South Nation Sampling Confirms Healthy Fishery
It may be narrow, shallow and turbid over most of its 120-km course, but the South Nation River lures anglers from across the jurisdiction with a wide variety of finned species populating its course.
The waterway’s vibrant fishery is confirmed every summer when South Nation Conservation (SNC) monitors and reports on activity within one of the six River reaches: Plantagenet, Lemieux, St. Albert, Berwick, Hyndman and Spencerville, spanning from the headwaters north of Brockville to the Ottawa River near Plantagenet.
Sampling is done with hoop nets. After 24 hours, the nets are retrieved and the number, weight, measurement and age of species caught are recorded. This summer, the Plantagenet reach was sampled, with a total of 107 fish caught, logged and released.
The most abundant fish in the reach were Pumpkinseed, Black crappie, Smallmouth bass and Channel catfish.
The largest fish recorded was a 560 mm-long Channel catfish that weighed in at 3.175 kg; the smallest fish was a 20-gram Pumpkinseed.
“Our regular monitoring provides insight into the health of our waterways and local fish populations,” said Michelle Cavanagh, SNC’s Team Lead, Stewardship. “Data recorded helps guide long-term management decisions to ensure the sustainability of the fishery.”
While the River isn’t widely recognized as a fishing retreat, licensed anglers in the know frequent neighboring Jessup’s Falls Conservation Area where species are abundant and well fed. Each reach provides different fishing opportunities.
“SNC also hosts an annual fishing derby and youth fish camps in July to promote local angling and safe fishing techniques,” Cavanagh added. SNC’s Community Environmental Grants Program also offers sponsorship to local community events, including fishing derbies and ice fishing in the winter.
Through a TackleShare partnership with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and Ontario Power Generation, SNC is a loaner site where residents are able to borrow fishing rods, reels and tackle boxes for free.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Michelle Cavanagh, 1-877-984-2948, ext. 304; firstname.lastname@example.org