Thunder Bay

Amethyst Highlands Fish and Wildlife area proposed to help brook trout

A proposed Fish and Wildlife Management Area near Thunder Bay, Ont., could help protect the native brook trout population.

Amethyst Highlands will encompass Crown Land in Shuniah, Dorion

The creation of the Amethyst Highlands Fish and Wildlife Management Area would help create brook trout habitat. (Sean Landsman)

A proposed Fish and Wildlife Management Area near Thunder Bay, Ont., could help protect the native brook trout population.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) proposes to create Amethyst Highlands, an area that would protect brook trout habitat, as well as spawning grounds.

The area would include 16 brook trout lakes, encompassing 9,150 hectares of land and water.

The area has about 40 percent of the naturally-occurring brook trout lakes in the MNRF's Thunder Bay District, and about 10 percent of the brook trout lakes in the ministry's Northwest Region.

The call to protect the area started in 2006, with the MNRF receiving a formal request in 2010 to officially protect the area.

The ministry said in a statement to CBC News it believes the area will reduce, "the risk of introductions of exotic species and risk of increased angling pressure, both of which are harmful to brook trout populations."
A map from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry shows the area of the proposed Amethyst Highlands Fish and Wildlife Enhanced Management Area. (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

The MNRF also believes the area will help protect groundwater in the area, which is crucial for spawning of brook trout, with the goal to ensure the protection of the "sensitive fishery."

The creation of the area would not alter fishing regulations in the area, nor would it have any impact on private land.

The MNRF will hold three open houses to receive comments from the public on the creation of the area in Shuniah on April 9, Dorion on April 11 and Thunder Bay on April 17.

The MNRF will accept comments on the proposal until May 6.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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