Controlling Black Flies 1948 - mid 1960's
A major pest for the people living at Cameron Falls was the Black Fly. A Black Fly control program consisted of dripping D.D.T. directly into any creek within 8 km (5 miles) of the community. This was done twice a week during the Black Fly season. Small creeks had one station, larger ones had more: eg. Frazer Creek had three stations in order to get a specific concentration of D.D.T. in the water.
In the late 50's and early 60's aerial spraying (probably D.D.T.) was conducted near the Cameron Falls Colony.
H.E.P.C. (Hydro Electric Power Commission) was reported (1967) to be evaluating the use of organo-phosphorous compounds as an alternative larvicide - but no evidence has been found that they ever used it on the Nipigon.
Personal reminiscence of Mr N.: (2006 N.H.M.)
"I played Broomball and Baseball for the Cameron Falls Rebels, and I played for them for quite a few years, which was made up of a combination of Nipigon people and people who worked for Hydro. I played in Cameron Falls a lot and I remember the flies were really bad and in those days the thing was to spray the mosquitoes. They had these "foggers" which they used in the Colony so we used to get one of our guys to go and get the fogger from Hydro. In between, when the flies got really bad, they would go out into the field and there would be a fog hanging over us all. It was made up of D.D.T....and all our kids used to run in behind the fogging machine as little toddlers."
What Men Did For a Living
Mr. N. continued:
"So for the Hydro Forestry crew, our job was to basically run around and cut down any dangerous trees along the way from Terrace Bay to Dorion, all the rural and high-tension lines. I've walked all along those lines."
"In the summertime we sprayed 2-4-D on the lines - that was our job - and then 2-4-5-T which is all banned. Those are sprays that they are suing for now in the camps in Nova Scotia through the military where they sprayed."
"In the summer when we sprayed it was hot. We had a swamp buggy with a trailer which had booms on each side. K. would be on one end and I would be on the other end and we sprayed in the air and would be soaked from sweat because it was so hot outside. They had defoliants in them like the ones they used in the Vietnamese war and that was the same thing."
"At lunchtime the flies were bad. We always carried a can of D.D.T. and would spray it all around so the flies didn't bug us."
"Now there are a lot of suits going around and I got a letter last fall from Hydro inquiring whether or not I had any side effects from the spray."
"I can actually say I'm fine!"
Black Fly Control from page 23 Nipigon Bay RAP Technical Report Series, The Nipigon River: A Retrospective Summary of Information about the Fish Community, North Shore of Lake Superior Remedial Action Plans A Report to:OMNR, Nipigon District Division of Fish and Wildlife prepared by Mary Ellen MacCallum March 1989