Wild Northerner Magazine Fall 2015 Sneak peak - Page 4

I recently got out on Junction Creek to fish for brook trout. I

went with Sarah Woods and Shannon Dennie from the

Junction Creek Stewardship Committee and Bruce Heidman

from The Sudbury Star. Woods is the research manager and

co-coordinator and Dennie is the restoration manager and

co-coordinator.

The purpose was to see if we could find the speckled trout

and catch them and get an idea of their health.

We started slow. We caught some huge creek chubs to start.

We found the brookies eventually and landed 17 in total

between the four of us - everyone caught fish! We lost

another dozen or so.

This was impressive. It was inspiring to see.

“I’ve never seen a brook trout from the creek other than the

ones we released,” Dennie said. “It shows the work is having

a positive impact. To see a species come back and survive is

amazing. It is an accomplishment for all the hard work done by volunteers and staff. It is important to have healthy green spaces.”

These specks were looking good. Quite a few of them were chunky. They all had a strong fight in them which would indicate they are not struggling to live. They ranged from about five inches to nine inches.

They prove the funding and time put in by people is working and worth it.

The four of us came away with big smiles and happiness in our hearts. We all want to know more and do more. It is a contagious and awesome aspect of angling the stream for these fish. We had a few hardy laughs as well. I went for a swim after slipping off the bank trying to help Bruce retrieve a snagged lure. Bruce got soakers in both his rubber boots and fell down a few times. It made me laugh hard. I also fell down a couple of times and laughed even harder at myself. Shannon got a soaker near the end of the excursion. Sarah came away unscathed with dry feet.

As we walked back to our vehicles, we all talked about the possibilities in the future and what can happen next. It was a good feeling and it still is.

“I was surprised at the different age classes we caught,” Woods said. “It confirms the efforts being done are allowing brook trout to survive. It inspires us to do all we can to improve the population. The community has rallied around the creek. We should all be proud of this because it has been a community effort. It is heartening to see people dedicated to restoring the creek. We have seen big changes in a short time. It is a good legacy and a gift to future generations.”

The JCSC is currently seeking funding for restoration projects that enhance trout habitat for feeding and reproducing.

On a final note, I hope anyone going out fishing for these creek specks do so with barbless hooks and practice catch and release. I would take it one step further and use only tungsten hooks/lures. These fish are in the areas that produce snags. The creek doesn’t need a bunch of lead hooks/lures broken off in it on stumps or rocks. These fish are not at a sustainable level, so have respect.

http://www.junctioncreek.com/ for more information on restoration and how to help.

Sarah Woods