The mouth of Stoney Creek is located at the upper southwest section of Rice Lake. It was taken into consideration and subsequently assessed as an area of concern by the Alderville First Nation. Concerns that were highlighted for the complex wetland, that flows through both forested and agricultural landscapes, surround the presence of Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) and its use of Stoney Creek as a spawning and nursery ground. Inventory documenting the locations of the re-seeded wild rice stock within the study area were also noted. Wild rice is known to provide high quality spawning and nursery habitat for muskellunge.
Visual surveys were conducted in mid-April and early May, when preferred spawning temperatures were within range (between 8.5°C and 13°C), in an attempt to confirm presence of muskellunge in the creek. Surveys were conducted using a canoe to patrol the shallow waters from the mouth of the creek to the first beaver dam located on the eastern side of Country Road 18 as (indicated on map). Both surveys resulted in no target fish being observed. This resulted in the project not proceeding to its second phase. The purpose of the second phase was to set lighted quatrefoil traps later in the season to target juvenile muskellunge in order to confirm successful spawning. Eventhough no target fish were observed, water and sediment samples were collected and sent away for analysis. The results will be presented in a report along with recommendations for restoration.