Ice fishing at Shade’s Mills prohibited this season after jet fuel spill, says GRCA

The Grand River Conservation Authority announced in a press release this week that the Shade’s Mills Conservation Area will not permit ice fishing this season due to the recent jet fuel spill on Highway 401.

Ice fishing remains closed at the conservation area following an advisory from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

The GRCA says contaminants from the Dec. 13 jet fuel spill that occurred on a stretch of Highway 401 between Guelph and Cambridge have migrated further downstream in Mill Creek than originally thought, and these contaminants may affect the water and fish inside the lake. Therefore, as a precaution, ice fishing will not be offered until the impact on the reservoir is dealt it.

Because of this, the conservation authority announced that Belwood Lake Conservation Area is instead ready as an alternative option for ice fishers. The GRCA says in the release that it took more time than usual, but due to the recent cold snap, ice on Belwood Lake has become thick enough to sustain the activity.

The GRCA also goes on to say that the ice thickness will be regularly monitored to ensure the safety of everyone visiting the conservation area.

The fuel spill occurred early Sunday morning when a tanker fuel truck containing 50,000 litres of jet fuel rolled over due to a collision, spilling its contents onto the eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 401.

In the event of a spill into a Grand River watershed river or stream, the GRCA says its role is to support watershed municipalities and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks by providing river flow information for pollutant travel times as well as ensuring that downstream drinking water plants have been notified of the incident.

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