New Homes for Fish and Wildlife along the Niagara River

April 3, 2017

Chris Giles

An exciting effort is underway at Niagara Parks to provide new homes for fish and wildlife while building on projects intended to slow shore erosion.

Seven sites along the Upper Niagara River have been identified for habitat restoration, with the mouths of Ussher’s Creek and Baker’s Creek already completed in March 2017.

In the past, the Niagara River shoreline would have been lined with coastal wetlands. In 2015, it was determined by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry that over 75% of these coastal wetlands have been lost on the Canadian side of the Niagara River largely due to erosion prevention efforts. Coastal wetlands are essential for many fish species found within the Niagara River, including Lake Sturgeon, a species at risk. Typically these wetlands consist of various plants that provide safe shelter which is important for increasing fish populations in the Niagara River.

How are these habitats created?

  • Installation of fences that control the movement of dirt and small rocks
  • Shaping the river bank to a gentler/stable slope
  • Ash trees damaged by the Emerald Ash Borer pest were recycled and included as part of the project and placed into the river bed to slow wave action and create calmer near shore habitat
  • Planting of shoreline shrubs and plants
  • Ongoing monitoring


Anchored Root Wads create fish habitats


Submerged fish habitat project (rock ‘weir’ with anchored logs)


Niagara River Shoreline works – reduced wave action leading to vegetation growth


Niagara River Shoreline works – reduced wave action leading to vegetation growth