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Contract: Apr 2014 Apr 2014



Welcome To The Website of the
Upper French River Cottagers Association

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The French River is located in Ontario, Canada, and defines the boundary between Parry Sound and Nipissing Districts. The French River flows southwest from Lake Nipissing to Georgian Bay. The "Upper" French River lies between Lake Nipissing and the Chaudiere Dams at Dokis First Nation. An historic First Nation and fur trade canoe route, the French River is now a Provincial Park, the home to citizens of Dokis First Nation, and the summer residence of hundreds of cottagers.

The Members menu (at left) displays Membership Information and Form, but more options are available when members Log In.


Upcoming Events

Click on the Events Page at left for full details on:

Photo Contest (Entry Deadline April 15, 2014)
Dokis Summerfest
Dock Sale (Register as host site by May 15, 2014)
Annual General Meeting


Lake Nipissing Web Cam

Posted April 15, 2014
See the right-side links for a current web cam view of Lake Nipissing, courtesy of the Greater Nipissing Stewardship Council.

Flood Outlook is in effect for area waterways

Posted April 13, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014   by: Kate Adams

The Ministry of Natural Resources - North Bay District is advising area residents of South River, Ottawa River, Pickerel River, Mattawa River, French River, Sturgeon River and Lake Nipissing that a Watershed Conditions Statement - Flood Outlook is in effect in these areas.

Residents in these watersheds should keep a close watch on conditions, regularly check for updated messages and stay away from fast-moving rivers and streams. MNR is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.

*FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions



Posted April 10, 2014
A special edition newsletter was distributed April 10 to current UFRCA members. If you should have received the newsletter but did not, contact

 Response to MNR Fishery Announcement

Posted March 27, 2014
The MNR announcement on Tuesday March 25 regarding the walleye catch (possession) limit and new slot size has resulted in a flurry of comments and related news articles. They are available here in PDF format. (From the North Bay Nugget, March 27, 2014)

Opinion article from Marianna Couchie, Chief, Nipissing First Nation
Opinion article from Nugget writer Dave Dale 
News article regarding local tourism operators 

Posted April 7, 2014

Article by UFRCA Rep on Lake Nipissing Fishery Advisory Council

MNR: Catch limits remain at two walleye 


By DAVE DALE, The Nugget
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 2:24:26 EDT PM

Anglers on Lake Nipissing will still be able to keep a maximum of two walleye next year if the Ministry of Natural Resources draft management plan is implemented as presented for public input today.

But only those walleye over 46 centimetres (18 inches) can be kept in a bid to save a fishery described as "stress and at high risk of significant decline."

There was speculation the province was going to reduce the limit to one walleye from the two allowed this year. The limit was cut in half from the previous limit of four Jan. 1, 2013.

A slot size restriction protecting spawning walleye 40 to 60 cm is being abandoned after this year.

MNR Minister David Orizietti told The Nugget today that studies indicate there are not enough walleye in the slot size restriction to protect and the province is putting its faith in the smaller year classes. "This would ensure juvenile walleye remain in the lake, reach spawning size and be given a chance to reproduce at least once before being harvested. Catch limits would remain the same: two walleye for sport fish licence holders and one walleye for conservation licence holders," states a media release today.
Orizietti said he has spoken to Nipissing First Nation Chief Marianna Couchie about the issue and the need to reduce the overall pressure on the walleye fishery.

The native commercial gill net and recreational harvest took an estimated 51,000 kilograms of walleye out of the lake in 2013, Orizietti said, adding that the MNR believes the sustainable combined harvest should be 20,000 kg less.

Just a decade ago, based on previous data, the MNR said the sustainable harvest for Lake Nipissing should be 90,000 kg but set a more conservative maximum combined harvest at 66,000 kg. Orizietti said Nipissing FN has a treaty and constitutional right to harvest commercially, so they hope to work with the native community in reducing the overall pressure. will update this story

Click to view the Lake Nipissing Fisheries Management Plan
Picking ice-off date may be longshot

Monday, March 24, 2014 4:53:03 EDT PM

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The annual ice-off guesses are being tossed around at Demarco's Confectionery. Some are hopeful the annual Lake Nipissing ice-off will happen next month, but others aren't as optimistic and are suggesting a more realistic date of May or June. This winter is anything but normal.

