Nova Scotia

Lobster pound on Northumberland Strait rebuilds in time for lobster season

A lobster pound in Lismore, N.S., that was heavily damaged by post-tropical storm Fiona is back up and running just in time for lobster season.

Post-tropical storm Fiona blew through 180 small-craft harbours

a 2-storey red building is seen with metal sheets on its roof bent backwad
Post-tropical storm Fiona ripped sheets of steel off the roof of this lobster pound in Lismore, N.S. (Submitted)

A lobster pound in Lismore, N.S., that was heavily damaged by post-tropical storm Fiona is back up and running just in time for lobster season, which opened along the Northumberland shore on Thursday.

It's been seven months since the storm ripped through hundreds of Nova Scotia communities. The area that was hardest hit was along the Northumberland Strait shore in Antigonish and Pictou counties, where Lismore is located.

"The front half of our building's roof was gone and flapping in the wind," said Denise MacIvor, the manager of the N. LeBlanc Enterprises live lobster facility. "Water ripped the soffits right off the back of the building and water had come down through two floors and all of the ceilings were laying on the floors."

Fiona tracked its way through 180 small-craft harbours. Wharves and buildings in Lismore, Arisaig and Cribbon's Point all saw extensive damage.

Wooden framing of a room in seen, as well as insulation.
The interior of the lobster pound in Lismore had to be completely rebuilt. (Submitted)

McIvor said she served as her own contractor as she had to deal with many different issues to get the pound ready again to hold live lobsters.

"We had to strip down the two floors right to the studs," said MacIvor. "We didn't re-build anything any differently, we just re-built what we had."

There is still some work left to do but the most important goal — being ready for the start of the lobster season — has been met.

"It was very challenging because you would call a contractor or tradesperson and they would say 'well I have to work on so and so's house because they have nowhere to live,'" MacIvor said.

Two men on a fishing boat are seen while one on a deck hauls a lobster trap onto the boat.
Lobster fishermen were getting $9.50 per pound for market-sized lobsters as the season opened this week along the Northumberland Strait. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Some tradespeople came from Yarmouth, she said. But most of the rebuild was done by local contractors who were overwhelmed with the amount of repairwork needed in the area.

"We really wanted to be done by Easter but that didn't happen," said MacIvor. "We are about 95 per cent done right now and there is still some interior work left to do. But as for now we are fine and we can do the season with no issues."

More than two dozen lobster boats tie up at the wharf in Lismore and many of the captains of those boats sell their lobsters to MacIvor's company. 

The price to start the season is $9.50 per pound for market-sized lobsters.


Paul Palmeter is an award-winning video journalist born and raised in the Annapolis Valley. He has covered news and sports stories across Nova Scotia for 30 years.