Your chance to make a difference with Depot Creek rehabilitation

With the cooler days of fall approaching families, groups or individuals looking for a rewarding outdoor activity are encouraged to spend some time along the shore of Depot Creek.

The Greater Nipissing Stewardship Council is looking for volunteers to assist with the rehabilitation of the creek, located about 25 kilometres southeast of North Bay and south of Lake Nosbonsing.

“The creek was destroyed by hurricane Hazel in 1954 and the subsequent creek erosion has contributed to significant sedimentation in Lake Nosbonsing,” said John Thornton, chair of the Greater Nipissing Stewardship Council. “It was catastrophic damage caused when a dam on the headwater broke and a wall of water went down the creek causing extensive devastation.

“Depot Creek is an important resource for Ontario. It’s a cold water stream and we are now working to channelize it to help it clean itself, scrub sand out of the way, and improve the habitat for speckled trout.”

Thornton said there is currently a small resident population of speckled trout in the creek, and while “there is no contingency in this project to stock more fish, a healthier creek provides a better chance the stock will increase naturally.”

The sand in the creek is causing shallow water levels, a braided stream, and a lot of tag alders and wood in the creek deflecting the flow.

Between the time a biologist’s report was completed in late 2015, “The creek has changed its shape and some of the things in that report are no longer applicable because those features no longer exist in the creek,” Thornton said.

“The winter of 2016 and the spring of 2017, with the water that we’ve got this year has resulted in Depot Creek changing its flow,” he said. That includes the loss of three ponds that had been targeted as speckle trout habitat.

The council has been working in partnership with the Lake Nosbonsing Anglers and Hunters on the rehabilitation and are now at a point where volunteer assistance is needed.

“The work is not strenuous,” said Thornton, “and would be a great opportunity for families or volunteer groups. We have close to 600 hours of work put into the creek since June of this year and now are at a stage were we need help with the hands-on work. There will be people there to support new volunteers and show them what is needed to be done.