Port Hope has closed public access and trails along the Ganaraska River ahead of this year’s salmon migration.
The fish ladder at Corbett’s Dam and trails from Molson street to south of Robertson street, and to the south end of the east pier are closed as of Wednesday, Sept. 2.
The boat ramp, parking lots near the fish cleaning station and at Riverside Park, and Waterfront Trail will remain open, councillors decided during a regular meeting held on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Closures in place until Oct. 15
The decision was made to prioritize safety ahead of this year’s salmon migration amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes will remain in effect until Oct. 15.
Overall, there were 207 participants and the majority of responses (114 people or 62%) supported the full closure. An online poll led to similar results, with 144 (70%) or respondents favouring that choice.
Locals spoke up
Staff have installed temporary fencing, barricades, and signage along the river’s path to alert residents and visitors of the restrictions, the municipality stated.
“After a lengthy community consultation, it was clear that most residents who shared their comments and feedback with council preferred the option to restrict access to the river in response to the ongoing global pandemic,” Municipality of Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson stated in a press release.
“While temporarily restricting municipal land is not a common practice, it is a measure that we have taken to reduce the anticipated number of residents, tourists, and anglers from gathering in and along the Ganaraska River during the annual salmon migration. From experience we know that our annual salmon migration attracts thousands of people from far and wide. This year, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.”