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A River of Sediment

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A river of sediment



Friday, February 29, 2008 / Chronical Journal



THIS year the MNR is to remove the remainder of the Onion Lake Dam to pre-dam level or to original stream-bed status.


There is considerable accumulation of sediments in the riverbed and adjacent river banks from early 1900s log rafting and from other sources. This accumulation of sediments measures about 4 feet deep by 6.5 miles long by 40 feet wide, which equals to approximately 203,377 cubic yards of sediment. It is reasonable to assume that most of this sediment will be washed downstream during heavy run-off as the river assumes its original pre-dam status.

MNR officials have said not to worry, these sediments only help to provide nutrients for fish habitat. In the meantime, MNR has and will lay charges against anyone doing even the slightest sediment disturbances in our lakes and streams.


No study of downstream effects was ever done, nor were detailed tests done for levels of dangerous mercury in the sediments even though it is a common occurrence in sediments of dammed water reservoirs.


If this is indeed the new policy, should we all be digging in all our lakes and streams to feed the fish as the MNR is showing by example?


I am challenging the MOE, MNR and MPP Michael Gravelle to answer my concerns by a public statement.


Archie Josephson


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