It is being used by Greg Betteridge, a fisheries expert formerly with the MNR but now working for the Andrew Daniels Fish Stewardship Program.
Along with Joanne, he is mapping the Lake of Bays looking for cold springs and seeps. Those are where the Brook Trout like to spawn. He was here in Bondi Bay last week, because cold springs are us. The entire front of our bay is plentiful with them.
The down side is that our bay, like all the Lake of Bays, had the water levels raised way back when upon the installation of the dam at Baysville. That pushed water levels up across the sandy beach that circles our bay. And that means that while there are cold spots galore, they are in sandy and near clay deposits and what is lacking is the critical gravelly and rocky beds that the trout seek.
Lake of Bays is one of the few lakes in this area that still supports a healthy population of Brook Trout.
Brook trout (also known as speckled trout) are among the world's most highly-prized gamefish. They are found in much of Ontario from the small brooks of southern Ontario farmland to the larger rivers, ponds and lakes of the north.
Water temperature is a key factor in determining brook trout habitat. They need a year-round supply of cold, clear water, as well as plenty of cover from overhanging branches, logs, and rocks. Streams with cool, quiet pools between runs of fast water and rapids are typical habitat, as are clear, cold lakes and beaver ponds.
The Andrew Daniels Fish Stewardship Program is trying to identify just where in the Lake of Bays these beautiful fish are spawning, and to take steps to improve the habitat. One of those steps will include a Pike Tournament -- an All You Can Catch Marathon. Introduced into the Lake, this is an alien species for this lake, and it has done very well, thank you all the same, by devouring the local trout and bass populations. So, the trick is to get the Pike OUT while improving what gets the Trout IN.
To this end, Greg and Joanna are mapping, photographing, locating on GPS and recording temperatures around cold springs. When this gargantuan task is done, we'll have a much better idea of what is where along the shorelines. If YOU live on the Lake of Bays and have cold spots, springs or seeps that never freeze come winter on your shoreling, please get in touch with Greg.
When he's not paddling the shores with his funky thermometer gear, he operates Dragonfly Guiding, based in Dwight.