About the author and her organization: Julia Sutton is the Executive Director for the Eastern Georgian Bay Stewardship Council (EGBSC). Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) helped the EGBSC with their 2 year project to assess the quality and quantity of fish habitat available to populations of Walleye, Lake Sturgeon, and Sucker species in 8 tributaries of Eastern Georgian Bay within Parry Sound due to declines of these species in certain areas. A purpose of this study, was to identify spots for remedial action. The Shebeshekong River was one tributary that was analyzed, and during the course of the analysis, the EGBSC identified that there were problems that were preventing Walleye from reaching ideal spawning locations on the river and that restoration was needed. Read about the action taken to help these fish.
Restoring Fish Passage in the Shebeshekong River
The Shebeshekong River watershed is a fairly small catchment area, beginning at Shebeshekong Lake and meandering for 15km before reaching Georgian Bay. Historically, Walleye and Sucker species from Georgian Bay would swim up the river, past the first two sets of rapids (Dillon and Young’s), and spawn in rapids farther upstream. Changes were made to Dillon and Young’s Rapids many years ago, in order to make it easier to drive logs down the river. Because of these changes, it has become more challenging for fish to swim upstream to historical spawning areas.