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Whats going on on the Gull River

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  • #3556
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    I have this communication from the Trent Severn Waterway Control officials
    Currently water levels on the Gull River at the Minden Wildwater Preserve are at an all time low. Concern has been voiced about the effect this will have on the rare Haliburton Lakes Strain of Trout.

    And the kayaking is affected as well.

    Mr. Ness Writes:

    Mr. Karwacki:

    Thank you for your note. Parks Canada is aware of the current
    situation on the Gull River and the lakes we control that are part of its
    watershed.

    This past winter has produced very little melt water this
    spring, a result of a lack of snow fall and above normal ground water
    infiltration. In addition, the watershed has not yet received an adequate amount of rainfall to replenish lakes on the system. The low lake levels further upstream are forcing the Trent-Severn Waterway to catch what little run-off still exists, thus the low flows on the Gull River.

    The low flow conditions below the dams controlling Twelve Mile
    Lake and Horseshoe Lake is our attempt to fill these two bodies of water.
    If the Trent-Severn Waterway staff were to discharge the water from the
    dams at this point in time, it would temporarily improve the condition
    downstream but would drain the lakes upstream in the process. We attempt
    to balance the interests of all stakeholders along the Waterway, and this
    can be challenging when variable conditions persist. It is our
    intention to have the lakes higher at this time of year but the melt water and rainfall just hasn’t materialized up to this point.

    The protection of fish, habitat, and spawn are of utmost
    importance but the interests of public safety and flood mitigation are also
    extremely important priorities. I hope you can understand the challenges
    we deal with. If you require any further information please feel free
    to contact me.

    Regards,

    Dave Ness
    Water Control Engineer
    Trent-Severn Waterway
    Telephone: 705 750-4902

    #24992
    Localpaddler
    Participant

    Sound Legit to me. I think they know what they are doing there is know water anywhere. And i would rather have water in the Gull r. when it is warm enought to paddle it.

    #24993
    Rich
    Participant

    I have NEVER seen Tweleve Mile this low at this time of year, all the lakes are really low, hopefully they’ll fill up in the next few weeks. Lets just keep our fingers crossed for TONS of rain.

    #24994
    Hipnazi
    Participant

    My take is that they dumped to much water late in the fall and over the winter.

    The Gull flow was way above normal thru last fall and the early part of winter. If I recall folks were running the Gull at quality levels during January. Traditionally January is a low water month.

    I realize that things were a bit different over this past winter but things have been different throughout the system over the last 2 seasons.

    It’s as if they have changed water control policy over the last couple seasons.

    #24995
    Hipnazi
    Participant

    I guess we ought to follow Localepreeddlers idea and dam the fish or anything else that likes water in the Gull now so we can have a paddle later this summer.

    I could care less to paddle the Gull in the spring or anytime that isn’t warm for that matter. However I do care about it’s overall health and running it nearly dry is not considerate of that.

    Bigger Picture, think Bigger Picture, paddling is just a past time rivers are for ever.

    #24996
    James Mildon
    Participant

    How do you guys think it will be the summer? Will this have an effect for the rest of the year? My Dad said he has never seen the lake so low and our docks are all beached. But more importantly hows the paddeling doing to be this year?

    #24997
    Localpaddler
    Participant

    Your chasing youself around in circles. The Big Picture is what i am looking at with the first respose that I gave on this topic. Ie. BIG BOATS, BIG COTTAGES, BIG MONEY. All of which kayakers don’t have, not to mention big group. I just choose to look at the positive in this situation. If you are always looking at the negative then you are always going to be disapointed. But if you want me to jump on the band wagon and say let the water out for the poor fishies then please don’t have me jump on the next band wagon later this summer by saying we need more water for the kayakers. I don’t like to jump form one moving vechical to another.

    #24998
    firestarter
    Participant

    I agree, LP.

    There are a ton of extremely narrowminded folks on this board that put their selfish interests ahead of the common interests to all the stakeholders involved.

    The Gull isn’t all that anyways.

    Its the painful truth that the ill-informed just won’t accept.

    It’s the same with all this hub-bub over the Kipewa. Big deal!!! That river gets run only a handful of times each year anyways. Our perspectives are way out of focus.

    Dam it up, I say. Give me the keys to the bulldozer and let’s get making power!!!

    #24999
    Rich
    Participant
    "Localpaddler":rwgf1djl wrote:
    Your chasing youself around in circles. The Big Picture is what i am looking at with the first respose that I gave on this topic. Ie. BIG BOATS, BIG COTTAGES, BIG MONEY. All of which kayakers don’t have, not to mention big group. I just choose to look at the positive in this situation. If you are always looking at the negative then you are always going to be disapointed. But if you want me to jump on the band wagon and say let the water out for the poor fishies then please don’t have me jump on the next band wagon later this summer by saying we need more water for the kayakers. I don’t like to jump form one moving vechical to another.[/quote:rwgf1djl]

    Unfortunately the cottagers have really ZERO say in the water levels of the lakes up there. Some of the lakes drop down 10 feet through out the summer, that would sure suck to be on one of those lakes! So BIG money really isnt affecting anything.

