Restoring the Twelve Mile Creek and the Effingham Brook Trout

Restoring the Twelve Mile Creek and the Effingham Brook Trout

Niagara Restoration Council has partnered with Trout Unlimited Canada – Niagara Chapter to conserve and restore the Twelve Mile Creek, Niagara’s only cold-water stream. The stream has historically held Brook Trout, and indicator species for cold-water streams as they only

reside in cool, clear, well oxygenated waters. The Twelve Mile Creek once housed a healthy population of Brook Trout but since anthropogenic and agricultural practices have increased, the stream has begun to degrade in quality, specifically habitat for the trout.

With partnership, NRC and TU have been implementing restoration programs along the Twelve Mile Creek to increase habitat suitability for Brook Trout.  Projects have included planting programs consisting of local, native species of trees, shrubs and wildflowers. Planting has occurred in areas where erosion or lack of canopy cover is present. In areas of extreme erosion, live-staking has also been implemented.

With the assistance of Trout Unlimited, the NRC plans to install wing deflectors within the Twelve Mile Creek. These are instream struc

tures of rock or logs that extend from the bank into the stream. Wing deflectors are used to concentrate the flow which narrows and deepens the channel. They aid in stabilizing the stream and keep downstream reaches of the stream clean from sediment deposits.

The NRC continues to involve the community in the restoration process through volunteer planting days, information sessions, and non-native species removal. These community days will educate on the significance of cold-water streams and encourage best practices for landowner use.

Funding was received from the Toronto Dominion Friends of the Environment Foundation, Recreational Fisheries Partnerships Program and Ontario Trillium Foundation.