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Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan - Niagara Peninsula ...

Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan - Niagara Peninsula ...

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE WATERSHED PLAN Fish Community Studies The fish species found in Lake Erie are representative of a warm water fish community. Cold water species are present but are few and generally restricted to the deeper portions of the lake. The warm water fishery of Lake Erie supports commercial and sport fisheries. Over 70 public access points can be found along the shoreline providing ample of opportunity for recreational fishing. The Ministry of Natural Resources considers the warm water fishery along Lake Erie as important fish habitat. On the north-east shore of Lake Erie an important smallmouth bass population is present. The Ministry of Natural Resources conducted a number of studies to assess the spawning habitat of the smallmouth bass in this area. As a result of these studies, a number of important spawning sites were identified including Gravelly Bay, Nickel Beach, Lorraine Bay and just east of Windmill Point; the latter falls outside the Lake Erie North Shore Watershed study area. In Gravelly Bay and Cassaday Point, fish sanctuaries have been established for the duration of June 1 to July 15, to protect the smallmouth bass during the spawning period. In addition, a significant smallmouth bass spawning, nursery, and feeding area has also been identified near Rock Island, off Long Beach (Philpott Assoc. 1992). The Ministry of Natural Resources conducted fish sampling surveys from 1999 to 2002 at 4 sites that fall within the Lake Erie North Shore study area. In 1999 and 2001 the shore along Point Abino was sampled at 3 separate stations. In total 29 species were identified. During 2001 and 2002, 5 separate stations in Point Abino Drain were sampled, and 16 species were identified, including grass pickerel. During 1999 and 2001, 3 separate stations off shore in Port Colborne were sampled identifying 22 different species. The fourth site, Wyldewood Beach in Port Colborne, was sampled at one station during 2001; 3 species were identified. A list of species identified during these surveys can found in Table 5. In October 2008, the NPCA conducted additional sampling at 4 sites in the study area; Eagle Marsh, Lowbanks Drain, Beaver Dam Creek, and Casey Drain. A total of 13 species were identified at these sites (Table 5). Significant Fish Species One of the fish species identified along the Lake Erie shoreline is considered “at risk”; grass pickerel. Grass pickerel has been designated as a species of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Species in Canada and Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario. 80

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE WATERSHED PLAN Table 5: Fish Species Identified in the Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Point Abino Drain Point Abino Shore Port Colborne Lowbanks Drain Beaver Dam Creek Casey Drain Eagle Marsh Drain Wyldewood Beach Alewife I I Banded Killifish I I I I I Black Crappie I Bluegill I I I Bluntnose Minnow I I I I Bowfin I I Brook Silverside I I Brown Bullhead I I I I Central Mudminnow I I I Channel Catfish Common Carp I I I Crappie I Emerald Shiner I I I I I I Fathead Minnow I Freshwater Drum I I I Gizzard Shad I I Golden Shiner I I I I I Goldfish I I I Grass Pickerel I Green Sunfish I Johnny Darter I Largemouth Bass I I I I I Lepomis sp. I I Log Perch I Longnose Gar I Longnose Dace I I Minnow family I Northern Pike I I Pumpkinseed I I I I I Quillback I I Redhorse I Rock Bass I I I Round Goby I Sand Shiner I I Smallmouth Bass I I I Spottail Shiner I I Unknown Catfish I Unknown Minnow I Walleye I White Sucker I I Yellow Perch I I I I I Total Species 16 29 22 6 7 9 3 3 81

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