leave well enough alone?

I have now read most postings about wanting a sanctuary on the otter, i have a few problems with it, not that it matters to most, as a avid angler now for 48 years, i have seen many changes, speacially to my home river Big Creek, which in comparision is much the same as the otter cept for sediment values, both have had dams on them since most of us that post on here were not even born yet. Over those years brown trout have fared very well in the upper streches of these creeks, being involved with the fish ladder in Delhi, the sanctuary, the extended seasons, the limit changes ext ext..........all in favour of making big creek a better "steelhead " river, well since all this i have only seen less and less in the river system , not to mention since these Steelhead and lake run browns now are above the dam, therefore competing with resident browns that have been there for years, i have in the last 12 years seen resident browns in that area almost non exsitance ......And remember, with a sanctuary must come a strech of river with an open all season area,making it legall to now catch spawning trout on there way up! and the otter to will see the resident browns way up in the milldale area and all upper streches fade out, and they will fade out. Do dams belong on rivers?, hell no , but with them there for many years nature takes its course, by messing with something like this you change nature fast, sometimes not for the better, thats just my 2 cents and why i say leave well enough alone!
 

Dunnster

Well-Known Member
I agree, i have fished the otter for 40 years now and think the trout fishing has never been better. Why mess with what works?
 

jordy

Member
The dam at Otterville would protect the upper stretches from steelhead. Also, a sanctuary doesn't necessarily mean there has to be a portion of the river open all year. There is already an extended fall season. Most of the great trout systems in south western Ontario have this type of management. The literature also doesn't support steelhead having access to portions of the river hurting brown trout populations. See research from the CRAA. There can be many other reasons for a decline in brown trout populations
 

Stick

Well-Known Member
Dan. I agree with you on some points but not others. Yes we have seen the decline of resident browns downstream of Delhi. The winter open season has definitely affected the population in that area. The rainbows have been ther throughout our lifetime and they have coexisted with the browns. Yes fishing pressure has hurt brown populations below Lynedoche. As for above Delhi , yes the catch rates for residents are down but I wonder if it is more because of so many voracious yearling rainbows getting to the bait faster than the browns do. I know guys that still do very well above Delhi in muddy water or after dark with some very certain bait presentations, when the browns have the advantage for feeding.
On the Otter above Otterville there will be no change because the sluceway for the old mill is not flowing during the steelie run so fish cannot migrate above the dam there, protecting the resident population above in the Milldale area as you say. "Sanctuary" or not, Rocks Mill dam is now gone so the very few rainbows that do get over Black Bridge dam do now have access all the way to Otterville but lets not forget the limiting factor for both resident brown and rainbows throughout the summer, HEAT. The Otter heats badly from the near stagnant flow in the summer above the dam. The only thing saving some of the fish below is the small tribs and ground springs below that help cool her back down. There has been a very big difference between Big and the Otter. Big is cooler from top down in the summer where the Otter from Otterville down is warmer from top down. Don't believe me, talk to Paul Gagnon who did multiple water temperature studies while he was studying at Fleming and after in his contract jobs before he became Land and Water Supervisor fot LPRCA.

We've known each other for years and I know that you've spent more hours on Big while I've spent more time on the Otter in our lives.

I'll end here because I could spend all night on this debate but for now I'm done.

Stick


"Rivers are living things, sometimes swollen and discoloured, other times thin and anaemic. Spend enough time around a particular river, you learn to read its moods, like a spouse reads a partner."

Gord Ellis ONTARIO OUT OF DOORS
 

SRT8

Well-Known Member
Just keep leaving well enough alone and see what happens to the fisherey mabye I should stop picking up garbage and tell the poachers were the best holes are ? Every time I bring up anything to "TRY" to improve the fishery you have a negative comment last time it was on face book this time on stomps did you ever stop and think the reason Big Creeks population is down is because there's way more people fishing it than there was 20 years ago now that the limits are down to 2 we will see a increase in populations. The section of river that I am talking about is already off limits but its not marked or enforced so if a cable is put up then the CO's can charge anyone fishing above it will it stop everyone NO I call atleast twice a year on people in delhi fishing above the cable but it will decrease the number of people fishing under the falls.


I would like to thank Denali custom rods, The Rod Glove and Live Eye Jigs for their support
 

quinner01

Well-Known Member
srt8 bring an excellent point. easyrider there could be a number of factors attributing to your observations of less fish over the years. you cannot just jump to rash conclusions and say it is simply because of trying to improve the steelhead fishery. what about the increase in number of anglers and angling pressure, surely this is an important factor and as stick mentioned only one of many....

 

wildeye rainbow

Well-Known Member
The MNR was looking at the CN dam in Tillsonburg for fish passage back in the 80's. There may be conceptual plans still around in the Aylmer office. I like the idea of lowering the dam or raising the tailwater to create a deeper pool or combination of both.

The Otterville dam may have also have been looked at for a bottom draw retrofit that would release colder water downstream during summer months - boy, wouldn't that be nice! Bottom drawoffs were retrofitted on the Sutton dam in Simcoe and on the small dam on Stoney Ck in Delhi back in the 80's era.

There sure are a few yearling bows u/s of Delhi - my panther martin will attest to that.

WR
 
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