So as I'm sure most you have heard, because of a late thaw and a large amount of rain, that there has been a fair amount of flooding in the Muskoka and Algonquin area. I lived in the area for a few years myself and this summer the boys and I are going for a fishing trip back up into the area, but I have some concerns about the effect the recent flooding is going to have on local fish populations.
I know that floods can be a boon for lakes and rivers, the waters break the banks and wash in nutrients and debris off the shore, plants and animals will have more to feed on for a time as well as new places for warrens and the like. Conversely floods also wash in chemicals and waste for people and animals, potentially corrupt the waters. My biggest concern though is timing on this one, because as I'm sure you know it's happening right around spawning season for a number of species.
If the fish spawned before the flood, all the eggs will be washed down stream, scattered and left vulnerable when they hatch, if they're even able to incubate at all, meaning a pretty negative impact on the population this season. I suppose this could make the existing fish population more willing to hit bait because food will be scarce. Or the predatory fish may themselves be impacted negatively because of it. If the spawn happens after the flooding, I imagine the fry will have lots of nutrients to feed on, more tree branches and debris to shelter in and the water will be a little more cloudy giving them a better chance of more surviving, giving us a higher population for this and the next season.
I'd love to hear what everyone thinks.