Last year, large-scale creek restoration of Bronte Creek and Mountsberg Creek took place in Courtcliffe Park in Carlisle, Hamilton, ON. This complex, multi-phase project’s goal is to achieve habitat improvements for the fish, birds and mammals that live in and around the waterways.
The target fish species of this project is Brook Trout, also known as Speckled Trout. Brook Trout are an indicator species of aquatic ecosystem health. Although, they used to live in the Bronte and Mountsberg Creek in Courtcliffe Park they haven’t been seen in the park in approximately 30 years. Conservation Halton and Trout Unlimited Canada who are leading this work are hoping that Brook Trout will return to this section of creek once it has been repaired.
The initial phase of this environmental project was completed in 2015, by Trout Unlimited Canada who led installation of a spanning bridge over Bronte Creek and removal of a straightened manmade side channel of Bronte Creek. Phase 2 and 3 of the project, led by Conservation Halton, occurred in 2017 and included the installation of a new spanning bridge over Bronte Creek and the repair of the original channel of Mountsberg Creek in the park, which included installation of two new bridges.
Conservation Halton recently received notice from the Province of Ontario that we were the successful recipient of funding through the Ontario Community Environmental Fund. When a spill or environmental impact occurs, or when non-compliance with Ontario’s environmental legislation occurs, environmental penalties may be issued. The Ontario Community Environment Fund uses money collected from penalties to support environmental improvement projects in the watershed where a violation or environmental impact happened.
These funds will be used to complete the fourth and final phase of major creek restoration works in Courtcliffe Park which involves the removal of a white pedestrian bridge over Bronte Creek to restore natural creek banks and creek flows to prevent flooding of the park paths. These works will proceed during the third or fourth week of February.
This locally and provincial significant project is part of Conservation Halton’s Brookies in Bronte Forever! initiative which aims to stabilize the local population of Brook Trout that is currently in decline. To learn more or get involved visit our webpage: www.conservationhalton.ca/brookies or www.brookiesforever.ca.
It is also part of Trout Unlimited Canada’s Reconnecting Canada national campaign to remove barriers to fish movement and migration. The City of Hamilton has been a huge supporter of this environmental project and has provided in-kind resources and some financial support. Thanks also go out to the Courtcliffe Park Committee for their continuous efforts towards restoration of Courtcliffe Park as well as the Ted Knott Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada for their ongoing support.
Please join us in Courtcliffe Park on Saturday June 16, 2018 for the annual Duck Dash and Bronte Creek Family Fun Day. Conservation Halton will be looking for some volunteers for community work day opportunities to help with tree planting in the spring and fall of this year. The information will be posted on the Courtcliffe Park Restoration Project webpage, www.conservationhalton.ca/courtcliffe-park-restoration.
These plantings will put the finishing touches on the Courtcliffe Park Restoration Project. They will include creek side plantings to increase shade and vegetation along Mountsberg Creek and Bronte Creek. For more information on this project visit: www.conservationhalton.ca/courtcliffe-park-restoration.