The Nottawasaga River is the largest tributary of Georgian Bay that drains the agriculturalized and rapidly urbanizing southern Ontario region. The river flows through significant environmental features including the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve and the internationally recognized Minesing Wetlands.
The world class environmental landforms which straddle the river and its proximity to the largest urban area in Canada make it an invaluable recreational resource for the people of Ontario. It also provides a critical source of clean water for local communities.
Learn how the Nottawasaga River Restoration Program is working to enhance a world class trout and salmon sport fishery, restore native fish habitat and improve water quality in the Nottawasaga River.
So what progress have we made so far? Check it out here!
If you have any questions or are interested in completing a stream rehabilitation project within the NVCA area of jurisdiction, please contact Fred Dobbs, Manager of Stewardship Services. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fish Habitat Restoration
Chinook Salmon and rainbow trout fishing is very popular in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach and many other places along the Nottawasaga River.
This documentary showcases how this type of sportsfishing benefits local municipalities, and how the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority is working to maintain and enhance these unique recreational opportunities.
Fish habitat improvement projects comprise a large percentage of stream habitat rehabilitation work completed by the NVCA. For example, the enhancement of rainbow, brook and brown trout habitats is a primary goal of the Boyne River Rehabilitation Program jointly supported by the Nottawasaga Steelheaders and the NVCA.
The NVCA also participates in fish population management programs working in concert with the Midhurst District Office of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The NVCA and MNR recently partnered on a project to monitor the status of the Nottawasaga River walleye population. Walleye (and other species) were collected using trap nets set at Jack's Lake near the Town of Wasaga Beach. Information generated by the survey is being used to determine the health of Nottawasaga River walleye.
The NVCA and MNR are currently working on fisheries management options for Nottawasaga River rainbow trout through a partnership with the Nottawasaga Steelheaders. Fluctuations in the size of the Boyne River rainbow trout spawning run have raised questions about the health of the fishery and possible impacts from over harvest. A public input document has recently been developed. It identifies the nature of the harvest problem and provides various management options for public scrutiny. This document is available by contacting our Manager of Stewardship Services, Fred Dobbs
If you have any questions about fish habitat in the Nottawasaga River and Blue Mountain Watersheds or you are interested in participating in any fisheries management programs, please contact Fred Dobbs
Fisheries Habitat Management Plan
In 2009, NVCA in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and local environmental interest and stakeholder groups, developed the Fisheries Habitat Management Plan. This strategic document is designed to support aquatic resource protection, watershed stewardship, fisheries habitat compensation and land use planning.
Fisheries Habitat Management Plan.pdf
(Large scale/high res versions of the maps in this document are available upon request. Speak to Fred Dobbs at the NVCA at 705-424-1479 x237 or
A summary of the plan's recommendations include:
- Emphasizing habitat protection activities within the Escarpment Natural, Oak Ridges Moraine, Oro Moraine and Deep Valley Sand Plain fisheries habitat zones as well as un-developed natural lake shorelines.
- Emphasizing fisheries habitat restoration works within the Shallow Valley Sand Plain, Southern Clay Plain, Northern Clay Plain, Drumlinized Clay Plain, Escarpment Impact, Dundalk Till Plain, Eastern Uplands, Central Uplands and Minesing Wetlands habitat zones, and for developed lake shorelines.
- Implementing a “Core Fisheries Habitat Restoration Strategy” targeting permanently flowing watercourses within the Sand Plain Shallow Valley, Southern Clay Plain, Northern Clay Plain and Drumlinized Clay Plain zones.
- Using the fisheries habitat zone framework as a basis for identifying appropriate sampling station locations for fisheries habitat surveys and biomonitoring. Sample locations should be selected on each watercourse near the downstream limit of each zone, in order to best reflect the cumulative positive and negative impacts to aquatic habitat within the zone. This approach would facilitate defensible fish habitat quality and stream health comparisons between different watercourses in the NVCA area of jurisdiction.
- Implementing a study designed to identify stressors contributing to poor summer water clarity in the main branch of the Nottawasaga River, Innisfil Creek and Marl Creek, and, to determine associated impacts to fisheries habitat productivity.
- Generally managing fisheries habitats in the NVCA area of jurisdiction, consistent with the protection, restoration and enhancement of coldwater fisheries habitats, while protecting local features which currently provide warmwater predator fisheries habitat (see following bullets 7 and 8 for exceptions).
- Managing the lower Nottawasaga River reach (with the exception of the Montgomery Rapids section), Jack’s Lake, Marl Lake and warmwater tributary streams within the Northern Clay Plain and Minesing Wetlands habitat zones, as a warmwater predator fisheries habitat ecosystem attached to Nottawasaga Bay, and as an important migratory route for coldwater fish species (main river only).
- Managing Bass Lake (including the North River), Orr Lake (including the Wye River), Little Lake (including adjacent reaches of Willow Creek) and Tottenham Reservoir as warmwater predator fisheries habitat ecosystems.
Pine River Fisheries Enhancement Program
NVCA is working to restore aquatic habitat and return local rivers and creeks to more natural and healthy states. Some of the most exciting work is happening on the Pine River.
Learn more about our Pine River Fisheries Enhancement Program:
Pine River Project 2015 2016 Information.pdf