Preliminary Binbrook Fishery Study
The Binbrook Conservation Area was established in 1970. In 1971 a reservoir of 174 hectares (430 acres) was created. This reservoir was created to enhance summer flow of the Welland River as well as to provide on-site habitat for fish and waterfowl and passive recreational opportunities of hunting, fishing, and canoeing.
The goal for Lake Niapenco fisheries resources is to provide a healthy self-sustaining fishery with enhanced sport fishing opportunities. This fishery study is part of the site’s long term monitoring program to assess the fishery resources and its potential, as well as to direct further rehabilitation work. Thanks to the long-term dedicated work of the Glanbrook Conservation Committee (GCC) this site monitoring and rehabilitation have been completed since the early 1990’s. Additional thanks to the Ministry of Natural Resources whom has assisted with site monitoring and rehabilitation project funding since the 1970’s.
This study was conducted in 2002 to determine the success of fish stocking and habitat improvement and confirm the direction of fish management for the site. Trap nets and minnow traps were used July through September 2002 (non-reproducing time) throughout the lower reservoir, in comparison to previous monitoring data and equipment accessibility. A four and six foot trap net, and minnow traps were used. A combination of one trap net with 6 minnow traps were located throughout the reservoir in vegetated, unvegetated, and rock areas. Due to timing, three repetitions of each trap net throughout the season could not be completed. The trap net was set perpendicular to the shore with 3 minnow traps set on each of its sides. Traps were checked and emptied in the morning and evening. The trapped species were fin clipped and the records were taken of individual species, weight, and record of clipping, in addition to scale samples of several fish species (for aging purposes), the time the trap was set, lifted, the weather and water temperature. In addition, anglers reports were reviewed. Habitat in and around the trap net was also recorded and mapped for each trap site. All aquatic shore plantings, and fish cover and spawning restoration work were also mapped, in addition to area substrate, depth. From this information, the population structure (species composition, age and relative abundance) and ability of sport fish to reproduce was assessed. Existing habitat areas and comparisons with past fish populations were also assessed.
In 1978 a weir was installed with Ducks Unlimited and OMNR 1/3 from the head of the reservoir to reduce water fluctuations, help establish vegetation, and provide shallow waters for ducks. In the early 1990’s Pinehill Sportsman Club was involved in sport fish stocking, fish studies and fish derbies (pike and crappie derbies in 1993-1995). Throughout the early 1990’s through the present, the Glanbrook Conservation Committee (GCC) has been instrumental in completing fish monitoring and establishing aquatic and shoreline habitat throughout the reservoir (1995 through 2002) and establishing upland habitat at the site, while also being instrumental in determining suitable water level. The GCC and Dofasco Sportsman Club were also involved in joint fish stocking of the reservoir. From 1980 to the present, additional improvements to the site and the surrounding properties were completed by the Authority, including additional plantings, water quality and erosion sedimentation projects of the ‘Clean up Rural Beaches (C.U.R.B.) and Welland River Non-Point Source programs. In fall of 1997 the water management was also altered to eliminate the winter draw down.
In 1997 the fisheries management plan was developed for this site with the OMNR, GCC and NPCA. A walleye, bass sport fishery was planned. Walleye and bass were experimentally stocked in the reservoir in 1997-1998, and plantings and habitat areas of the bays, shoreline and shallow island areas were completed to provide habitat for the fish species. Approximately 9000 carp were also removed from the upper weir area to assist in establishing vegetation, controlling sedimentation and balancing the fish population towards more sports fish (1997). Monitoring of the fish populations was also necessary to determine the success and best top sport fish. To ensure the stocked fish can establish a healthy population, a moratorium has been placed on pike, large and smallmouth bass since 1997, where catch and release is only permitted on these species.
Click here to review the complete Preliminary Binbrook Fishery Study 2002 report (pdf format - click here if you require the FREE Adobe Reader Software).