Lake Superior Information Site
Show MenuHide Menu

Lower Nipigon River Hike July 20th

July 3, 2014
Ken Lieske reads information about the Lower Nipigon River ecosystem on a RAP Lake Superior Day hike on July 20th.

Ken Lieske reads information about the Lower Nipigon River ecosystem during a RAP Lake Superior Day hike, July 20th. CLICK THE PHOTO TO VIEW MORE PICTURES.

Eighteen persons participated in a Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan (RAP) hike of the lower Nipigon River on July 20th, Lake Superior Day. Hikers were accompanied by RAP personnel who provided information about environmental issues addressed by the RAP.

Points visited included:

  • Nipigon River Lagoon
  • Nipigon Municipal Water Pollution Control Plant
  • Clearwater Creek
  • Nipigon River Wetlands
  • Sawmill Point

Thanks to everyone who participated and a special thanks to landowner Chris Wrigley for permission to hike the trail which runs through his property.

Nipigon Bay is one of 42 locations around the Great Lakes designated by the International Joint Commission as an “Area of Concern” due to environmental issues. Remedial Action Plans, or cleanup plans, have been put in place for each of these locations. Significant progress has been made in addressing environmental issues in the “Nipigon Bay Area of Concern” which includes the lower Nipigon River.

The Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan will carry out a kayak tour of the lower Nipigon River on August 17th. More information will be posted soon on this website. View pictures of last year’s RAP kayak tour in Thunder Bay.

2014 Lightning Class Sailing Championships – Thunder Bay (Jul. 12-13)

July 7, 2014

Monday, July 7th 2014

Close competition in Lightning class sailboats at an event at Amethyst Harbour on Lake Superior

Members of the Temple Reef Sailing Club utilize the waters of Thunder Bay harbour on a very frequent basis. During the summer they sail the harbour on a daily basis and participate in harbour races on a weekly basis.

This summer, the Temple Reef Sailing Club, with event partners the Thunder Bay Yacht Club, will be hosting the Canadian Lightning Championships in tandem with the Great Lakes Masters’ Championship for Laser Class sailboats. These events will be held on Lake Superior, in Thunder Bay, on July 12th and 13th, 2014. In this podcast, Competitors and race organizers Julia and Ross Bailey are interviewed about sailing, this Canadian Championship and Great Lakes Masters Championship event and their thoughts about Lake Superior.

To listen to the interview, click on the photo above.

Event Website:

International Lightning Class Association

North American Laser Class Association

Related Links:
Thunder Bay Yacht ClubSail Thunder BayManitoba Sailing Association, Ontario Sailing Association


Thunder Bay – USGS Carries out L. Superior Monitoring

June 18, 2014
USGS 'Kiyi'

The United States Geological Survey Vessel ‘Kiyi’ heads for Thunder Cape as it carries out environmental monitoring on Lake Superior – June 17, 2014. Click here for more photos. (photo: J.Bailey)


The United States Geological Survey has been carrying out environmental monitoring on Lake Superior, in both Canada and USA, for several decades. Monitoring covers a wide array and includes water quality, phytoplankton, fish abundance and diversity. This summer, as usual, the USGS Ship ‘Kiyi’ is monitoring sites around the entire lake (some may have noticed the ship in the Rossport and Nipigon, Ontario area earlier this week or may notice it in the Grand Marais, Minnesota area later this week). Water Resource Science and Geography and the Environment students from Lakehead University were fortunate to be invited aboard as work was carried out in the Thunder Bay area. A BIG THANK YOU TO USGS FOR THIS UNIQUE LEARNING EXPERIENCE. Pictures are accessible here.

Photos were taken as the ship worked in the Thunder Bay, Ontario area on June 17th.

World Record Brook Trout Carving Presented

June 9, 2014
world record brook trout carving presentation

Carver Dennis Sinclair and Norma Fawcett, granddaughter of the guide present when the world record brook trout was caught on the Nipigon River on July 21st, 1915. Dennis presented this carving of the brook trout to the Nipigon museum on June 7, 2014.

The Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan is about water quality, fish populations and fish habitat. These factors are especially important when it comes to the Nipigon River, the largest river entering the Great Lakes on either the Canadian or American side. On Saturday, June 7th, the Nipigon River was celebrated with presentation of an apple wood carving of the world record brook trout caught in the river in 1915 by Dr. J.W. Cook. The original fish weighed in at 14.5 pounds, a record that stands to this day. Although the original fish had been mounted for display, it was damaged in a fire at the Nipigon Museum.

The very moving presentation to the museum was made by expert wood carver Dennis Sinclair accompanied by residents of nearby Lake Helen, including Norma Fawcett, grand daughter of the guide who accompanied Dr. Cook when the fish was caught. The event was celebrated by residents of Nipigon, including members of the Public Advisory Committee to the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan. The ceremony was held at the Nipigon Museum where the carving will remain on permanent display.

The Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan and Public Advisory Committee have worked for many years to address environmental issues in Nipigon Bay and the Nipigon River but times have changed since 1915, when this world record fish was caught. The Nipigon River has been utilized for hydro-electric generation for several decades. A central success story of the the Remedial Action Plan was implementation of the Nipigon River Water Management Plan. This agreement with Ontario Power Generation limits water level fluctuations, benefiting fish like brook trout which had previously been severely impacted by water level swings.

Likely, anyone who fishes on the Nipigon River would like to thank Dennis Sinclair for this wonderful piece of art. They might also like to thank all the residents of Lake Helen who attended. Their attendance gave this presentation special meaning. PAC member and museum curator Betty Brill deserves special thanks for organizing this event and for her work and the work of the entire Public Advisory Committee in improving conditions for fish in the Nipigon River.


Sediment Committee Meeting – June 5

May 30, 2014

The Sediment Sub-committee of the Public Advisory Committee to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan, or harbour cleanup plan, will meet from 4 to 6 p.m. on June 5th in Room HS 1029 of the Balmoral Street Centre at Lakehead University. Representatives of Cole Engineering (who presented several cleanup options at a previous meeting) will be in attendance


  • Briefly reiterate Sediment Committee recommendations for cleanup of North Harbour mercury contamination
  • Receive related input and information from Cole Engineering, discuss, question, comment
  • Receive and comment upon Cole Engineering presentation regarding decision-making framework for choice of preferred sediment remediation option.

Proceed to the complete meeting package including:

  • agenda
  • directions to the meeting room
  • Sediment Committee recommendations from April 8th meeting
  • Comments of individual Public Advisory Committee members re North Harbour cleanup

Proceed to a wide range of information about North Harbour mercury contamination including the April 8th presentation to the Sediment Committee on cleanup options

Stream Rehab Seminar – June 11

May 22, 2014
George Creek Volunteers

Volunteers work on the George Creek Stream Rehabilitation Project at Centennial Park in Thunder Bay, August, 2013.

Water is flowing. Streams are running. Fish are moving.

To celebrate spring, the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan will host a stream rehabilitation seminar from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11th at Centennial Park in Thunder Bay. Everyone is welcome; the seminar is free of charge and will begin with light food and refreshment followed by a brief presentation on the Centennial Park George Creek stream rehabilitation project. The session also includes an overview of other area stream rehabilitation projects and information about potential future projects. Speakers include persons active in the George Creek and other projects. The first portion of the seminar will be held in the Centennial Park Chalet, the second portion will be “hands-on” with an in-person tour of the George Creek project, located just outside the chalet. Please plan to attend. If you would like further information about the seminar please call Remedial Action Plan Coordinator Jim Bailey at 343-8514.

Proceed to the full seminar agenda…

Pictures of the George Creek Project  (flowing into the Current R.)

Pictures of the Kama Creek Project (flowing into Nipigon Bay, L. Superior)

Seminar Objectives:

  • review George Creek and other recently completed stream rehabilitation projects
  • critique positives, negatives, items for improvement
  • identify potential future projects
  • determine “next steps” and who will carry out these steps, in order to continue stream rehabilitation progress.

Stream rehabilitation is carried out to restore streams impacted by development, pollution, rerouting, landscaping, improperly installed culverts and other causes. This work ultimately facilitates unobstructed fish passage and improves habitat.  The George Creek stream rehabilitation project in Thunder Bay was lead by the North Shore Steelhead Association. The George Creek project was funded by the North Shore Steelhead Association, the Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Zone B, the Province of Ontario, the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem and the Land Stewardship and Habitat Restoration Program, and with the financial support of the Government of Canada. In-kind contributions were received from Lakehead University, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, , Hydro One and the City of Thunder Bay.

