Just got back from a trip in Algonquin. Spent a day in Loxley Lake and noticed signs of ice fishing in several spots along the shore. It appears that the culprits are snowmobiling in on the trail from Daventry. I reported it at the Brent access office on the way out and they were already aware of it.
Loxley is not a big lake and it could get wiped out very easily if this is allowed to go on. I've seen several posts on this website in the past about loxely from folks who frequent this website. Please make some noise with the ministry to let them know your concerns about this before its too late. I would hate to see the same happen to this lake as what happened to Stringer Lake.
As mentioned previously on this forum there was an unfortunate incident two winters ago on Cedar Lake , involving a father and son . They were on their snowmobiles , fishing on Cedar , with the father going through the ice offshore from the Pet River on the south side. A horrific and tragic experience for the surviving son. As we all know hunting is also allowed with myself witnessing the aftermath of deer being "jacked" from the roadside while hunters cruise the Basin Lake road in their halftones , very traditional ?
i thought hunting was ok mostly in the eastern townships.with a quotta system. it is also my view that fishing rights are under a different agreement to date, with no extra rights established yet..
i have been asked if i was native before? "sure",, i said, "i was born in canada"!!
No limits of any kind. Bait, rods, creel - no limits.
Regarding a birch bark vs. aluminium boat, I think I understand where folks are coming from when they say things like this, but they're mistaken. Heritage & culture aren't about living in the past, they're about adapting customs to the present. My Christmas isn't cheapened by the fact that I don't believe in God and have a fake tree. Similarly their harvest isn't cheapened by the use of modern tools. Culture isn't the tool you use, it's the reason & purpose of the tool.
If the Status Holders are all like the 20-30 I've met over the years, these aren't cultural natives. They're as Canadian as you & I. Andrew (the teamster) called them apples. Red on the outside & white on the inside. Andrew is an apple himself, Status Holder with no connection to the FN culture.
It's a sickening situation that helps nobody. A fraction of FN blood and you can drive/fish/hunt the park. In return the AFN & local bands get to count you as a vote for their causes, one of which is to control the park. In the end the local bands have these apples with no connection to the culture representing them and we end up sitting around the campfire maligning FN who aren't reasonably represented.
Valid points made Preacher , and I don't wish to hijack this thread from "tedip's" original post and would gladly start another as this is an important issue that continues to lie under the surface. I get your point about FN not having representation here , but always find it interesting when other status Canadians such as myself voice legitimate concerns that it is referred to "maligning" . When various FN chiefs that have an advisory role on the FMP voice their concerns is it maligning they are doing ? My concern is not so much their fishing and hunting rights as this was legally agreed upon by the Bob Rae government of the day , and is a system that will probably not change until the the actual land claim for Algonquin Park is agreed upon , and to quote an old Valley saying " she ain't gettin better til she gets worse ".
I may take flack for this , but I am getting tired of looking and cleaning up the garbage left behind , I think traditionally the were called "middens" (sp ? ) If we are going to both exist in the beautiful place called Algonquin how do we voice our concerns ? I was hoping Barry might have some suggestions.
I truly am not trying to malign FN people by posting this pic but when and how will this stop ?
This FN hunting checkpoint stayed all summer last ,along the Brent Road. There is also a real doozy at Foys Lake consisting of a cast iron gas barby and discarded atv mufflers and parts.
Thank-you Barry , I've read of these forms previously and forgot that this is the route to take , I'm glad to hear the concerns are heard by this manner. I wonder if this was the trailer you were referring to , it was parked on a old landing site tucked in off the Basin Lake road.
I don't go looking for trouble and stay clear of FN hunters on the east and northern parts of the park in the fall , on two occasions in the last three years , with a valid permit on my dash I have been denied access to Algonquin Park at various FN hunting checkpoints . This has been on primary access roads open to the public. I'm aware of the notices on the official AP website regarding the fall hunt but there certainly is a grey area as there seems to be no rhyme or reason as I have also been allowed through at other times.The Killaloe OPP are aware of these intermittent road blocks but have their hands tied sort of speak. I guess I can only hope to address this by becoming pro-active and follow the route you suggest. It can be frustrating planning fall trips as you don't know until you get there and depend on who happens to be manning the gate.
