From The Status of Walleye in Nipigon Bay Area of Concern: 2012
Prepared for Environment Canada
By Terry Marshall, Marshall Consulting
March 313, 2013
In 1991, the historic loss and continued low abundance of walleye in Nipigon Bay was identified as a Beneficial Use Impairment [BUI] in the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan [RAP] Stage 1 document [Cullis et al 1991]. Through the RAP process, multiple actions were identified and implemented in an effort to restore walleye in the Nipigon River including the stocking of adult walleye [Cullis et al 1995]. The Nipigon River walleye stock was later recognized as one of 14 priority areas for walleye rehabilitation around Lake Superior in “ A Rehabilitation Plan for Walleye Populations and Habitats in Lake Superior” [Hoff 2002].
A stocking plan was initiated in 1978 as an approach to rehabilitate the walleye population of Nipigon Bay and continued until 1992 [Wilson 1991]. Initially eggs were stocked, then fingerlings and fry, and finally adult walleye were transferred into the bay.
The source of eggs for the stocking program varied through the years, but included Current River, Onaman Lake, and Lake Nipigon. Stocking sites included Jackfish River, Condon Island and three sites on the Nipigon River: the Lake Helen access, the highway bridge, and the river mouth.
An adult stocking program began in 1986, with 2,686 fish transferred from Savanne Lake over a four year period. A further 12,100 fish were obtained from Lac des Mille Lac, Georgia Lake and Lake Nipigon and stocked in the bay from 1990 to 1992 [Wilson et al 2007]. ( and Trapnarrows Lake )
There has been considerable progress in addressing environmental concerns in the Nipigon Bay AOC. This has included the development of a bioengineered marina at Red Rock, which features armour stone breakwalls that provide public access and fish and wildlife habitat; the development and implementation of the Nipigon River Water Management Plan, which has provided a workable solution to water use conflicts arising from regulated flows; and the realignment of Clearwater Creek and Kama Creek, which restored valuable brook trout habitat in the AOC. The “historic” spawning grounds and the “Old Mill Site” wetland on the lower river were rehabilitated through removal of logs, pilings and debris. Domtar Packaging Ltd. Upgraded its treatment technology in 1995 to improve the quality of wastewater discharged to Nipigon Bay ( and ceased operation in 2006). In 2012, the township of Nipigon incorporated secondary treatment to its water pollution control plant.
In 2004, Environment Canada completed an assessment of the sediment contaminants in Nipigon Bay. The findings suggest that the soil contamination near the vicinity of the pulp and paper mill have reduced to a point that the concentrations are suspected to have no or limited impact on the benthos [Richman 2004].