We are currently seeking funding in partnership with the Municipality of Central Manitoulin to install bioengineered structures near the mouth of the river that would assist in scouring sand from the mouth to allow migrating fish upstream to spawn. As your readers may remember, the mouth of the Mindemoya River in Providence Bay, ON is often obstructed by a large sand bar, created by coastal wave action and a lack of water coming downstream. The loss of water during the summer dry season and into the fall reduces the velocity of the river. For this reason, the river is not able to scour the sand effectively from the mouth. This results in the low velocity water taking a path parallel with the beach, then it eventually makes a shallow trickle out into Lake Huron. This shallow mouth is approximately 3 inches deep and cannot accommodate the spawning salmon who often die on the resulting sand bar while trying to access the critical upstream habitat. Each full sized female can contain 2000 to 3000 eggs, that fact alone illustrates the tremendous loss when just one dies stranded on the beach in Providence Bay.
Manitoulin Streams will also continue to enhance and restore habitat on other area streams including the Mindemoya River in future years. The success of our rural, tourism dependent economy depends on the health of our ecosystem. Manitoulin Island and the Great Lakes tourism and sport fishing industries are sure to see direct and spin off economic benefits by continuing to build upon positive community stewardship partnerships such as this and the larger Manitoulin Streams Improvement Association project. It will be exciting to see the amount of mature adult salmon that return to the south shore area and this river to spawn in a few years because of our efforts. We encourage the public to support these types initiatives by volunteering, donating and promoting the efforts of Manitoulin Streams and its partners for the benefit of our entire community.