InfoSuperior Podcast Series – Frank Edgson

May 22, 2014

Thursday, May 22nd 2014

Frank Edgson Interview

Jim Bailey, RAP Coordinator, interviews Frank Edgson of the Northshore Steelhead Association, about stream rehabilitation work in the Thunder Bay area.

For the May 2014 edition of InfoSuperior’s podcast series Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan Coordinator, Jim Bailey, speaks with Frank Edgson of the Northshore Steelhead Association about stream rehabilitation projects, particularly the formerly degraded George Creek Brook Trout nursery stream which runs through Centennial Park in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The interview deals with why this particular site was chosen, the challenges faced when undertaking this project and the potential for future projects on other area streams.

To listen to the interview, click the above photo (ensure your volume is turned up).
To view our archived podcasts, click here.

Related Event:
Wednesday, June 11th from 7 to 9pm – Centennial Park Chalet

Proceed to the full seminar agenda…


Lake Superior Outflows Increased

May 19, 2014
Compensating Works

The “Compensating Works” on the St. Marys River at the eastern end of Lake Superior. The compensating works control flows from Lake Superior. Photo: J. Bailey/

The International Lake Superior Board of Control recently increased the total outflow from Lake Superior through the St. Marys River. As is typical for this time of year, the outflow is expected to continue increasing over the summer months before beginning to decline in the fall. To allow for the increase in outflow, the flow through the gated dam at the head of the St. Marys Rapids, known as the Compensating Works, also was increased.  – Read More…


Huge Terrace Bay Land Purchase by Thunder Bay Field Naturalists

May 15, 2014
Terrace Bay Land Purchase

The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists have purchased a huge piece of land and 15 islands near Terrace Bay.

The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists (TBFN) have purchased a huge piece of land in the vicinity of Terrace Bay, Ontario after the land appeared on the market in conjunction with sale of assets of the former Terrace Bay Pulp Inc. mill. The organization purchased over 1200 acres on the mainland as well as 15 very rugged, small islands close to Terrace Bay.

TBFN representatives say the challenge now is to pay for the land. This is the largest purchase ever made by TBFN which had already purchased lands including Hare Island near Thunder Cape and Paradise Island on the south side of St. Ignace Island. Click here to find out how you can contribute.

The map above outlines in red the parcels purchased by TBFN.  The Casque Isles Hiking Trail going through this parcel is marked with a dotted green line (this is the Lyda Bay segment of the trail).   The large parcel lying on the east side of Hydro Bay and over almost to the Aguasabon River is over 1200 acres.  In addition TBFN purchased 15 small islands lying in Hydro Bay and extending along the coast to the eastern boundary of the Town of Terrace Bay. Most of these islands are shown on the map but a few lie much further to the east and are off the map.  The two parcels are adjacent to each other and  represent an incredible package of protection/conservation for this area.

Thunder Bay PAC Meeting – May 14

May 1, 2014
Thunder Bay Public Advisory Committee

Members of the Public Advisory Committee to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan, or harbour cleanup plan, met May 14th at Lakehead University. Members considered recommendations made by their “Sediment Sub-committee” as to how best to cleanup mercury contamination in Thunder Bay Harbour.


The Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan met on  May 14th at Lakehead University. The key item on the agenda was a discussion of PAC Sediment Sub-Committee recommendations as to the best option for cleanup of mercury contamination in the northern portion of Thunder Bay Harbour. PAC members voted solidly in favour of the following Sediment Sub-committee recommendations:

1. Ensure contaminant source control / environmental security of the onshore, former mill site
2. The favoured cleanup option is on-site contaminant disposal in a new Confined Disposal Facility utilizing the existing lagoons at the former mill site
3. Effort should be made to achieve synergies or co-benefits;
     -at a minimum these synergies should include soft engineering for habitat but could also include recreational, industrial or other benefits
4. Upon completion of cleanup, it should be possible to utilize the site for other purposes, which may include:
     -Habitat enhancement / fish and wildlife use
     -Commercial or Industrial use
5. There should be public access to the remediated site.
Cole Engineering representatives will meet with the PAC Sediment Sub-committee again in early June.

Supporting Documentation: