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  • Micro Hatchery Update – Successful release of Fry – June 2019

    French River Stewardship Council Fish Micro Hatchery News Letter

    In August 2018, The French River Stewardship Council (FRSC) commenced the development of a Community School Micro Fish Hatchery project in partnership with l’École secondaire de la Rivière-des-Français in Noëlville, in an effort to provide an educational opportunity for the students and to sustain the walleye and trout fishery in local waters.

    The Micro Fish Hatchery was successfully installed at l’École secondaire de la Rivière-des-Français on Monday December 17th, 2018 by Rolly Frappier with assistance from students.  Rolly is a member of the United Walleye Club and has built and installed several hatcheries throughout the region.

    Following a small period of acclimatization, 10,000 brook trout eggs were installed in the Micro Hatchery on January 9, 2019.  Conditions within the Micro Hatchery were closely monitored by the students so that the eggs would hatch later in the spring and the resulting fry would be released into a local water body.  However, the first batch of trout eggs that were incubated in the micro hatchery from Jan to Feb 2019 was not successful due to a power outage that lead to the ultimate demise of the batch.

    A second batch of eggs was secured for another attempt.  This time, roughly 50,000 pickerel eggs were installed in the Micro Hatchery.  This time, the incubation was successful and The French River Stewardship Council (FRSC), in partnership with École secondaire de la Rivière-des-Français successfully released over 50,000 pickerel eggs and fry into Trout Lake on June 6, 2019. The June 6 release marks the first success of the micro hatchery, with many more to come in future.

    This entire project was made possible through the generous donations from local businesses and individuals.  The FRSC would like to thank all those contributing time and moneys to this worthwhile project.  A plaque has been installed at the Micro Hatchery acknowledging all business and individuals who generously donated to the Micro Hatchery.

    FRSC would also like to thank Alain Noël, principal of École secondaire de la Rivière-des-Français for his strong ongoing support of the Micro Hatchery.

    For more information and to monitor the progress of this project, please visit our website at www.frenchriverstewardship.ca or visit us on Facebook at French River Stewardship Council



    Date Added: October 24, 2019 | Comments Off | Filed under: Events,News,Uncategorized — webedit @ 9:54 am

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    Community School Micro Fish Hatchery Project

    August 2018

    The French River Stewardship Council (FRSC) has taken on the development of a Community School Micro Fish Hatchery project in partnership with l’École secondaire de la Rivière-des-Français in Noëlville, in an effort to provide an educational opportunity for the students and to sustain the walleye and trout fishery in local waters. Please see ‘Talking Notes’ that provide additional details of this Project.

    Rolly Frappier, who is a member of the United Walleye Club, has spearheaded the development of the fish hatchery project and has built and installed several hatcheries through out the region. Please visit to following link to view why and how he has developed this program:


    Link:  http://www.waubetek.com/upload/documents/micro-hatcheries-power-point-presentatio.pdf

    FRSC is currently raising funds ($15,000) to get the hatchery established in the High School. I am please to note that currently there is a foundation willing to donate $6,000 and a local resident $1,500. They are both willing to make these donations based on the local community and/or businesses matching these funds.

    Therefore, with your support by matching these donations we will be able to get the project up and running. Any monies above the start up cost will be used to sustain and expand the project over the next several years.

    All donations to the hatchery project over $20 will receive a taxable donation receipt. The FRSC has an agreement with the French River Public Library to utilize their taxable donation number.

    Donations can be made electronically as indicated in the talking notes or you can send me an email or call me and I will be happy to come over and answer any questions or listen to any suggestions you may have on the project and pick up any donations you may be willing to make.

    Cheques should be made out to the French River Public Library with the memo portion of the cheque indicating it is for the Fish Hatchery Project. Please provide your address, phone number and email address so that the library can issue you a taxable donation receipt.

    We will be providing updates on the Fish Hatchery Project on the FRSC website: www.frenchriverstewardship.ca . We will also try and arrange some open houses at l’École secondaire de la Rivière-des-Français in Noëlville so that any person that has donated will be able to view the Hatcher and hear a presentation by the students.

