Credit River Anglers Association (CRAA)
CRAA is a regional watershed based conservation group working on many rivers in the GTA including the Credit River, Bronte Creek, 16 Mile Creek, Humber River and other nearby streams. Our main focus is on sport fish, (trout, Atlantic and Pacific salmon and bass), but our work benefits all species in the valley from birds to animals to other valley users through carefully planned conservation work. CRAA's foremost objectives are a pristine river, with stable flows, reduced sediment and flooding, a healthy valley with dense forest cover and improved groundwater.
CRAA is very active in supporting and enhancing native species including smallmouth bass, brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) by protecting and rehabilitating existing populations (brook trout and redside dace) and stocking (Atlantic salmon). CRAA is also a strong advocate of several non-native game fish species including brown trout (resident and migratory) (Salmo trutta), rainbow trout (steelhead) (Onchorhynchus mykiss) and Coho and Chinook salmon. CRAA also works with MNR to lift/pass native white sucker and smallmouth bass and prevent sea lamprey from accessing past Streetsville Dam.
CRAA's priority for fish is open access to habitat through removal of manmade barriers (dams, culvert jumps, etc) where invasive species are not a threat and to manage fish passage with fish ladders where invasive species like lamprey are a threat. CRAA's goal is to maximize natural reproduction of all native and naturalized species to reduce the need for hatchery fish and reduce human management to reduce costs and maximize fishing opportunities.
Working with the OMNR and the Credit River's Implementation Committee CRAA has developed a rainbow trout adult transfer program where fish are collected from the fishway and moved upstream by truck to a major cold water tributary. The result has been a substantial increase in wild rainbow trout returning to the river. Estimates suggest runs could exceed 20,000 rainbow trout with better access. Meanwhile chinook runs have been steady derived from MNR stocking. Coho salmon have been recently stocked by MNR partners, MEA and CRAA and a fishery is developing. CRAA has been a partner with MNR since 1993 to bring back Atlantic salmon and successful returns are growing. CRAA, MNR and other partners have transported adult fish past dams by truck and CRAA/MNR worked closely together to build a new fish ladder at Norval. CRAA worked with many partners and MNR to bring forth reduced harvest regulations and bait restrictions to protect brook and brown trout upstream of Upper Baseline Road.
Protecting resident trout populations and migratory spawning habitat from damage caused by threats such as urban sprawl, water taking, deforestation, chemical spills, etc are of the highest priority. CRAA diligently works with all levels of government agencies to assist in enforcement and lobby agencies for improving habitat protection. Enhancement and improvement of these unique fisheries is done through massive reforestation, stream rehabilitation, public education and conservation practices.
||CRAA is actively working to increase areas open to the public to improve angling opportunities, while reducing angler impacts and threats, such as over-harvest, on the fish population. CRAA has worked closely with the City of Mississauga and the OMNR to open additional fishing opportunities in the lower river for salmon and trout. In 1991 Erindale Park was opened. Following in 1999 the section above Erindale to Highway 403 was opened. Recently in 2007 the lower river was opened from Dundas to the QEW. Anglers now have access to roughly 10km of river for fishing year round for trout and Pacific salmon.
CRAA has completed over $4,000,000 in stream rehabilitation since 1997 with 400,000 native trees planted, combined stocking of over 2.5 million steelhead, brown trout and Atlantic salmon, countless stream rehabilitation works and over 200,000 volunteer hours logged. Funding from the MNR's CFWIP, MNR's Fish and Wildlife Budget, Species at Risk, the Toronto Sportsmen's Club - Great Ontario Salmon Derby, Environment Canada's Eco-Action 2000, Ontario's Trillium Fund, City of Mississauga, Mayor Hazel McCallion Golf Tournament CRAA's fund raising, Port Credit and Promenade Launch Program, Shell Canada, local corporations and donations from the Credit Valley Conservation, MNR and Home Depot continue to help CRAA reach our goals. There are many more projects to accomplish and with our many partners we will succeed.
CRAA is solely responsible for keeping Erindale Park open to fishing in 1990, when the City considered closing the park due to unethical fishing practices. CRAA was also the driving force behind opening the all year fishing area up to Highway 403 in the year 2000, after 5 years of attempts.
CRAA has also operated the Streetsville Fishway since 1990 on behalf of, and in partnership with, the MNR to pass migratory steelhead and brown trout over the Streetsville Dam to access the lower river to Norval. In that time CRAA has implemented major changes to improve efficiency of the fish ladder and has successfully increased the effectiveness of the ladder from 30% (1992) to 98% in recent years.
|Despite CRAA's best efforts the steelhead fishery has diminished from its past level of the late 1980's. The main cause is that the MNR reduced steelhead stocking since 1991 and steelhead access past the Norval Dam ended in the late 1980's after structural damage occurred from a flood at the Norval Dam. Natural reproduction below Norval Dam is severely limited due to high summer water temperatures, high sediment levels and lack of groundwater. CRAA has substantially rehabilitated the lower river from Inglewood to Lake Ontario through our massive tree planting program, however temperatures are still too warm most summers.
Without CRAA's past and present commitment and hard work the Credit River fishery would be bleak at best. There would be NO fishing in the lower river between August 15 and the end of April (including Erindale Park). The steelhead run would be around 1,000 adult fish per year, the results of the MNR's stocking efforts (rather than an estimated five to six thousand currently). There would be little, if any migratory brown trout fishery. The salmon fishery in the river would be closed entirely. The Streetsville fishway would not be a successful ladder and most steelhead would be stuck below the Streetsville Dam as prior to 1992. There would be 117,000 fewer trees planted in the watershed, $500,000 less in stream rehabilitation and countless thousands of volunteer hours that never would have happened. Rehabilitation work on resident brook and brown trout sections would never have occurred and there would be fewer resident trout and juvenile Atlantic salmon in the watershed today.
YES! I want to join the Credit River Anglers Association (CRAA) because I care about the future of our rivers!
Are you concerned about the future health of the beautiful Credit River and Bronte Creek watersheds including all their tributaries? Do you enjoy fishing, hiking and other activities in the valleys? Do you want a cleaner river, better fishing and a cleaner environment for the future? Then you should join CRAA NOW!
CRAA is a non profit corporation that is dedicated and committed to conservation and the good health of our watersheds. We are both a conservation group and an angling club. Members actively work to improve the health of the Credit River, Bronte Creek and their tributaries through well planned, scientifically researched rehabilitation efforts. Our goals are a cleaner, healthier ecosystem and with a pristine river and watershed, healthier fish populations and better sporting opportunities.
CRAA works closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), Halton Region Conservation Authority, the Cities of Mississauga, Oakville and Brampton and the Towns of Halton Hills (Georgetown), Caledon and Orangeville, as well as local and regional groups who have similar goals of a healthier environment. CRAA is also vigorously working towards closer relations with other groups, such as Trout Unlimited (Greg Clark Chapter) and Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Club for the benefit of the watershed.
Membership fees cover the costs of newsletter production, mailing and basic day to day business expenses. Any remaining membership fees are then transferred into the rehabilitation budget. Most major rehabilitation funding comes from MNR's CFWIP, Eco Action 2000, The Trillium Fund and CRAA's Boat Launch operation with the City of Mississauga and Port Credit and Promenade Marinas.
Get involved and make a difference.
Support CRAA anyway you can!
Join CRAA now