Friday, May 29, 2009

Steelhead Association Makes a Difference on the Current River

One of the best viewing spots in the City of Thunder Bay is the mouth of the Current River. Its a fantastic location whether you're a angler, bird or ship watcher, or nature enthusiast. It offers a great dichotomy of the City's industrial heritage and connection to our natural environment.

I've known about this area since I was a kid. My dad, brother and I would head out there smelting every spring. It is probably why I started getting a taste for coffee at the age of seven. We'd head out there on a Saturday night around 11 pm, flashlights, thermos, buckets and nets in hand to jostle among the hundreds of other anglers to catch those tasty little silver fish that, when cleaned, rolled in egg, milk and flour and pan fried, remain one of my favorite local meals to this day. Pair it with a fresh baguette, a bottle of Pelee Island Pinot Grigio ( and good friends and you've found heaven on earth.

Getting back to the story at hand, the 5 acre area, as great as it is, is not very well known or travelled to and unfortunately some of the people who do know about it, have used it as a garbage dump and location for amorous encounters for decades.

The Thunder Bay Steelhead Association wants to make this area more usable by the public and has announced an ambitious and commendable effort to clean up the property, replant some of the native plant species, connect to the Boulevard Lake trail system and make this a place more people visit and enjoy. Apart from smelting expeditions, its long been a great place to watch massive grain ships from around the world load up at Viterra C Terminal, watch vessels in drydock at Lakehead Marine, kayak, fish and just watch the wildlife, that on land included deer and in the water, ducks, geese and a host of other bird species. Its a great location to take a coffee, sit on the shore and watch Thunder Bay's industrial engine tick away to the spectacular backdrop on the Big Lake. Getting more people to visit the site also has the added effect of more eyes keeping dumpers away.

June 6-7 is clean up day and the Steel Head Association is looking for volunteers to help out. I for one will be out there and I encourage others in the community to join in as well. It takes all of us to keep Thunder Bay clean, green and beautiful.

For more information on volunteering for the clean up, email them at or visit

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