    Let’s all get behind this Project in an effort to sustain our local fish communities.

    Steve Grinius, Director, FRSC

    Telephone: (306) 914-0070 or Text


    Your partner in water protection!

    Talking Notes on Micro Fish Hatchery

    The French River Stewardship Council (FRSC) is currently working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNR&F), l’École secondaire de la Rivière-des-Français (Noëlville) and both municipal Public Libraries (Alban and Noëlville) towards the goal of bringing a Community School Micro Fish Hatchery to French River.

    The reason for this is two-fold:

    1. To provide up to 10,000 fingerlings each year, of both walleye and trout to be introduced to the French River and several local lakes.

    2. To provide a teaching tool for high school students on the life cycle of fish and the importance the environment plays on the continued sustainability of fish stocks.

    Cost of the Micro Fish Hatchery would be approximately $15,000 with annual operating costs of approximately $500.00/year.  The Hatchery would be manufactured in the Sudbury area and installed by the supplier in the l’École secondaire de la Rivière-des-Français in Noëlville.

    Proposed Operation of Micro Fish Hatchery:

    • The MNR&F is to provide up to 10,000 fertilized trout eggs in the fall and a further 10,000 fertilized walleye eggs in the spring

    • The students will be taught and graded on the operation of the equipment which is to include large bell jars, a pumping and filtration system, a trinocular microscope, a digital camera and a dedicated laptop.  This will allow the students to document the various stages of development of the fish.

    • The students will learn to use the equipment to control and monitor the growth of the fish including the circulating water oxygen levels, temperatures, flow, PH and the filtration equipment.

    • The fall and spring operations would last from 5 to 7 weeks each.

    • The fingerlings would then be released into local bodies of water as authorised by the MNR&F.

    With this project the FRSC is hoping to instill in our youth, and the general public, the importance of our environment and how critical this is to our wildlife.  Students will learn how sensitive fish are to temperature, PH, oxygen levels and the quality of the water they are living in.

    The hatchery would be a step towards increasing the stocks of specific fish in the French River and certain surrounding lakes.

    From field studies it has been shown that the success rate of raising fingerlings from fertilised eggs in the wild is only about 40%.  This compares to 90% when raised in a hatchery.

    Fingerlings, whether raised in the wild or in a hatchery only have a 3% chance of reaching maturity. During this period many fish are lost due to natural causes, fishing practices and being eaten by predator fish.

    It takes between 5 and 6 years for walleye to reach maturity.  A mature female can produce 30,000 or more eggs each spawning season.  By increasing the number of fingerlings each year, we increase the number of fish able to reach maturity and spawn. This increases the sustainability of our fish stocks.

    The FRSC, in partnership with the MNR&F (who provides the permits) and with the support of the community will continue to rehabilitate spawning beds and create new ones.  The FRSC is also involved in monitoring the quality of the water in our main waterway by taking samples for analysis each month from May to November.  Fourteen locations are sampled between the Ouellette Rapids and Georgian Bay Delta.  Other environmental monitoring in the region will continue.

    You can write a cheque payable to: French River Public Library and mail it to:

    French River Stewardship Council

    c/o Carl Bisaillon, Treasurer, FRSC

    RR #1, Site 11, Box 2

    Alban, Ontario

    P0M 1A0

    You may pay by bank e-Transfer to the FRSC via our email address.  A receipt by email will follow.

    Note: only donations over $20 toward the Community School Fish Hatchery Project is tax deductible.

