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This is an open letter without prejudice and I reserve the right to correct my mistakes and omissions as it is a work in progress. My name is Roy Summers and my wife and I have lived on Lake Nipissing in full view of the area between Harbourside and King's Wharf for over 55 years, we walk it a lot and we have seen and noted changes! I was always interested in local geomorphology and history and after retiring in 1993 I increased this research as a hobby I have attended many meetings about Lake Nipissing and tried to explain my point of view without much effect. >
  1. The latest happened December 7, 2016 when I made comments regarding the Kings wharf and marina - scedule C, class environmental assessment.
      At first, I was annoyed, and then I came to the realization that almost all of these people (although well educated and with lots of civil engineering experience) come from Southern Ontario and so do most of the city staff that are hiring these people - NOBODY SEEMS TO KNOW THE HISTORY OR THE FORCES AT WORK WITHIN LAKE NIPISSING - and to be fair, in commissioning these people to do an EA they constrained their focus so that it is almost impossible to get an overview of this waterbody and it's ecosystems, currents, wave heights, current, sieche etc. (This is too long for this discussion but I can link you to my web pages - Post_Glacial_Drainage and Lake Nipissing Outlet of Upper Great Lakes.)

  2. Starting in 1886, with railroad access,
    • the beaches of Lake Nipissing within the City of North Bay
    • and it's walleye fishing was famous and together were a very great tourist attraction!

      That started to rapidly decline in 1985 with the federal government's installation of the Marina and upgrading of their Government Dock because this was a groyne which has arrested the normal littoral drift builing up sand to the North West and causing plucking of sand to the South East of it.
        This has been going on for 32 years it will probably take over 50 years for the sand to build up to the point that this drift will go around this function and proceed to replenish the beaches to the southeast. I think these two things mentioned above are connected!
      and following are the reason for my assumptions.

    • In 1916 the federal government, in preparation for it's (Georgian Bay Ship Canal) and (because the lumber people bugging them) instlled two water control dams at the mouth of the French River were installed raising the summer Water Level about 3 metres (10 feet) from May to November and then lowering just over a metre for the next six months by doing that they turned most of the lake's processes completely topsy-turvy because raising the lake level by 3 metres or 10 feet during the ice out times means that serious drifting would occur with storms and winds for six months rather than one month of spring freshet when the levels are uncontrolled.
    • I have taken a couple of Navionics images to show just how massive this area of potential drift area is and how the winds from the south west are channeled on to Lake Nipissing by the Penokean and La Cloche hills of Lake Huron and Michigan's north shores along with the fact that there are no hills in the French River Valley to soften these winds
    • Here is a close up
      click for a pdf
      which show how this littoral drift is driven along the north shore's ( gravel and till areas (read shingle beaches) excellent for pickeral spawning when that flow is unrestricted and strong enough to keep the drift from these, sand, pebbles, boulders and pebbles.
    • By 1936 20 years after raising the water level during the long summers months the indigenous Blue Pickeral of Lake Nipissing were extinct
    • I think this water level raising and drift blockage resulted in covering their spawning beds with choking littoral drift - the pickeral could spawn but the eggs or fry would perish.
    • These Pickeral were replaced with Yellow Pickeral from then on until 1985 things worked well and this fishery was remarkable!
    • But in 1985 the federal government rebuilt the wharf and added the marina and again I believe that this has also acted as a groyne causing the drift to back up and once again start to ruin these Yellow Pickeral spawing grounds - I expect that it could take another 35 to 50 years for this drift to go around this 1985 obstruction.
  3. Summary:
    In 1883 the CPR put in a dock and in 1916 the feds put in another dock on piles. Between the two - drift accumulation could take long enough to seriously decline the Blue Pickeral population before that drift went around this older obstructions and this make me think that this is happening again but now there is over 250 metres of obstruction for the drift be overcome.

    I am not a biologist - but the best time for professional biologist(s) at this is just before ice out (sometime in the next month) - when they study this at during this time period they should to a much better conclusion! I hope that I am wrong!

    This is just one of my reasons for this missive. there are more but these have to do with forms of pollution.

  4. From Timmins St. to Regina St. all of the lakeshore was owned by the CPR and in Widdifield township! This area is a variable complex mix of rock outcrops, marshes and mostly lacustrine soils (i.e. silty sands over top of a "quick clay"

    • click for pdf

    • click for a pdf
      the above 1916 DPW map shows:
      • the new summer water levels established by the French River Dams installed in preparation for the Georgian Bay Ship Canal
      • the dock (sans extention) providing berths for a dipper dredge, 2 tugs and 2 side tipping scows which would have been needed to create and then maintain this Canal.
      • It also shows areas where unstable land has slipped mostly on watercourses (that is the norm with "quick clay".

