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March 2, 2018

Might we once again see Atlantic Salmon moving up Wilmot Creek to spawn?

Until the early part of the 19th century, Wilmot Creek was a major spawning stream for this prized fish. By the mid-1800s, however, overfishing, shoreline degradation, sedimentation etc. had combined to reduce salmon stocks dramatically – here and throughout the entire Lake Ontario watershed.

Samuel Wilmot, after whom the creek and our own nature area are named, began to experiment with the artificial propagation of Atlantic Salmon on his farm along Wilmot Creek in the late 1860s. Within a few years, he was Superintendent of Fish Culture for all of Canada and built and managed 15 fish hatcheries across the country. Unfortunately, in spite of the large numbers of fry introduced during his tenure, the Atlantic Salmon population did not recover and was considered extirpated from Lake Ontario by 1898.

That was then. On Thursday February 22nd, 2018, representatives of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry were on hand at the Newcastle Public Library to present information on an exciting program to reintroduce Atlantic Salmon to the Great Lakes.   Colin Lake , Lead Planning Biologist with the Ministry, Dr. Kathryn Peiman, Coordinator of the Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program for OFAH, and Mr. Chris Robinson, Conservation Program Manager with OFAH, provided a comprehensive overview of the program. Topics covered included the life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon, a chronology of various stocking initiatives, current plans and strategies to reintroduce the species and mechanisms and technologies used to monitor progress. The speakers concluded the session by fielding questions from the many well informed anglers and residents who attended. You are invited to visit www.bringbackthe to learn more about this exciting program.


One Comment leave one →
  1. March 2, 2018 2:47 pm

    Great news. What a clear and concise review of the Wilmot salmon history and current efforts at restoration. One additional item: I understand that Lake Ontario salmon now are descendants of chinooks transplanted from British Columbia.

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