    E-Transfer Information

    Donation:                          enter $ amount

    Name:                                French River Stewardship

    Contact Method:             by email

    Email Address:                frenchriverstewardshipcouncil@gmail.com

    Security Question:          FRSC

    Security Answer:             water

    Message box:                   Micro Fish Hatchery Donation

    Donor Information

    Name: ____________________________________________________

    Home Address: _____________________________________________

    Mailing Address:   ___________________________________________

    City: _______________            Province/State: _______     Postal/ZIP Code:  __________

    Telephone:   _____________     Email Address:      _______________________________

    Date Added: August 30, 2018 | Comments Off | Filed under: Events,News,Uncategorized — webedit @ 9:16 am

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    Annual General Meeting

    French River Stewardship Council

    Annual General Meeting

    When:     Sunday July 29th, 2023

    Time:       1:00 pm

    Where:    Alban Centre De Sante Univi Health Centre around back

    24 Delamere Road, Alban, ON     (Rear Door)



    Date Added: June 20, 2017 | Comments Off | Filed under: Events,News,Uncategorized — webedit @ 7:56 pm

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    Report and Analysis of Water Quality 2017

    June 2017

    Submitted by Joe Dippong


     The 2016 sampling of 18 points along both the North and Main channels showed fairly significant improvements in Total Phosphorus levels compared to the 2007 to 2010 sampling project. Calcium concentrations and water clarity have remained fairly constant and present no concerns at this time.

    Although Total Phosphorus levels improved, through local observations, we noted some areas of algae blooms. Although the 2016 year blooms were less dominant than prior years, they do require a review of our Report Card criteria which we plan to complete in 2017. This review may shift results to a more stringent criterion for the “A” Report Card rating in future years.

    Looking at the actual results, a decrease in Total Phosphorus concentration was noted in 12 of 13 sample locations with 1 location showing comparable results to prior years. Although these results are encouraging we note that a one year sampling period is not a sufficient period of time to state with certainty any verifiable findings. Our current analysis of these results is provided in the comments section of the raw data report.

    The actual raw numbers and current Report Card are attached to this cover letter.

    Copies of this report will be sent for peer review as well as be posted on our website for comment.


    Ratings Legend: All readings based on ug/L (micro grams per litre) of Phosphorus.

    A – Average 12 or lower with no results over 20.

    B – Average 15 or lower with no more than 20% of then results over 20.

    C – Average 15 or lower with more than 20% of results over 20.

    D – Average 15 or higher.

    F – Average 20 or higher.

    The sampling data used was mainly from our work with the MOE lake partner program.

    The FRSC’s Target is to get all areas of our river to an “A” rating.


                                                                                                                       2007-2010         2016

    Lake Nipissing outflow into the French River



    Upper French outflow



    North Channel below Ouellette Rapids



    William’s Bay

    New site


    Near Test Creek at Moonlight Bay Rd & Voyageur Rd.

    New site


    Ranger Bay at lower Sturgeon



    Ranger Bay outlet



    Cow Bay



    Stoner’s point

    New site


    Above Meshaw Falls



    Above Stoney Rapids

    New site


    Dry Pine Bay near Murdock River



    Dry Pine Bay at Baker’s Bay



    Dry Pine Bay at village

    New site


    Main Channel at Crooked Rapids



    Main Channel at Dry Pine Bay



    Lower French at Ox Bay



    Wanapitei River outflow into the French River



    The FRSC would like to thank all those contributing time and moneys to these worthwhile projects.

    Date Added: June 15, 2017 | Comments Off | Filed under: Events,News — webedit @ 8:14 pm

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    Project Suggestions

    September 2016

    The French River Stewardship Council (a not-for-profit organization) will be preparing its project list for future initiatives. We are asking you the general public for project suggestions relating to the following categories.
    1. Environmental projects that will maintain, improve or protect the French River Watershed.
    2. Projects pertaining to fisheries.
    3. Projects concerning aquatic life.
    4. Projects concerning aquatic vegetation.
    5. Shoreline rehabilitation.
    6. Environmental educational projects.
    7. Fund raising ideas
    8. Any other environmental areas we may have overlooked.