      All of the CPR lands was covered with many kinds of industrial and commercial operations and along with most of them being unstable (shows up on the above 1916 DPW plans of the water front.) They tried to keep those building intact whch is the reason rock armouring of the Kenroc site and CPR yard site. The area where we and Harbourside are now until the 1960's (still had petroleum tank farms and was used for the City's snow dump. Even as late as 2016 the building of a new hotel uncovered a massive underground petroleum storage tank which had leaked! I acquired an 1958 1:1320 air photo (cropped and commented on it) to show what that area looked like 60 years ago.

      click for a pdf

      There is a definite anomaly of the beachline (2-12" intake pipes & a metal half pipe along with concrete ruins (covered over by the City in 2006) between (the City Snow dump/Harbourside) and the (current 10th St. outfall closer to the rock outcrops.)
      • This was the site of the Dominion Smelter of 1912. Prior to reading this I did not realize what this was.
      • most of the time these pipes and the flume are now covered over sand and only occasionally show up in spring time's low water and then only in the troughs of the sandbars.
      • Following the violent micro burst storm of 2006 the City covered up those concrete rectangles, which I assume where settling basins. Now only patches of overgrown concrete rubble and a large patch of field horsetail remain visible. This complex is forgotten.
      • Last September after a major windstorm from the West North West. A lady me about little clay balls washing up on shore.
          I had seen them before after similar events but they disolve in a few days of wave wash. This time I managed to see some of them, picked up and still have a couple of good sized chunks with which I consulted experts in the mining field and was told they were probably very old tailings dumped into water. I kept some in cans and plastic bag - they definitely are not "quick clay."
      • I attended PIC 2 of EA Waterfront Marina and Kings Wharf in December 2016 and there was an image of a magnatometer survey (done by boat) and I recognized the pipes and a couple of pink areas which I assume are the tailings. To show up on an instrument like that they must be heavy metals. I asked for a digital image and never got it but they did have this thumbnail in their propaganda which follows.

        I expect you can go to North Bay or Hammera Consultants for a decent copy!
      • this gives me strong suspicions of heavy metal pollution in that area which could explain the overwhelming presence of orange algae that blooms there before the water is raised to it's normal summer level
      • (Here are pictures of this unusual orange algae? bloom sometimes has an a oily sheen) )
      • All of this disappears when the water covers it but I doubt that it is gone! I am sure the stuff it feeds on is still going into Lake Nipissing.
      You can see it when the ice is going out - probably within the next monthe

  5. Next I want to outline the size of the catchment area of the 10th Street outfall area because I was surprised by how big it was when they did North Bay's current official plan - I think others will also be surprised

    taken from
    click for pdf

    Were the limits of King's Landing Wharf and Marina - schedule C, Class Environmental Assessment chosen to exclude these storm water outflows?

  6. I ask this because there was another EA done in the mid 1990's! This seems to have been ignored. It was named Baird / Proctor & Redfern's Marathon Beach Environmental Assessment was, to me, exceptional and a real eye opener.
      I was asked by a couple of gentlemen to attend meetings about an artificial wetland - I am a naturalist and studied wetlands (especially around North Bay) and read about the artificial wetlands that were just starting to be used. Besides I had lived right on the lake since 1963 and walked our dogs daily from our house to the dock often meeting one of these men. I was given a dozen pages of this report for some background data. The clippings above only deal with Bacterial Loading and pollution I remember reading the rest but only copied the 8 pages I have I have.

    Page 2 of the above report paints the rather poor conditions of the subject area and is bad news.

  7. But the news gets worse The Kenroc or Craig Bit site, to me, have even more serious pollution problems than the old smelter and bacterial loading so I have clipped 10 pages this report's DSL Appendix H to show why I have concerns. To illustrate my concerns I am using Google Earth to display the problems of accretion and pollution going on in this area of Lake Nipissing.

    click for a pdf
    click for a Google Earth KMZ

    before I move away from the Marathon Beach Environmental Assessment this is what the preferred design looked like.

  8. When all of this is analysed in total together there seems to be real problems! I think it time to return to the Marathon Beach Environmental Assessment that I modified and added comments to and forwarded to schedule C, CLASS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT - pics 1 & 3

    click for pdf
    Following is a slide show on wetlands outdated but I found interesting

    I am also including this revised alternative of my because my presentation to the City of North Bay and Hammera Consultants with regard to EA of the Waterfront Marina and King's wharf was rejected without sufficient explanation. So I intensified my research and my focus to cover the whole lake and it's history since the Laurentide Ice retreat. I gave the revised mapping at PIC 3 - I suspect that was in vain.

    Almost by accident, I believe that"
    1. that I have found one of the main reasons why Lake Nipissing's Walleye Fishery has declined so drastically was probably because of this 1985 unintentional groyne backing backed up the sedimentary drift so much that the major spawning beds on the north shore have been ruined.
    2. Walleye can still spawn there but with boulders and shingle beaches covered or even partially covered with silt and sand the fertilized may not get past that stage.
    3. A few years ago, at a meeting about Lake Nipissing, the then Chief of the Nipissing First Nation I.R 10, as a keynote speaker, bemoaned the fact that the water where she lived, fished and swam was now so shallow so that the walleye, bass and many other water creatures are no longer there. Sediment must have built up there too since the 1985 introduction of the groyne.
    4. this stuck with me because the same thing has happened at our place (0.8 km north west) of the wharf complex) during the same period
    5. I contacted her in January 2017 asking for the location of what she spoke to and it was (3.8 km north west of the wharf complex.)
    6. I am a dedicated naturalist but not a biologist!
        This needs looking at while the ice is just leaving the lake from Habourside Conominium on Timmins Street, North Bay, beyond North Bay and into the Nipissing Indian Reserve #10 by, at least, some better qualified individual.
    7. A check with engineering soils and glacial landform maps indicates that this sand could have backed up for 14 to 15 kilometres affecting the prime walleye spawning area in Lake Nipissing
      I would dearly love to find out that this assumption of mine is false!

    Thanks for your kind attention

    Roy Summers
    121 Timmins St
    North Bay, Ont. P1B 4K2

    Created on ... March 20, 2017

    Created on ... March 07, 2017