Wild Rice Habitat & Species Survey on Buckhorn Lake – A/OFRC News Release

The Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre (A/OFRC) in partnership with Curve Lake First Nation, will be continuing to monitor wild rice beds surrounding the shores of lakes within the traditional territory of Curve Lake First Nation.

In 2018, the A/OFRC will be mapping wild rice beds in Buckhorn Lake, and will also identify fish species using the beds during the floating leaf stage. The project will begin at the end of the July 2018 and is expected to continue for 8 days.

Wild rice beds will also be visually identified and mapped using a handheld GPS (Global Positioning System). Each are will be assigned a density class – sparse, moderate and dense. A small sample of the wild rice beds will be examined using a drone.

Minnow traps will be baited and set for up to 24 hours within wild rice beds. Captured fish will be identified to species and fork length will be tallied.

To identify fish species using the wild rice beds for a foraging area, large and small mesh Broad Scale Monitoring (BSM) nets will be set as close as possible and perpendicular to the wild rice beds. The BS< nets will be set at randomly selected locations. Small mesh BSM nets are 25 m long and 0.9 m in height, with 2.5 m panels of 13, 19, 25, 32 and 38 mm mesh. Large mesh BSM nets are 49.6 m long and 1.8 m in height, with 3.1 m panels of 38, 51, 64, 76, 89, 102, 114, and 127 mm mesh.

All sport fish will be full biologically sampled for length, weights, ageing structures, sex and maturity. All non-sport fish will be tallied by length and live released.

The A/OFRC completed mapping of wild rice beds on Pigeon Lake in 2017. Chemong Lake will be assessed in 2019.

The A/OFRC is a non-for-profit organization that serves as an independent source of information for communities within the Anishinabek Nation. The Centre provides information and recommendations for sustainable fisheries management, reports of stock status, evaluates stresses on fish populations and habitats and offers technical support. 

For more information, contact:
Heidi Manitowabi, Community Liaison Specialist
Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre (A/OFRC)
755 Wallace Road Unit 5
North Bay, ON P1A 0E7
Phone: 705-472-7888 ext 4
Email: hmanitowabi@aofrc.org