OTTAWA, ON, Thursday, February 18, 2016 — Brewer Park Pond Restoration Project has received the Top Canadian Fishing Industry Conservation Project Award for 2015. This award, presented at the Spring Fishing and Boat Show at the International Centre in Mississauga, ON is determined by a vote of the members of the Canadian Angling Hall of Fame.
For Muskies Canada (Ottawa Chapter) and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), this is the second year in a row where one of their partnership projects has received recognition. In 2014, the partners were recognized for work to create nursery and feeding habitat for fish along the Jock River in Richmond.
“The Brewer Park Pond Project was a particularly exciting project,” says Jennifer Lamoureux, RVCA Aquatic Fish Habitat Biologist. “Rarely is there a chance to have such significant impact on habitat in the heart of the city.”
Work began in fall 2014 to return the landlocked Brewer Park Pond, a former artificial swimming hole from the 1960s, back into a naturally functioning habitat connected to the Rideau River. Project partners looked to increase overall biodiversity of the pond with shoreline plantings, breeding bird habitat, amphibian habitat, and prime areas for spawning, nursery, rearing and feeding habitat for local fish species found in the Rideau all year round.
“It’s pretty special for a city to have northern pike and muskellunge in their downtown waterways,” said Peter Levick, President of Muskies Canada. “We worked for many years to support a project of this importance in an urban setting and we are delighted with the partnership that made it possible.”
The project brings biodiversity to the heart of the city with new and improved natural habitat for all sorts of aquatic species and improved habitat for shoreline animals.
“Extensive work was done to remove soil and contour the pond to make it a more useful and diverse fish habitat,” commented Mrs. Lamoureux who oversaw the project. “But a great deal of planning went in to optimizing the changes so that many different species — including birds, turtles and frogs, would benefit from the restoration.”
“This work is only made possible thanks to the many partners,” acknowledged Mr. Levick — a sentiment quickly reiterated by Mrs. Lamoureux. “Without the involvement of many, we couldn’t get this sort of work done. We’ve had great interest and support and needless to say, we’ll be looking for another project in the future.”
This award was accepted on behalf of Richcraft, Minto, the City of Ottawa, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Muskies Canada, the Institute of Environmental Science at Carleton University, and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. Special thanks goes out to the Ottawa South Community Association and the many community volunteers who assisted with tree and shrub planting.
- 1,000 truckloads of soil removed to contour pond into more productive habitat
- 1,600 trees, shrubs and aquatic plants planted in and around the pond by 120 community volunteers
- 8 weeks of construction from October to December 2014
- basking logs, root wads and log piles installed as habitat for turtles, fish, amphibians
Images courtesy of The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.