    We look forward to receiving your project suggestions.
    Please submit your suggestions by email: frenchriverstewardshipcouncil@gmail.com or post mail to:

    French River Stewardship Council
    Box 2, Site 11, RR 1
    Alban, ON P0M 1A0

    Date Added: September 6, 2016 | Comments Off | Filed under: News — webedit @ 3:30 pm

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    Nipissing University’s Integrative Watershed Research Centre

    July 2016

    Nipissing University’s Integrative Watershed Research Centre aims to promote and support integrative research on watersheds and related environmental issues in our region of northeastern Ontario and beyond. The watershed is used here as a boundary object, uniting our members across many disciplines and perspectives to focus development of research ideas, collaborations and partnerships. Members of the centre are actively engaged in research projects including the exploration of environmental history and colonialism in the Lake Nipissing watershed, water cycling studies in the Sturgeon Falls-Lake Nipissing – French River basin, study of the occurrence of harmful algae blooms in Lake Nipissing, and the exploration of the lived experience of water quality risk in Anishnaabe communities in northern Ontario. On this website you will find information on ongoing research projects and participants.

    Check out our posts for most recent updates on projects, links to data and student research opportunities.

    Dr. April James, Nipissing University’s Integrative Watershed Research Centre.

    Web link: http://iwrc.nipissingu.ca/french-river-volunteer-sampling/


    Date Added: | Comments Off | Filed under: News — webedit @ 3:24 pm

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    Fisheries Report – 2015 update

    December 2015

    French River Stewardship Council Fisheries Report – 2015 update.

    A major undertaking of the FRSC is to review and improve the fishing opportunities of the French River. Since the 1990’s some areas of the river have seen fishing stocks decline in pike and most dramatically pickerel. As a result the Ministry of Natural Resources implemented new guidelines on catch limits and slot sizes. Although successful these actions needed some assistance aimed at habitat improvement.

    The most direct form of habitat improvement involves the rehabilitation of existing spawning sites as well as the construction of new sites. To this end the FRSC fisheries committee with members of the local Ministry of Natural Resources in 2009 toured existing spawning sites as well as areas where the construction of new sites would be beneficial.

    From these tours a three year plan of rehabilitation and construction of news sites was prepared and submitted for approval.  Approval was obtained in 2010 and work began in the summer of 2011 with the Meshaw Falls project and the Lower Sturgeon sites. Restoration involved the removal of debris, high pressure water cleaning and where required beaver dam removal. A total of 154 hours of volunteer work was logged on these projects. A local contractor hauled two tandem truck loads to the local landfill.  Costs came in at $ 5,810 and were funded by local businesses and our members.

    In 2012 our plan included the design and construction of two new spawning sites southwest of Ouellette rapids. $ 7,600 of dedicated funding was received and used to complete these projects. Funding came from the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Sudbury East Economic Development Partners and our two local Caisse Populaires.

    In 2012-13 funding of $ 47,000 was acquired for the rebuilding of the Murdock River spawning site. Given the importance of this site to the Dry Pine Bay area the rebuild plan was prepared by MNR personnel and carried out by the bridge rebuild contractor. This site saw a three tier bed construction to ensure water levels, regardless of dam operations, remain conducive to pickerel spawning. The FRSC is continuing to work with Public Works Canada to ensure that consistent water levels will be maintained in the river during the spawning and nursery stages of pike and walleye.

    In 2014 tours of the spawning sites produced encouraging results as Pickerel spawning was clearly taking place at most sites. Also in 2014 a Fall Walleye Index Netting project funded by the MNR, the FRSC and the Hartley Bay Marina, was completed again showing an improvement in fishing stocks. Funding for this project required $ 37,000.

    In 2015 plans were developed for the installation of an additional spawning site and restoration work on the Lower Sturgeon site with approvals now received for 2016 work.

    The FRSC would like to thank all those contributing time and moneys to these worthwhile projects.

    Date Added: December 16, 2015 | Comments Off | Filed under: News — webedit @ 2:24 pm

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    Communication Policy

    Communication Policy last update April 2015

    Date Added: June 22, 2015 | Comments Off | Filed under: News — webedit @ 7:10 pm

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    Fall Walleye Index Netting Survey

    October 29th,  2013

    Fall Walleye Index Netting Surve

    The French River Stewardship Council with the assistance from the Ministry of Natural Resources was able to seek a grant to carry out a  Fall Walleye Index Netting (FWIN) program on the French River. The total budget committed to the program was in the amount of  $37,000.

