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April 30, 2002

Dispatch from Sandy Inlet

Bob Olajos is Lake Temagami's most northern resident, living at Camp Wanapitei on Sandy Inlet. 

In and around the river, we've seen ring-necked ducks, green-winged teals, kingfishers, mallards, loons, wood ducks, black ducks, mergansers, and great blue herons. 

The ice is lingering like a bad smell. It's all crystalline and rotten. I made it down by boat only as far as Pickerel Bay by following leads in the ice. It's raining hard so it might take out the ice.

Bob Olajos

April 29, 2002

Dispatch from Alex

on Obabika Lake north end

Most of the birds are back now. We've seen ospreys, ducks, loons, turkey vultures and great blue herons. Bear Island took its barge out on Friday to break up the ice to the road so people can now go back and forth in their steel boats. The ice is 300 feet out from shore here. Any wind except from the north will open it. Could be today or tomorrow. 

Alex Mathias

April 26, 2002

Dispatch from Alex

on Obabika Lake north end

Most of the snow in the bush is gone. The lake is still covered in ice, but it is pretty shaky. There is water along the shoreline 30 feet out on our side [west]. A west wind has the ice piling up on the east shore, but if we get a north wind it will bust it open. Three days tops, I'd say, before it is gone. 

Alex Mathias 

April 26, 2002

Smoothwater holding Campsite Cleanup Weekend

Smoothwater Outfitters will host its sixth annual Campsite Cleanup Weekend on June 21-22. 

"We ask participants to choose from a variety of road accessible canoe routes, based on their paddling experience and preferences," says Caryn Colman of Smoothwater. "Everyone has a lot of fun and it helps kick off the busy paddling season. Bags and bags of junk have been collected in past years!"

Participants receive two days of free canoe rental. Prizes, donated by local businesses, are awarded in a variety of trash collection categories. 

Reservations required. For details email Caryn or Francis at temagami@onlink.net or call Smoothwater at 705-569-3539.

Photo: ice break-up, Temagami, 2002

Garden Island, Thursday - Full views

Photo: Peter Healy


April 25, 2002

Stranded for breakup - day 7

Periodic notes from Peter Healy, island bound on Garden Island, Lake Temagami till iceout

Not much change here.  A little more open water, but still ice is unsafe to travel.  Woodsplitting and boat painting (steel boats) are daily routine now.  I heard my first loon two nights ago and saw her yesterday in open water about 100 metres around.  I guess she is there now until open water as there is not enough room to take off.  Some geese flew over yesterday heading north - is there open water north of here? 

Peter Healy

April 23, 2002

Stranded for breakup - day 5

Periodic notes from Peter Healy, island bound on Garden Island, Lake Temagami till iceout

Sun is out and already at 0 C (32 F).  Quite noisy outside today.  The ice is making thunder-like sounds as it contracts (I think that's what ice does when it melts). Occasional loud shots that sound like shotgun blasts.  Finches have left and swallows have taken over the bird feeder.  Other than that very quiet, no wind.  Life is perfect where I am. Peter Healy 

Photo: ice break-up, Temagami, 2002

Garden Island, Tuesday - Full views

Photo: Peter Healy

April 22, 2002

Stranded for breakup - day 4

Periodic notes from Peter Healy, island bound on Garden Island, Lake Temagami till iceout

No change in the ice today. It's been too cold at night and windy during the day. Scotch is holding up. Good for a few days yet.

Peter Healy

Photo: ice break-up, Temagami, 2002


April 21, 2002

Ice going

Open water showing off the east end of Garden Island on Lake Temagami on Friday. Peter Healy took the photo after arriving at Garden Island from the Mine Road by snowmachine at 11 a.m. The temperature was 10 C (50 F). "The back of the machine and toboggan started sinking about 50 feet from shore," he says. "I was able to puddle jump to the island safely. I will not be leaving by snowmachine."


April 18, 2002

Moose on the loose

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is warning motorists today to watch for moose, according to CBC Radio. Moose are coming onto the highways in search of a good lick of good old road salt. 

April 17, 2002

Flood advisory issued

With snow still on the ground and the stunning jump to yesterday's record-breaking 26.5 C (80 F), spring melt is coming hard and fast. MNR quickly issued a flood advisory. The situation is further aggravated by ground saturation from autumn's rainfall, and rain in the current forecast.

