Welcome To The Website of the
Upper French River Cottagers Association
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. To contact the UFRCA about any issue or to make inquiries, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you missing this dock? Found stranded on Burnt Island at the Akin cottage. If it's yours, contact email@example.com A related e-mail was sent to all UFRCA members.
2018 UFRCA Photo Contest
Posted February 13, 2018
The 2018 UFRCA Photo Contest is now on. There is no better time than during the cold days of winter to search our photos and remind ourselves of the past great summer on the French River! The April 15 deadline will be here before we know it in just 2 months.
We are asking cottagers to dig through those great cottage memories and forward photos to our panel of volunteer judges. As in prior years there will be three categories. Every year we have Nature and French River Life and for 2018, the special category will be “Oh No” photos. Did your boat sink? Did a tree come down? Did your husband take apart the pump and not remember how to put it back together? That’s the sort of thing we’re looking for. Photos may be entered until April 15, 2018. They should be sent as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Entry Limit - three photos per photographer, no limit per cottage.
When submitting photos include:
a) the UFRCA name associated with the photo
b) the full name and address for each photographer
c) good quality JPEG photo attachments, 10 MB max file size
d) MOST IMPORTANTLY, which category each photo is to be entered: Nature, French River Life, or “Oh No”
Any photo can be entered except those entered in previous UFRCA photo contests.
The Photo Contest awards announcements and video displays have been highlights of the last several AGMs. Let’s repeat that in 2018. See http://ufrca.com/index.php?page=galleries for the 2017 Photo Contest winning entries.
December Newsletter Distributed
Posted December 12, 2017
The December newsletter was distributed recently to the membership. If you did not receive the e-mail but should have, contact email@example.com
Breaking News - West Nipissing votes to bring back OPP
Posted December 6, 2017
News media today revealed that West Nipissing Municipality has voted to accept the OPP offer to provide policing to the municipality. For cottagers in the Upper French River and Lake Nipissing region, the result will be that all policing responsibilities (both water and land) will fall to the OPP, instead of using two police forces for different issues.
See the North Bay Nugget article here.
See the Bay Today article here.
Links and YouTube Videos
Posted October 18, 2017
The Links page has been rebranded and now features YouTube videos of special interest to French River cottagers. If you see something that would be of interest, please submit to any Board member.
Police Chief Seguin to remain until policing decision is made
Posted October 6, 2017
The Municipality of West Nipissing is once again studying the feasibility of switching from the local West Nipissing Police Service to the OPP. This has been a contentious issue for Upper French River Cottagers for many years, as it has meant dealing with two police services for different issues and depending on whether one's cottage location is on the north side of the river (Bertram Township - West Nipissing) or the south side (unorganized townships in Parry Sound District). Current WNP Chief Seguin, slated to retire, will stay in his position until a decision is made and/or a new chief is hired. For the North Bay Nugget article, click here .
The Annual General Meeting was held successfully at Solid Comfort on August 6. Thank you again to the great hosts there and especially the chef and crew who prepared the very tasty treats for the large crowd of about 70 cottagers. The draft minutes of the meeting will be posted in Newsletters (Members Section) when they become available. Continuing on the Board of Directors for the 2017-18 season are Holly Waters, Liz Gribbon, Jeff Hamilton, Peter Rooney, and Sam Goodwin, plus new Board member Amanda Derks. With the retirement of Directors Liz Gallagher, Kathy LaBranche, and Dave Minden (President) there are a total of 3 vacancies on the 9-member Board. To volunteer to be on the Board, contact any Board member or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted August 16, 2017
In the Photo Gallery, you can view the spectacular winning photos from the 2017 Photo Contest. Congratulations to all, and thanks to Jeff Hamilton who coordinated the entire contest and judging. Also posted are a few photos from the Chaudiere Lodge Fish Fry Social. Unfortunately it was a soggy, damp affair, but those who persevered had a great time.
SUNDAY AUGUST 6, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to noon. Annual General Meeting at Solid Comfort. See the Flyer.
Also SUNDAY AUGUST 6, 2017 - Chaudiere Lodge Fish Fry Social 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. See the Flyer.
Doris Moore, 1920-2017
Posted June 23, 2017
The UFRCA expresses its condolences to the family of Doris Moore who passed away on May 13, 2017, at the age of 96. Doris was a resident of Moreland Hills, Ohio and was the wife of Cleveland-area physician Dr. Douglas J. Moore (who died in 1988) and the daughter-in-law of the late William and Evelyn Moore, who established the family's first camp on the southeastern shore of Windy/Cleland Island (Island #148) in the 1930s. (This is now the site of the Kennedy-Sadler camp.) Her first trip to the River was in the early 1950s, and with her husband, Doug, established the family's second camp on the northeastern tip of the island in 1965.They named the camp Diastole (pronounced die-ass’-toll-ee) for the resting phase of the heart. Their children: Jeff, Pam Shyatt, Susan Lafferty, Judy Duffy, and Barb Catlin, and her thirteen grandchildren (and their children) enjoy the camp every summer. For the obituary, click here.