North Bay has seen record snowfall levels, unseasonal temperatures and a snowstorm during the first day of spring. So guessing when Lake Nipissing will be ice-free may well be a longshot this year. Despite some parts of the lake reportedly having more than 40 inches of ice, some people are hopeful of a May ice-off.

Others aren't so optimistic. Demarco's Confectionery, a quaint little coffee shop that serves homemade food in North Bay's downtown, holds an ice-off contest every year. The rules to the game are simple. Customers walk in and guess when they think the ice will be completely off Lake Nipissing.
Lisa Demarco, organizer of the ice-off pools, said this year is unlike most.
“The week of April 22 to 28, which is normally sold out, hasn't been touched this year,” she said Monday morning.

“Everyone is snapping up the dates throughout the first two weeks in May.” Last year, the official ice-off date was May 4, but depending who you ask that seems like a long-shot for this year. Demarco said some customers are beyond frustrated and fed up with the cold weather.
“We've had some customers come in and try to buy a date in July,” she said. “We've also had one brave soul predict ice-off by April 20.” Demarco said the latest date in the pools is May 20, but the way things have been going she had considered adding some squares later into the month.

The Nugget asked its Facebook friends what their ice-off predictions were and there were a variety of responses. According to Blair Buchmann, there was more than 45 inches of ice in some spots at the South Shore, over 40 inches in Callander Bay and 42 inches mid lake near Iron Island. “Most of the Sturgeon River is still covered over and until it blows wide open, not much let's go.”

Someone suggested the city could host a second polar bear dip during the August long weekend as part of the Summer In The Park festivities. The first polar bear dip will take place Saturday in support of Special Olympics.
Others were a little more optimistic by suggesting end of April, June or at least by Canada Day.

The latest recorded date for the ice off was set back on May 19, 1926 and the earliest date April 3, 1945. According to the Weather Network, the temperature is expected to remain below seasonal for this time of year until Friday when the thermometer is expected to rise to 3C.

Note - Click here to view all ice-free dates and what to know before making your prediction.


Posted March 11, 2014
In January 2014, The Ministry of Natural Resources released a draft Provincial Fish Strategy for public review and comment for a 120-day period. The document is available on the EBR website at . You can view the PDF document "Ontario's Provincial Fish Strategy" and submit a comment directly from this page. This strategy proposal deals with the entire Great Lakes watershed and does not deal specifically with Lake Nipissing. The Lake Nipissing Fishery Advisory Council has not met since 2013 due to staffing reorganization. We will update any changes to local fishing regulations when they become available.


Posted March 11, 2014
The March newsletter was distributed to current UFRCA members on March 4, 2014. If you should have received the newsletter but did not, contact


 New signage will appear in 2014

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  If you visit a Park campsite in the summer of 2014, look for new signage. After 10 years, the previous white signs were showing evidence of wear and tear, weathering and vandalism, and it was time for a make-over. Jointly funded by the Friends of The French and the Upper French River Cottagers Association, the signage encourages users … Read more   …


Fish on the French

Posted July 19, 2013
UFRCA member Paul Cormier represents the UFRCA on the MNR's Lake Nipissing Fisheries Management Plan Council, and he has provided the following documents. One result of the Council's deliberations over the last several months has been the production of these new fact sheets on the significant fish species in Lake Nipissing. In addition, note the document on specific regulations for Walleye on Lake Nipissing. A comment sheet and questionnaire may be of interest to fishing lodges in the area. Paul will have copies of these documents available at the AGM. 

Yellow Perch Factsheet
Whitefish and Cisco Factsheet
Muskie Factsheet
Northern Pike Factsheet Bass Factsheet 
Lake Nipissing Walleye Data Review
Walleye Regulation Changes 
Comment Sheet and Questionnaire (for Lodges, interested groups) 


New Comprehensive Zoning By-law program

Posted May 20, 2013
"The Municipality of West Nipissing is pleased to be starting the preparation of a new Comprehensive Zoning By-law for the municipality. The new Zoning By-law will amalgamate and update the existing Zoning By-laws in effect in various parts of West Nipissing into one Comprehensive Zoning By-law applicable to the entire municipality. The goal of this process is to create a Zoning By-law, with new mapping and text, which will provide for consistency across the municipality and will be user friendly, easily understood and simple to use." Read more in Municipal Issues - West Nipissing News.