Protecting and restoring a cold water stream in a karst drainage system - Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association
Our multi-year Six Streams Initiative is tackling the key sources of aquatic impairment on the Bruce Peninsula. During the successful use of innovative solar-powered water systems in the Judges Creek basin, we became aware of the unique nature of the headwater area with significant perennial springs. These springs are key to the cold water inputs necessary for the historic native brook trout populations to again survive and flourish. In this karst landscape, the springs discharge into large pond features that are extraordinarily deep with estimates of tens of feet to over 150 feet in depth. In 2016, we initiated a project to protect these headwater features of Judges Creek. At our first site, we fenced an area of 4.3 ha with many perennial and ephemeral springs to exclude winter pasture cattle; in 2017 we completed the construction of winterized alternate cattle watering systems. Two further sites are slated for protection in 2018, with monitoring to characterize spring flows.