    #25000
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    Last fall and thru the early part of the winter the Gull was humping, that is [b:1yfav5k0]not [/b:1yfav5k0]typical.

    Now there is no water and lakes are at risk of being very low to start the season, this does not bode well for the summer and fall water levels throughout the system.

    Likely, this coming season could potentially be one of the worst with regard to water levels.

    Whitewater Ontario wants to communicate more with the Trent Severn Waterway and Parks Canada… and their overeers PWGSC the same, very same group being called to task over the Kipawa with their Environmental Assessment which concluded "pas de problem".

    Historically this organization hasn’t been very open to any kind of input, usual responses tend to be things like; “you wouldn’t even have those lakes if it weren’t for usâ€

    #25001
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    Some of this may seem familiar to some of you. These issues have been discussed on this board.

    Pete

    LANDMARK ASSOCIATES LIMITED
    380 ARMOUR ROAD, SUITE 140
    PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO
    K9H 7L7
    e-mail: landmark@on.aibn.com
    Telephone (705) 742-3881
    Toll-Free 1-800-477-2919

    CC.
    Dave Ness
    Water Control Engineer
    Trent-Severn Waterway
    Telephone: 705 750-4902

    Dear Sirs:

    Regarding: The Gull River

    Last fall and thru the early part of the winter the Gull was pumping, that is not typical.

    Now there is no water and lakes are at risk of being very low to start the season, this does not bode well for the summer and fall water levels throughout the system.

    Likely, this coming season could potentially be one of the worst with regard to water levels.

    Whitewater Ontario wants to communicate more with the Trent Severn Waterway and Parks Canada… and their overeers PWGSC the same, very same group being called to task over the Kipawa with their Environmental Assessment which concluded "pas de problem". (See Federal Court Judicial Review: T 452-06)

    Historically PWGSC, the new overseer of Parks canada the bureaucracy in charge of the TSW, hasn’t been very open to any kind of input, usual responses tend to be things like; “you wouldn’t even have those lakes if it weren’t for usâ€

    #25002
    Thane
    Participant

    Peter;
    Many thanks for your continuing endeavours on our behalf. Other than a few phishers and flamers from time to time I know most of us appreciate the efforts of the good folks at WO, Boatwerks, etc with regards to the health of the Gull. Cheers.
    btw — is there a planned date yet for the spring clean-up?

    #25003
    Hipnazi
    Participant

    I apologize to Firestarter and Localpaddler.

    What a jerk I must be to be concerned about the watershed that I live in.

    Imagine how stupid I feel, realizing that having a care for these lakes and rivers is small minded.

    #25004
    Strano
    Participant

    Pun intended…

    Right now, our watershed is being affected in a negative way for the Trent Severn waterways levels this summer. Our lakes aren’t a part of that system, just feeders for it.
    It would be like the Ottawa going to -20 or -30 making it virtually un-paddleable, un-raftable and un-useable for the people who live and cottage on it’s shores…Just so a river system down near the St. Lawrence could sit at premium levels all summer long. If this happened, what would become of the local businesses, paddlers and rafting companies that utilize the Ottawa River?

    I personally have nothing against the Trent Severn…provided our watershed up here is managed properly, we should have decent levels all season and the lakes would gradually drop throughout the summer.

    I think what the issue here is the extreme changes in waterlevels over a short period of time and the impact this change has on the local wildlife, people and economy.

    I know that when we have a summer where the Gull is low, my business hurts for the lack of water…and there doesn’t seem to be any reason that should happen…short of extreme droughts.

    I would gladly volunteer to be a part of the group that would represent paddlers in this matter, cottagers, paddlers, fishermen…and locals…anyone who uses this watershed and is affected by changes to it, deserve to have a say in how this resource is managed.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

    #25005
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    A task force is being assembled to meet with officials of the Trent Severn Waterway and Parks Canada, and Public Works Goods and Services Canada – maybe Steven Harper will attend (joke here).

    right now we need to assemble some factual information, and pictures would be worth a thousand words.

    If any of you have photographs of the Gull at LOWWWWWW water that would be highly instructive especially if dates are available.

    Any references to historical guages, fish spawning, cancelled events due to low flows, also, any correspondence with TSW or its officials, any hard communications relevant to the following issues would be appreciated:

    Navigation of Water Control Structures
    Water flows
    Extremely high or low levels
    River modification or reparations and bank stabilization
    Photographs of usage.
    Historical documents: relevant to the 25th anniverary of the Minden Wildwater Preserve.

    Please sent to

    Peter Karwacki,
    President, Whitewater Ontario
    1620 Trenholm Lane
    Ottawa, Ontario,K4A 4B6
    kayaky@hotmail.com

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