Fishing Regulations for Lake Nipissing
Posted Jun 16, 2017
With walleye, pike and perch seasons now open, and bass and muskie seasons opening this weekend, anglers need to know the catch and possession limits for Lake Nipissing and the Upper French, as they are different from the broader Zone 11. See the full details here.
Missing a dock?
Posted June 10, 2017
Posted June 6, 2017
Members received the June newsletter today. If you did not receive it but should have, contact email@example.com. This is the final newsletter of the season. Don't forget to renew your membership, which expires June 30.
Positives for Fishery Management
Posted May 25, 2017
A May 16 North Bay Nugget article outlining the current state of the Lake Nipissing walleye fishery is available here.
A major study entitled Achieving a Sustainable Lake Nipissing Walleye Fishery, produced by Doris Smith for the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce, was released today (May 25) and is available here. Thank you to Paul Cormier for his contribution in representing the UFRCA among the many stakeholders. Today's press release from the NBDCC is available here.
The response from a variety of local stakeholders was reported in the June 23 North Bay Nugget and may be seen here.
Know the Regulations before you head out
Posted May 25, 2017
It's Safe Boating Awareness Week (May 20-26). Boat safely this week and every week. Before you head out, "know and follow the regulations".
Membership Renewal Time
It's time to renew your UFRCA membership for the 2017-18 season. Membership information was e-mailed to members and many past members on May 1. It is also being "snail-mailed" and you will receive paper versions shortly. Membership information is posted in Membership Information and Membership Form in the Members Menu on the left. New members are always welcome.
Note that Chaudiere Lodge has changed the date of their Fish Fry Social. It will be on Sunday August 6 (4:30 to 7:30) the same day as the UFRCA AGM. See Social and Events for the Calendar of Events here.
Flood Watches and Warnings Across Ontario
Updated May 12, 2017
The lake level seems to be stablizing at around 196.15 metres above sea level, just slightly below the defined flood level. Due to the high water level, expect floating debris in the water. Travel carefully and keep an eye out for "dead-heads". View the Environment Canada Water Office graph here.
Posted Thursday May 4, 2017
!! A Flood Watch has been issued for the entire Nipissing District. For the Nugget article, click here.
For the Ontario Flood Forecasting and Warning Program (with map) click here.
Flood Watch Issued for Lake Nipissing
Posted Saturday April 29, 2017
A significant weather disturbance now being felt in the central US will impact Ontario Sunday and Monday, April 30 and May 1. See the Nugget article here.
Lake Nipissing Ice Free
Posted April 25, 2017
According to Gateway Helicopter's report to the North Bay Nugget, Lake Nipissing has been declared ice free on Friday April 21, 2017. See The Nugget article here. This is substantially earlier than the last two years, both on May 5. The average date for the lake to be ice free is April 28, but April 21 is still within the average range. The water level is very high. Presently Lake Nipissing near 196 metres above sea level. The summer target range is 195.75 to 195.95 metres above sea level.
The UFRCA Photo Contest entry deadline of April 15, 2017 is fast approaching. See all information on the Social and Events page.
Posted April 14, 2017
This Northern Ontario tourism link gives us a look at several tourist destinations on the French River and includes sites on the Lower, Middle, and Upper parts of the river. Click here.
The ice will probably be off Lake Nipissing much earlier than last year's May 5. Local predictions are that the ice will be off between April 22 and 25. What's your guess?
Members - The March 2017 Newsletter was distributed March 9. If you did not receive the e-mail notification but should have, contact us immediately.
A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE CHIEF COMMANDA CRUISE
Posted February 23, 2017
An announcement was distributed to all UFRCA members and many past members and is available here.
Thanks to Kathy LaBranche for sending this image she discovered in Banff. Click on the image to enlarge, and "think about summer".
Special December Newsletter
The Special December 2016 Newsletter was distributed to both current members and many past members. To view the newsletter click here.
FOCA Elert December, 2016
Posted December 18, 2016
Not many cottagers on the Upper French have hydro, but for those that do, there is some interesting news in this month's issue of FOCA's Elert News. There are also some developments occurring with regard to permits for dock and other shoreline work under the Public Lands Act. For the December 2016 Elert News, click here.