I have the privelage of being good friends with an interior warden, so any infraction I encounter are reported directly to him. The Tin boat I encounterd, will either be decomissioned on site or removed by him personally. It is against regulations to stash boats, FN or not
I have just returned from back-to-back-to-back trips to the park - 17 days of the last 26. I have much to do to catch up at work but when I was perusing threads I just wanted to point out that I hiked up to Gypsy Lake (the little lake at the northeast end of Hogan, not the Gypsy Lake that feeds the Little Madawaska River) for the third time in the last 12 years. First time - great specs right from shore; second time - great spec fishing from the canoe we hauled in; third time - one spec after about three hours of fishing from two different canoes.
And then the two guys we took up to Gypsy showed us the aluminum canoe hidden in the bush. No one who had to portage into Hogan Lake would carry a canoe that far and leave it. Only someone who could drive into Hogan would leave the boat. And there was a big truck parked at the end of the portage with a boat trailer attached. We then headed down the Little Madawaska River and at the first portage on the east side of Phillips Lake we saw another stashed canoe and lots of debris.
Gypsy was a tiny little lake with tons of specs and it was one of my "special" finds in the park. Last week it felt like we caught (and released) the last spec in the entire lake and I was very discouraged, upset and felt cheated. There are still some great trout spots in the park but I fear that if the resource is not better managed these treasures, every one of them, could eventually and irrevocably succumb to the fate of Gypsy Lake.
Mike, please pass this on to your warden friend. Also, sorry I missed you on Lavielle, we were "hunkered down" on the May 8-9 weekend and did not venture too far due to the snow and freezing temps.
Was that boat at end of the Rock Lake to Pen Lake portage? My son discovered a flat back aluminum boat stashed about 50m off the trail covered in brush, there was a fishing net but I didn't look closer to see anything else. I thought nothing of it until I saw this post.
In about 1985 I did my first long solo in Algonquin Park. I went into Stringer Lake via Rock Lake and Louisa Lake. That was truely a magic trip since I had beautiful weather and amazing fishing in Stringer Lake. However, that winter Stringer Lake was severely overfished by First Nations people . It's a small lake and unfortunately there is a main access road right next to it. An access road closed to most people...
Since then Stringer Lake has been declared a fish sanctuary and has never been opened again. Park management simply could not take the risk of the fish stock being totally depleted (this lake may have some of the genetically pure Algonquin brook trout). This closure makes me angry, but now I'm just sad because this sort of thing is still clearly happening on a frequent basis.
I moved to Alberta 9 years ago and still miss my annual Algonquin trips (usually 3 or 4 a year). I hope to return someday, perhaps when Alberta finally completes its transition into a ruined province thanks to all the resource extraction and lack of government oversight. The province is currently negotiating with China with its abysmal record of environmental protection to accelerate oil and gas exploration and extraction. Hard to feel good about this.
Never take Algonquin Park for granted. It is an amazing place and deserves more protection. Stay active politically and fight against the illegal activity that is taking place. Be careful when giving up your favourite fishing and camping spots on the internet. Both can only lead to overuse. For others, stop asking for the best camping and fishing spots - discovery is part of the fun. Do you really want to know cast here, pitch your tent there? One of my best fishing spots was a short paddle away from a major access point.
Been to Greenleaf, Laveille, Dickson, Louisa, Rence, Plumb, Catfish, ran the Petawawa between Lake Travers and McManus Lake many times, etc, etc. I catch bigger and more brook trout in Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park but they don't match up to smaller Algonquin brookies caught after dinner on a calm evening in May (before the blackflies are out of course). The swimming in Louisa Lake in the summer is still amongst the best I have ever experienced in Canada.
EGB, sorry I thought you were cracking a joke, carts are usally stashed at the end of cart trails, for use when the owner returns for the trip out
Coach, I will indeed pass that along, Hogan is part of his area and I know all about gypsy b/c of him, so he will be personally pissed. Where did you camp on Lavielle, we did not make it there until Monday. we got postponed b/c of the weather. but the bright side was fishing was great, other then Wednesday, the wind was not bad
I came here today to read some AA stories and get psyched before leaving on a trip into the park tomorrow. Now I'm angry and disappointed. Why? Because what I thought would be a thoughtful, balanced discussion about ILLEGAL ice fishing in the park seems to have turned in to a FN bash fest.
Apparently, in some minds, FN people are solely responsible for the downward spiral of fishing quality and litter in the park. They are the only ones that ever leave any garbage in the park and any boat cached in the woods certainly belongs to an Indian. FN people are allowed to fish Algonquin without limits so if some of the acts mentioned were indeed committed by FN people, then the only reg they broke would have been leaving a cache or garbage in the park. Sure I'm concerned about a healthy fishery and a clean park but I'm not prepared to lay the blame at the feet of an entire race of people because of stereotypes and anecdotal evidence. What about introducing more slot limits or rotating the closure of certain lakes? Or making single barb-less hooks mandatory? Maybe a separate permit for Algonquin, like they do in many parts of Quebec would be a good idea. Not to mention its becoming easier and easier for people to access remote sections of the park, with ultra-lite high quality canoes, clothes and gear. Fishing information is readily available on the internet and from my understanding, park visits have increased dramatically in the last 20-30 years.
