Ontario Government Releases First Annual Lake Simcoe Report
Lake trout is a major fish species targeted by the Lake Simcoe Project. Eric Engbretson/USFWS
Ontario is protecting Lake Simcoe and its local fish populations.
The first Minister's Annual Report on Lake Simcoe shows the province has taken action on all 88 recommendations made in the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan that were to be implemented within the first year.
For example, Ontario is working to reduce phosphorus levels in Lake Simcoe by almost 40 per cent and restore the cold water fishery. Phosphorus helps plants grow, but having too much of it leads to excessive growth and decreases the oxygen levels that fish need to thrive.
Lake Simcoe is a world-class fishing spot and an important source of revenue for the local economy. The phosphorous reduction strategy is one example of the way the province is helping restore the health of the lake and its fish populations. Protecting Lake Simcoe is also part of the government's Open Ontario Plan to make the province a world leader in clean water.
- The Lake Simcoe Protection Plan was released in June 2009. It has provided a roadmap to protect the lake and its future as a source of economic and recreational activity.
- Every winter, 4,000 to 5,000 ice fishing huts are located on the lake, and anglers spend over 700,000 hours ice fishing on the lake from the end of January to the middle of March.
- Lake Simcoe is home to popular sport fish, such as lake trout, whitefish, perch and bass.
- Sport fishing and recreation on Lake Simcoe contribute about $200 million per year to the province's economy.
- Actions to date have reduced phosphorus loads from more than 100 tonnes per year in the 1980s to the current load of 72 tonnes per year.