The Christie Lake reservoir, constructed in 1971, is used for flood control, flow augmentation, and recreational purposes. Within the Conservation Area, eight fishing ponds were constructed in the 1970’s. These ponds were constructed as recreational fishing areas with the ponds stocked annually. The ponds are located on existing watercourses typically in areas with groundwater inputs. These ponds are physically separated from Christie Lake by perched culverts and drop structures. As the ponds approach the end of their use for fishing, this project assesses the potential for removal and returning the systems to self-sustaining natural streams.
The goals of the project are to improve access and habitat for fish spawning, to create a self-sustaining fishery at Christie Lake, reduce water temperature increases associated with standing water, and improve water quality by restoring natural channel processes and increasing buffers to watercourses. This will improve water quality in Spencer Creek and ultimately Hamilton Harbour.
HCA completed Phase 1 of the Christie Lake Pond Decommissioning and Fish Habitat Improvement Project March 2014. Phase 1 of the project included decommissioning of Pond 1. Pond 1 was drained, fish rescue was conducted which safely removed and transferred fish species residing within Pond 1 downstream of the construction site. A natural stream channel for formed along with wetland features to improve habitat and species diversity. Native riparian and wetland vegetation was also planted to help enhance the restoration area. The original perched culvert (that was creating a barrier to fish passage) was replaced with a larger culvert to facilitate fish passage and re-establish habitat connectivity.
Pond 1 was restored to improve fish habitat and create wetland habitat for multiple wetland dependent species (fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and insects).
Phase 2 of the project began February 3, 2015. Phase 2 of the project focuses on Pond 2, which is directly downstream of Pond 1. The proposed construction works are similar to that within Pond 1:
- Restoration of fish passage – removal of perched culvert
- Improvement of fish and wildlife habitat - through the creation of a natural channel design and wetland features
- Increased riparian corridors plantings
If you would like more information about the Christie Lake Pond Decommissioning and Fish Habitat Improvement project, please contact Lisa Jennings, Aquatic Ecologist at 905-525-2181 ext. 229 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org