How do we know these acts were committed by FN people? Did anyone see it happen? And if so, what percentage of garbage in the park ends up there because some inexperienced canoeist realized portaging a cast iron pan and oven rack isnt a great idea?
Working with and befriending Residential School survivors and their families has made me acutely aware of the struggles facing FN people in this country. It has also made me very sensitive to the stereotyping, bias, bigotry, ignorance and racism that FN people face in their day to day lives. Im not trying to insult anyone, just want to remind people to be careful about perpetuating negative stereotypes. So please, before jumping on a bandwagon of blame, try and leave race out of the picture and place blame on individuals, where it belongs.
"certain individuals" portaged there way into Eustache Lake with a cast iron woodstove and chainsaws to enjoy a weekend of legal fishing. They prolly had a trained sasquatch carry most of the load over the many kms.
Petrafred has voiced an appropriate caution .. basically to not assume, generalize or stereotype. I've served with First Nation reps on advisory groups, travelled with some in the park and socialized with others over the years .. all top notch people! And, then I've met some fellow immigrants who made me embarrased that we came from the same gene pool! Just adding my own reminder to take care.
As for cached gear .. carts should be picked-up on the way back .. authorized study groups often cache equipment .. as do some contract maintenance staff. On the otherhand, I believe there's been a few illegally cached canoes/boats that now bear MNR decals and supplement the park maintenance fleet. LOL
As for the future, once land claims are settled .. maybe FN university grads will have the duty of sustainable wildlife/fisheries management and issue us special Algonkin fishing permits! Like old Red-green says .. "We're all in this together!"
The Stringer Lake problem was well publicized by the Government of Ontario when it occurred and the source of the problem. I personally sent a letter to the Park Superintendent to get confirmation as to what happened. There were also articles in various magazines when it happened. Thus, I didn't assume anything.
I came across some cached camping equipment in Luckless Lake that was obviously brought in by someone via the logging road that is close by. I say "obviously" because it was a big heavy tent, coleman stove, etc. and was hidden between the road and the lake. I contacted the Park Superintendent about that as well but in no way did I assume that a First Nations individual(s) was responsible. It could have been a logger or someone else using the logging road.
I have also found the remains of an illegal camp on North Depot Lake. Left by whom? I have no idea but I reported that as well.
The point of my message was that people need to stay vigilent regarding the protection of Algonquin Park. It faces many threats ranging from logging to illegal access to overuse, etc, etc. If you see evidence of abuse or have concerns regarding how the Park is being managed you should report it. Above all, take nothing for granted and don't assume someone else will take care of it.
A note to clarify a generalization and assumption you have made , with regards to the garbage comment. At no time did I make a "racist" slur , I simply stated fact as this is one of the FN hunting checkpoints that I have passed frequently in the fall and yes that is their garbage. Fact two , yes I have personally witnessed FN hunters jacking deer from the side of a primary access road and would gladly send you photo proof of this statement , I did not think it appropriate to post them here. As for the trailer you will note I did not make reference to whom it belonged to as I did not witness anyone around at the time. You might be careful not to lump us all together as you have suggested we've done , and as is often the case the race card gets used when the " kitchen gets too hot " for some.
Petrafred has voiced an appropriate caution ... basically to not assume, generalize or stereotype.
Reasonable. About half the guys we met in the meadow are status holders, each and every one showed great hospitality. The politics must be separated from the people.
There are abuses in the park, but they are not isolated to any single group except the asshat group that pervades society. The Manwich tree was cute, but I'd rather keep those instances to a bare minimum.
Everyone needs to be aware of their impact on the park and on the visitors that follow. When people are given easy access to remote areas and leave behind dumps, they're not acting respectfully to the park and to others. We're not talking about a wrapper that the wind took. Rules need to be in place to protect the park and its users' experiences. Otherwise what will become of the park and our grandkids experiences there.
There's park enough for all. All must care for the park.
