Lake Herring and Lake Whitefish Spawning Shoal Restoration in Lake Ontario
Grant Recipient:

Grant Awarded:

$150,000

Lake Basin(s):

Ontario

Project Location(s):

Farr Island, Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario, adjacent to the City of Burlington, ON

The Hamilton Port Authority re-graded Farr Island below the waterline, and added rocks to create fish spawning shoals. Farr Island is a former hydro tower platform artificially constructed of rock. Once considered one of the best lake herring and lake whitefish spawning habitats in the Great Lakes, Hamilton Harbour lost most of its historic shoals during the past 150 years. Restoration of this spawning habitat is a key opportunity to recover the native coldwater fish communities in United States and Canadian waters of western Lake Ontario. Increased abundance of these species may offset the negative impacts of alewives which contribute to lowered natural reproduction of lake trout and Atlantic salmon, and are a major threat for fish community restoration. Hamilton Harbour is a protected deepwater habitat at the western end of Lake Ontario, and is ideally located for building spawning shoals for lake herring and lake whitefish.It is located in the northeast corner of Hamilton Harbour, close to the historical spawning shoals. This project created approximately .42 acres of newly created shoal habitat. The size of the new substrate at Farr Island would be equal parts of boulder, rubble, cobble, and gravel, based on the spawning requirements for lake herring and lake whitefish. Ongoing fish community and water quality monitoring programs at and near the restored shoal will continue.

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