Last year it was 20C and a little above because there was more flow.”
When it reaches and exceeds the 20C range, according to Mellers, most anglers temporarily avoid the creek and leave the fish alone because the trout are not likely to be caught and released. . Instead anglers focus on other area tributaries where they fish for smallmouth bass.
Trout are attracted to cold water and Trout Unlimited Canada helps keep the water cool by planting trees along the stream, among other works on the tributary.
“We’re compressing the stream, moving it into the meander so we have a stronger flow. We keep moving sediment deposits of sand so that there’s gravel for insects to breed and for fish,” Mellors said. “