Not a chance - the furthest north I have seen the cormorants was Lavieille, which is not to say they are not in Hogan or other lakes north of Opeongo. Gypsy Lake is "tiny", a couple of acres at best and not even big enough to support a couple of loons. If you go up into the north arm of Opeongo you will see what the cormorants can do to an island, and there was no sign of cormorants on Gypsy. Also, we saw two rises on the lake the whole time we fished, and we caught the only trout in the vicinity of both rises, which, as I said, made me feel like we caught the only trout in the whole lake. If the fish were not biting that day, then Gypsy Lake was the only place they were not biting.
In response to previous comments, not once in my post did I say FN was responsible for what happened to Gypsy. All I said was that whoever left a canoe in Gypsy Lake did NOT portage an extra boat into Hogan from Big Crow, or into Hogan from the east, drag it all the way up to Gypsy and leave it for the next time. Not a chance. Whoever left the boat, obviously drove in, period! I do not think there is FN bashing going on. I think people are more upset at a system that tolerates and perpetuates the depletion of a very special resource and at the selfish individuals with absolutely no vision or principles who further abuse that system.
Algonquin provides some of the very best trout fishing in Ontario, I know this for certain. Unless you have a float plane (which a friend of mine has and I have been on trips to the far north) you will be hard pressed to find an accessible trout fishery as good as some of the areas in Algonquin.
While in Algonquin for the last 13 days, one observation I made while traveling from Hogan to Phillips Lake was the vast number of small brookies in Phillips. They were absolutely everywhere, all over almost every piece of shoreline. The lake was like a nursery. This made me wonder if lakes like Phillips, which, for the most part was very shallow and a hotbed of hatches and baitfish, is, in fact, a sort of nursery or sanctuary for young brook trout that will eventually make their way into the Little Madawaska and the connecting lakes. This lake may be responsible for many of the brook trout that end up in Hogan and La Muir. I am only speculating based on observation I do not claim to understand the movements of brook trout.
But if this is the case, with the lake being easily accessible by vehicles, the lake could be susceptible to unsustainable pressure or over harvesting. This could potentially have detrimental repercussions on the brook trout fishery in that area, which would be a damn shame.
Currently, Stringer Lake supports a very healthy brook trout population. Irregardless of what happened to her in the past, it's currently deemed a fish sanctuary due to her status as research lake for the FAU who are monitoring brook trout (which are radio tagged) movement in X/Y/Z across all seasons. There are a number of such lakes in the park, and each support very healthy, in both sizes and numbers, of brookies. The research occurring on Stringer and other such lakes will contribute vastly to long term movement studies of this species and help our understanding and management of these sensitive fisheries in the future.
I believe it's only Golden Lake band members who are allowed to ice fish the park lakes and other similar activities, not all FN members. But I could be wrong. Until the issue of land claim is resolved it will continue to be this way. The ministry is well aware of what is happening in the park, but we will all have to be patient.
I'd argue that the introduction of bass into lakes of the park is the single biggest contributor of the downfall of the brookie populations. Populations of charr can rebound in cases of netting, but not with the introduction of bass. Once bass are in a brookie lake, it's just a matter of time before the charr are extirpated from her. They compete for the same food sources and bass forage on brookies. The smaller the lake the faster this will occur.
Trending warmer average yearly temperature changes is another scarry factor for the charrs and working against them. In the end, even if all the charr are extirpated in a few hundred years from the park due to warm waters/low 02 there's always the next ice age in a few millions years to make things right again...
Coach - there are a number of lakes in AP that have brooky populations but no suitable spawning areas. These lakes are 'fed' brookies from adjoining lakes that do contain adequate spawning locations themselves. In effect it's these migratory fish that sustain the fishery in these otherwise non-reproductive lakes. If this naturally-occurring migration was impeded or stopped, the lake would be devoid of brookies within 6-8 years.
Never been to Phipps, but the existence of many fry is good. Every lake goes through a natural high/low fish species population cycle over 10-20 year, perhaps it's going through one of these for the brookies. From what I've read and seen first hand, a large portion of 1st year brookies (~1.5") tend to keep to the cold creeks/rivers (spring fed) if present, and out of the main lake. Once a bit bigger they will migrate back to the lake.
Regarding maximum sustainable yield of BT from a waterbody - it's likely a lot less than people realize (in this example it's 0.67 kg/hectare or one 2 pd fish/hectare/year):
"Estimating maximum sustainable harvest levels is one of the most difficult jobs for a fisheries biologist. Several methods are available, but because they tend to average a lot of variability, they work best when applied to large groups of lakes, and not so good on individual lakes. One method is based on an empirical correlation between fish harvest levels and the morphoedaphic index (MEI). This is calculated as total dissolved solids divided by mean depth, and is a measure of lake productivity. This method gives a value of around 0.67 kilograms per hectare for Dickson Lake."
