Agricultural Stewardship Program
Lake St. Francis / St. Lawrence River Tributary Restoration Program
Water quality and fish habitat have been seriously degraded in the tributaries which flow into Lake St. Francis. Historical and ongoing land use practices have contributed to high sedimentation, habitat loss due to channelization and excessive nutrient and bacteria levels. These tributaries are utilized by the various fish species of Lake St. Francis as nursery and spawning areas. Species such as walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, muskellunge, small mouth bass, large mouth bass and forage fish have been negatively impacted.
Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs)
A Project Selection Committee was set up in 1996 to review applications for financial assistance for landowners interested in adopting Beneficial Management Practices in their rural operations. The committee ensures that funds are distributed in an effective and efficient manner and consists of representatives from the Raisin Region Conservation Authority, local agricultural community, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), St. Lawrence River Restoration Council (SLRRC), Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and the Resource Stewardship Council (RSC) of S.D. & G.
The main target group is the agricultural community as they are the primary landowners. The producers are encouraged to modify their farming practices in a manner which has a positive impact on surface water quality and natural habitat. Achievements to date include fencing approximately 10,000 livestock out of various watercourses, providing alternate water sources to the waterway on 60 farms, upgrading 65 manure storage facilities, upgrading 32 milkhouse/washwater facilities, the implementation of conservation tillage on over 12,000 acres and planting approximately 350,000 native species of trees and shrubs to provide windbreaks, wildlife habitat and buffer areas adjacent to waterways. Several demonstration projects consisting of solar powered fencers, windmill water pumping systems and a solar powered water pump have been installed.
Applications for assistance under the Tributary Restoration Program are available for download. For additional information, please contact: Normand Genier - Soil and Water Conservation Specialist. firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris Critoph - Manager of Environmental Services. email@example.com.