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Let's have a little more ice time

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Let's have a little more ice time



February 29, 2008

Terry Curtis / http://www.northumberlandtoday.com



Can it be true? The weatherman on Global TV is predicting a colder-than-normal March for us, and if his story becomes a reality it sure bodes well for ice anglers. It might even make up for some of the terrible ice conditions we've had to endure so far.


You can bet ice hut operators and bait dealers across Ontario would welcome some long-lasting colder weather, as it would make up for some of the losses they've suffered this year.


Any hard water fisher will tell you the month of March offers some of the best angling of the year, so an extended period of good ice would give us extra time to chase those fish we all love to tangle with.


As for ice fishing, conditions right now, there is some very good news for jumbo perch, pike, lake trout and whitefish anglers on Lake Simcoe. Most of the trout and whitefish waters there are safe to travel on at last, and the area around the north tip of Georgina Island is producing well, with lots of fish being caught. Don't try to drive a vehicle out there, though; it's still not safe for them but snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles are getting to those areas safely within a mile or so of the island. Don't venture farther than that because the ice is still dicey, at best.


If you want jumbo perch, head to Virginia Beach off Highway 48, go down Haddon Road to the public launch and you can drive right out to them. You can get your pinhead minnows right there, as well, at Dave's Hut Rentals and you only have to go out on the ice road about one mile to find the fish. I was there earlier this week and, although you have to sort through the fish to get the big ones, they are there in good numbers all day long.


If pike fishing is your game, Cook's Bay at Keswick is hot right now. Three-inch minnows on a set line seem to be the ticket, and the pike are being caught within easy walking distance from shore.


The Bay of Quinte and Lake Scugog both close this weekend, so anglers will have to travel a little farther from home to find fish. Don't overlook the Minden/Haliburton or Kaladar regions as they still have lots of fishing taking place. In fact, some of the trout waters in these areas don't even close at all. A quick study of the fishing regulations will put you onto these spots.


Well, that's the good news for this week.


Now I've got something not so good.


An earlier report in the Port Hope Evening Guide states some engineer named Harry Valentine from Cornwall, Ont., wants to see the construction of a water pipe from Lake Ontario to Rice Lake that would supposedly create hydro electric power by pumping water back and forth between them. The water would be pumped from Lake Ontario to Rice Lake at night, causing the water to rise a foot, then the flow would be reversed in the morning and the lake would drop a foot again in depth creating needed hydro.


Does he think we just fell off the turnip wagon?


There is no way anglers, cottage/homeowners or tourist resort owners are going to sit by the wayside and let this happen!


Imagine the pollution and contaminates that would be pumped into Rice Lake. There are pollutants in Lake Ontario that don't exist in Rice Lake and hopefully never will.


Rice Lake is a very fertile spawning lake that would be ruined by the constant rise and fall of water levels. There are laws in place to protect spawning beds, and let's hope they are upheld. And how about the shore erosion, not to mention you could kiss winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowmobiling goodbye. There would be no safe ice, would there?


People who make their living on Rice Lake are having a tough enough time now making a buck. Imagine what this plan would do to the local economy. Fluctuating water levels wipe out spawning beds, which leads to no fish. No fish, no tourists. Pretty simple, eh?


I'll be fighting this proposal tooth and nail, and I hope you do the same. Get on the phone and call Hamilton Township and Alnwick/Haldimand Township officials, Natural Resources, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority and your MPP and MP and raise the roof before it's too late.


Let's protect Rice Lake right now and stop this idea before it grows!

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Here is what I sent to the Rice Lack Tourist Association about the pumped storage proposal:




Having spent 30 years in the power generation business (including extensive involvement in the largest pumped storage hydroelectric project in the US), I can shed some light on the proposed plant and why it it will fail on basic economics. This would be about a $1 billion project, if not much more, with incredable construction risks due to the need for extensitive underground construction. With pumped storage, the differance of day and night power pricing needs to be at least a consistant 40 percent which I don't thing there is, and that's just to cover power costs and not evening tuching the capital costs.


Pumped storage is not a "renewable" resource like convential hydroelectric power and shouldn't have any special treatment for licencing. In fact, the cost is so high (unless there are connections that allow this guy to rape the environment) that wind power makes a LOT more economic since, but interest appears low. Our area for wind power is great for all the things professional power developers look for.


All this said, if this really starts developing, RLTA needs to be represented and I will do the representation. I probably have more experience with pumped storage and power generation than anyone else that is involved in the process.


I can't think this will go very far but if it does, let me know so I can put my self in the middle of this mess and turn it in to a real mess!




Plank Road


Terry, give me a call, but if the winter keeps up we will be ice fishing on Rice Lake!!!

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