Sudbury’s Clearwater Lake recovers naturally from mining pollution
Posted on: October 13, 2015
Smallmouth Bass from Clearwater Lake
Hillary Quinn-Austin, a student from Queen’s University, shows off some small mouth bass caught in Clearwater Lake. The lake was considered dead due to a history of acid and metals released during nickel smelting operations in Sudbury (Photo: Megan Thomas/CBC).

A lake in Sudbury that was intentionally left untouched after damage from mining emissions has managed to make a recovery.

Scientists have been monitoring Clearwater Lake since the 1970s when acid and metals released by nickel smelting operations in Sudbury left the water body all but void of life.

The lake was left to recover on its own so it could serve as a barometer of the environmental health of Sudbury, said John Gunn, the director of the Living with Lakes Centre at Laurentian University.

“It was set aside in Sudbury’s official plan as a way to monitor the health of the city,” he said.

About a decade ago, small fish started showing up in Clearwater Lake, and last week students on a field course at Laurentian University discovered a healthy small mouth bass population in the water.

The presence of multiple fish species means the lake can now be considered recovered, something Gunn attributes to improvements in Sudbury’s air quality.

The complete CBC News story is available here.

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