Lake trout spawning bed restored on Paugh Lake

Robert Fisher
Staff Reporter

BARRY’S BAY – Seventeen tonnes of river stone were moved across the ice on Paugh Lake in late February as part of a project to restore spawning grounds for lake trout.

Watersheds Canada, working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and the Paugh Lake Property Owners Association, spearheaded the project which was a year in planning.

Habitat and Stewardship Program Manager for Watersheds Melissa Dakers said she contacted MNRF to ask if there were any lakes in the area that needed restoration work.

“They brought this one to my attention,” Dakers said, “and said they have been monitoring it for the last 10 years and they noticed a decline in spawning.”

The ministry had noticed a change in the substrate on the lake bottom which can happen with wave action and ice movement over time. Watersheds had experience with other lakes and, “noticed that if we added more washed stone to the area, we figured it would be beneficial to the spawning for the lake trout.”

While Paugh Lake is deep, the spawning ground is on a shoal. The shallower water at the shoal makes it more prone to damage from wave and ice action. They use washed stone so that no additional silt is deposited in the lake and to prevent movement of invasive species or organisms into the watershed.

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