April 16, 2002

New MNR minister appointed

Jerry Ouellette has been appointed the Minister of Natural Resources by Ontario's incoming premier. As virtually all of northern Ontario an area larger than California is Crown land that is administered by MNR, the powerful minister is often referred to as the Premier of Northern Ontario. 

MNR administers logging, hunting, fishing, wildlife and parks. A forest products mill thrives or suffers on allocations of forest for cutting issued under the Minister's authority. It operates one of the world's largest forest-fire-fighting services and the Ontario government's fleet of aircraft. The economy of northern Ontario resonates with every policy announcement. It has been said that the ministry has a greater influence on the state of the environment than any other organization. 

Ouellette, MPP for Oshawa, east of Toronto, and a newcomer to Cabinet replaces John Snobelen. His bio on Ontario's website states that before entering politics he "ran a lumber operation."

April 12, 2002

Lake Temagami islands biodiversity study proposed

Lake Temagami islands may be subject to a unique island study. Forest ecologist Dr. Peter Quinby, the project leader, hopes to undertake a biodiversity study of Lake Temagami's largest islands this summer if the funding can be raised. Two thirds of the $26,000 ($16,000 U.S.) cost has been funded.

"We know of no other similar study in eastern Canada that has examined the biodiversity of multiple large islands on inland freshwater lakes," says Quinby. "Undeveloped and unlogged islands of the size found in Temagami are very rare so we have an extraordinary opportunity here to better understand the ecology of the Temagami landscape."

Crown islands like High Rock, Temagami, Beaver and Papoose will be included in the study. The scientists will be looking for rare plant species, rare plant communities, and old growth forest of all types.

Prior to Quinby's studies of old-growth red and white pine forest, Temagami had been considered an unexceptional forest area. Now it is internationally renowned for its numerous magnificent stands of globally endangered pine ecosystems. "We've suspected for awhile that the islands may be unique. I have wanted to study them in detail with my team for quite some time," says Quinby. "We are now more than halfway there with our funding."

Quinby is executive director of Ancient Forest Exploration & Research in Ontario and an assistant dean of natural resources at Paul Smith's College in New York.

Donations to support the Temagami Islands Biodiversity Study are tax deductible. Send to:

In Canada:

Ancient Forest Exploration & Research

15 Wright Ave.

Toronto, Ontario M6R 1L2

Payable to: Ancient Forest Exploration & Research

In United States:

Dr. Peter Quinby

Paul Smith's College

Paul Smiths, New York 12970

Payable to: Paul Smith's College 

April 11, 2002

Dispatch from Temagami Tim

at the Hub of Lake Temagami

We are finally getting some thaw - it got all the way up to seven around noon today and the snow on the roof has resumed melting. But there's still quite a bit to go.

The lake appears solid and people have been driving all over the place. This morning a pickup truck went by towing three large sleds loaded with building materials. But under all that there is not a great deal of good ice, and when it starts to go it will go pretty quickly. Yesterday all the flat areas were covered with a couple of inches of water. That water is thinking about draining down the many sinkholes that are beginning to show up.

During the weekly water-level teleconference this morning with the conservation authority, it became evident that the people in the south end of the watershed around Lake Nipissing are getting antsy about the lack of a sustained thaw. I would imaging the pike and pickerel are also getting antsy - it's spawning time! 

At any rate, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) today put all the logs back in the Cross Lake Dam - the first time it has been adjusted since late October. The lake level is now just about optimum for this time of the year at 293.2 metres above sea level. There is still a lot of snow in the bush with a water content just about double the norms for this time of year. Let's hope we don't get too fast a thaw and a large amount of rain.

The Mine Road is pretty potholey, but what can you do before it dries up? Running the grader over it would just produce mushroom soup.

Tim Gooderham

   Tim's Fearless Forecast for breakup

          Probably first week of May (revised from April 25) 

April 10, 2002

Rabies cases reach 34 this year

Rabid foxes found in northeastern Ontario this year reaches 34, according to CBC Radio. Sudbury district reports 29, with Temiskaming and Cochrane each reporting two, and Algoma one. The Temiskaming foxes were found in the Kirkland Lake area. Several people have been attacked in Sudbury by rabid foxes.

The rabies in Kirkland Lake is believed to have come from the Sudbury area, according to Sylvia Daleman at the Temiskaming Health Unit. With breeding season approaching, the rabies cases are expected to increase.

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