• Jessica McShane

Wandering Wildlife

Updated: Apr 13



There appears to be a wildlife corridor that runs south of Lake Laurentian, through Bennett Lake to north of Nepahwin Lake and includes the Idylwylde Golf and Country Club. Bennett Lake has ~ 5 acres zoned as Open Space Conservation Area. This may explain why animals have been known to stray into residential areas; such as moose swimming across Nepahwin Lake and bears in backyards.

Here’s a list of animals that call Nepahwin Lake watershed their home:

  • Black bears, moose, deer, fox, beaver, muskrat, river otter, ducks, loons, herons, grouse, hares, owls, porcupines, raccoons, geese and turtles live in the Nepahwin Lake watershed.

Under the surface of Nepahwin Lake lives a vibrant fish community. According to a 2006 survey of fish species the following can be found in the lake:

  • Blacknose Shiner, Brown Bullhead, Golden Shiner, Northern Pike, Pumpkinseed, Rainbow Smelt, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Splake, White Sucker and Yellow Perch.

In the Sudbury Star, September 13, 2019, Dr John Gunn, Director, Living with Lakes, reminded us that, prior to being named Nepahwin Lake in 1949, it was called Trout Lake. But the lake trout died off here and in many others lakes across the Sudbury area by the 1980’s due to acid rain from smelting processes. He’s heartened that with the reduction of acidification, many lakes in the Sudbury area have since regained their lake trout population. But he’s cautiously optimistic about Nepahwin Lake. Lake trout require deep cold lakes, which Nepahwin is; but they also need oxygen at depth. With urbanization and its legacy of loading sediment, phosphorus and chloride into Nepahwin Lake, the deeper waters are now depleted of oxygen.

“It’s a hard challenge,” he said. “But why not try to return what was there?”

The Nepahwin Lake Watershed Stewardship Group supports Dr Gunn’s “wish and a prayer”.

And let’s appreciate what we do have. Keep your eyes open when out exploring in the Nepahwin Lake watershed. If you want to share your nature story and sightings (pictures too!) with us, contact us.

Sources:

Hallman, A. 1996. Nepahwin Lake Watershed: Its past, present, and future. https://www3.laurentian.ca/livingwithlakes/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Nepahwin-Lake-Watershed.pdf

List of Fish Species Found In Sudbury Lakes https://www.greatersudbury.ca/live/environment-and-sustainability1/lake-health/fish-species-in-local-lakes/

“Why not try to return what was there”. Jim Moodie. The Sudbury Star September 13, 2019

https://www.thesudburystar.com/news/local-news/why-not-try-to-return-what-was-there


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