Stringer Lake was closed because of the overfishing and the easy access via a nearby logging road. It may be a research lake now but the Park likely won't be opening it again in the near future (even as limited fishery) because of the risk that the overfishing will happen again. That's a real shame because the only way they can protect it is to declare it a sanctuary.
The lake is even smaller and vulnerable than it looks on the map because about half of it is very shallow. I know about the park's brook trout research and the other risks that the park's fisheries face from species like smallmouth bass and northern pike. The fact is that one of my favourite lakes was closed due to the overharvest by ice fishing - let's not try to pretend otherwise.
Certainly invasive species are a big risk & problem. Bass not only compete with the trout for food, but young trout are also food for bass.
The lake is even smaller and vulnerable than it looks on the map because about half of it is very shallow.
I was under the impression that shallow areas, while not good for trout to hang around in, are excellent for producing food for trout. A lake is fertile to ~10', deeper than that and there's a big drop in it's ability to support predators like specks. A big deep lake would produce fewer pounds of trout than a lake that's 50% deep & cold with the other 50% shallow & fertile. This could be a factor in Stringer rebounding.
My intent was not to waterdown or throw a smoke-screen up regarding FN netting in the park. I just thought bringing to light that Stringer currently supports a very healthy (size/numbers) population of native brookies would be good (and surprising) news to you. I assumed u had this lasting image of a once amazing brookie-fishery becoming now simply a lake filled with only dace/chub and water bugs. Yes she's a sanctuary, so she's protected, that's good news for her population of brookies. Many other such lakes with brookie populations are not so 'lucky'. Many lakes suffer overfishing within the Park, and I'd guess 99% of these were from fisherman that abided by all the regulations. 99.999% of these are not sanctuaries nor do they have special regulations (slot size/etc) - although I'd love to see those and other such conservation-minded practices applied to the regulations. Many share the same feelings here, and I believe we'll see such changes in our lifetime.
I'm very aware of the gillnetting that occurs in the park, I've encountered such evidence myself on Big Crow Lake, I've heard it's happened on Hiram Lake, North Rouge L and a few others. I've spoken with FN fisherman who ice-fish the park lakes who know/seen it happen, and are fully against such practices (not for ceremonial purposes). The ministry and park authorities are also well aware of it, but their hands are tied by the courts/land claim process, so they monitor but are EXTREMELY sensitive about the situation. I wish everybody had to abide by the same set of regulation/rules but that's not the case. Until the land claim is resolved (don't hold your breathe) or someone comes up with an ingenious solution that all parties agree upon, it'll be the status quo for a while yet.
Thanks for the last couple of comments. Preacher is correct of course in that most small lakes (or even larger lakes) will need some significant shallow areas in order to increase overall productivity. However, this may also concentrate the fish into a smaller area depending on the season.
SM - I think you I know what you are trying to say re: at least the lake is fully protected. True, but canoeing on that lake now would be like going to a fine restaurant, reading the menu, and then leaving. I don't mean this in terms of not eating any fish from Stringer because I released almost all fish I caught in the Park - I just mean by an experience lacking a natural conclusion. The FN access issue to Algonquin is a very tricky one and I agree that it will take a long time to solve (and probably never to everyone's satisfaction).
Part of my sensitivity regarding Stringer Lake is that it was my first long solo into the Park. I had planned to go on a trip with some friends but ended up cancelling because my father had a heart attack. He came around fairly quickly so I still managed my May trip and ended up going to Stringer. I was a bit stressed out so I felt like I needed the exercise. It was also my first time into Louisa Lake. For anyone who has done the trip into Stringer from Rock Lake knows that it is a fairly long journey, particularly when you are soloing.
I spent a couple of beautiful days on Stringer. I didn't fish that hard - just paddled around the edge of the lake in the evening and caught some beautiful trout. During the day I sat around my campsite and read or did some photography. A moose came down the shore of the lake one evening and I got some nice photos of her. The weather was sunny and warm. It was an amazing trip so yes, I'm sad that I can likely never return under the same circumstances.
However, life goes on and I did have many other great experiences in the Park before moving to Alberta ranging from catching a nice muskie in the Petawawa River below Crooked Chute, catching beautiful bass in Greenleaf Lake to non-stop brook trout fishing/catching in a stream flowing into a lake (can't say where since I'm sure it is a favoured spot of at least a few other Park anglers).