    The main objective of an index netting survey is to assess the relative abundance of a fish stock and provide other biological measures  or indicators of the target population’s status. Standard methods and protocols for the collection of biological information are  followed. Biologists randomly select sampling sites, overnight sets of multi-mesh gillnets are put in place, done in the fall when surface  water temperature is between 15°C and 10°C, set duration 24 hours at a depth of 2 to 5 metres and 5 to 15 metres.

    Field procedures involve setting the nets, lift the nets the following day, processing the catch, and record the data. Post field activities  involve processing the collected fish tissues; data management and biological information is recorded followed by a detailed report.  The report is expected to be completed by mid-2014 along with its recommendations.

    The survey of the netting program was done on the French River North Channel waterbodies i.e. Wolseley Bay, Eighteen Mile Bay,  Ranger Bay, Cow Bay, Meshaw Falls and Hartley Bay.

    We wish to thank Hartley Bay Marina, Moonlight Bay Cottages, Ministry of Natural Resources and the biologists for their contribution for the study.

    The French River Stewardship Council will endeavour to inform the public and make plans for a public meeting early summer 2014 with a presentation by the MNR biologist.


    Date Added: November 9, 2013 | Comments Off | Filed under: Events,News — Tags: , , — webedit @ 9:35 pm

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    Stewardship of the French River – Newspaper Article

    May 2013

    When the voyageurs first travelled these waters, they had little need to carry a lunch. Game and fish were there for the asking and the water was drinkable. Not so today. Logging has deforested the land to allow farming and the raising of cattle. Industries have come and gone leaving behind their mark. These activities have not only permanently altered the land but some of their by-products have over time infiltrated the surrounding waterways to questionable effect. As more people settled near the river, unrestricted usage and uninformed practices in the past have also contributed to the questionable quality of the river.

    The impact of these stressors can be debated but the decline in the quality of our water and the decimation of the fish stocks is undeniable. Until the quality of the water supports the fish populations and allow their reproduction in a self-sufficient fashion, the French River Stewardship Council (FRSC) will continue its efforts at the rehabilitation or establishment of new spawning beds and possibly in the future, the stocking of fish in our area waters. The day where our intervention is unnecessary appears to still be in the far future.

    The FRSC does not have the resources to restore, on its own, the pristine quality of the water. It is well beyond our capabilities. The current condition is the result of centuries of neglect and abuse. It will take a comprehensive effort combining initiatives from all levels of government, along with industrial and community awareness to start the long process of restoration of the environment.

    Currently, there does not appear to be any other local group with a commitment as focused to this task as the FRSC. Therefore, we feel it is incumbent upon us to contribute what we can. We therefore offer our guidance and encourage the local population to help by contributing its share in reducing the negative impact on the waterways.

    The FRSC will continue the testing of the area waters to help identify problematic sources. We can then isolate the origins of the problem and hopefully mitigate or even eliminate the causes. We will continue to share the results of this research with the public and also offer suggestions as to the solutions and changes necessary to achieve our common goal of cleaner water.

    With the arrival of summer, cottagers and tourists are returning and we, along with the permanent citizens must enlist them in our common long-term goal of improving the water quality. A united constituency is the only way to bring about modifications to the undesirable and sometimes detrimental provincial policies that affect the watershed. Changes are required to the practices and habits that have developed during years of laissez-faire attitudes.

    The French River Stewardship Council needs your help. We will be holding our Annual General Meeting this summer where we will be soliciting your feedback to aid our executive examine which priorities and projects will best direct our efforts. Come join us and contribute your share. The waterways, fisheries and your financial investment in this area all are dependent on our pulling together to turn things around.

    Date Added: May 25, 2013 | Comments Off | Filed under: News — Tags: — webedit @ 12:33 pm

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