Norma Baskett - Bragdon Island
Posted December 10, 2016
The UFRCA extends its condolences to the Ivan Baskett and the family of Norma Baskett, who died on December 3, 2016. The obituary may be seen at http://www.westviewfuneralchapel.com/pages/obituaries/details.php?p=2980
More Unfortunate News Regarding Halcyon Cottage
Updated December 7
In late November, we posted news that Dolores Hill from Halcyon Cottage had died in October. We have recently received further news that Dave & Shin Hill died on December 1 as a result of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at their home in Green, OH. Our condolences once again to the Hill family and to Bud Smith, brother of the late Dolores Hill. A memorial service is planned for December 10, 2016, at 10 a.m. at the Greensburg United Methodist Church in Green. The obituary notice has been posted at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ohio/obituary.aspx?n=c-david-and-son-cha-hill-shin&pid=183005543&fhid=4553
Also, see http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/hills-supply-owner-dies-from-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/385334.html
More on the Lake Nipissing Fishery - Winter Walleye Fishing OK'd
Updated November 30, 2016
Paul Cormier was the UFRCA representative on the Fishery Advisory Council in 2013. Paul has written Fishing 2016 Paul Cormier v2.pdf to the recent media articles shown below regarding the Lake Nipissing Fishery.
See previous reports below in September News.
See November media reports at http://www.nugget.ca/2016/11/19/we-didnt-create-this-mess-responds-a-disappointed-chief-scott-McLeod and https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/mnrf-wont-close-nipissing-ice-fishing-season-this-winter-467922
Dolores Hill – Halcyon Cottage
Posted November 23, 2016
We extend our condolences to the Hill family and to Pauline and Bud Smith, whose sister Dolores Hill died recently at the age of 86. See http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ohio/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=182098231
More on the West Nipissing Spending Scandal
Posted November 20, 2016
Also see reports below in September News.
Dokis In The News
Posted November 10, 2016
See the Dokis page for recent articles on the new Dokis Museum and a CBC Radio feature on the Hydro-Mega electric project.
Posted October 17, 2016
The October, 2016 Newsletter was sent by e-mail on October 17 to current members - those who have paid their membership fees for the 2016-17 season. If you did not receive the newsletter but should have, contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. The October newsletter has been posted in "Newsletters" in the Members Menu. Logging-in is required.
Closing the cottage routines - keep potential thieves in mind
Originally posted September 24, 2015. West Nipissing Police have sent this communication as a reminder to keep would-be thieves in mind when closing for the winter. And reduce off-season environmental damage by following many common sense suggestions. To view, click here.
Lake Nipissing Walleye Fishery
Updated September 26, 2016
Several recent media reports highlight the continuing discussion and controversy regarding the Lake Nipissing Walleye fishery.
1. Commercial Fishery Closed
The Nugget September 8, 2016
The commercial fishery on Lake Nipissing was recently closed for the season. See details at http://www.nugget.ca/2016/09/08/commercial-fishery-closed-for-season
2. Bob Goulais Blog
3. Nipissing First Nations wants to have winter walleye fishing closed
The Nugget September 12, 2016
4. The Nugget September 14, 2016
5. The Nugget September 23, 2016
West Nipissing Scandal Results in OPP Charges
Posted September 14, 2016
Allegations of spending irregularities by some West Nipissing Municipality officials have resulted in charges being laid by the OPP.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
Posted July 15, 2016
As a follow-up to our recent bulletin on Emergency Services on the Upper French River, UFRCA received some inquiries about specific phone numbers that people can call in the event of medical, police, and fire emergencies. In response, we put together the attached document which provides additional detail and phone numbers. The first page of the attachment is for residents of the Municipality of West Nipissing (Bertram Township). The second page is for residents of the Unorganized District of Centre Parry Sound (the south side of the river in Hardy and Patterson Townships).
A key distinction between the two areas is that in the Unorganized District of Centre Parry Sound there is no 911 service on land lines. In a medical emergency, cottagers in the Unorganized District of Centre Parry Sound would need to call EMS directly and we have provided 1-800 numbers for this purpose. In a policing emergency, you would need to call the OPP directly and their central dispatch number is provided as well.
Just a few more very important points that EMS officials asked us to stress:
- Always make sure you know or have on hand your cottage GPS coordinates and, for those in West Nipissing, your municipal address (that's the little blue sign – for example “WB212-1”)
- Keep them by the phone and make sure everyone (family and guests) knows where they are.
- Educate family and guests on what to do in an emergency and where the closest land access/marina is.
- If you are not at your cottage when you make an emergency call (for example – a cell phone from a boat) you should try to have some way to determine your GPS coordinates.
To view the document, click Uers Summary July 2016.pdf
MAJOR FIRE IN STURGEON FALLS
Posted July 15, 2016
A major fire occurred in the downtown area of Sturgeon Falls on the evening of July 14. See http://www.nugget.ca/2016/07/15/power-cut-area-evacuated-at-least-four-businesses-burned
Congratulations to recently elected Chief Gerry Duquette and to Deputy Chief Denise Restoule, who has been Chief of Dokis First Nation since 2006 but stepped down from that role this spring. One of her many accomplishments over the last 10 years was the successful construction of the hydro-generating station at the Chaudiere dam. On May 5, 2016, the project was officially opened. Photo supplied by Grant Hobson, UFRCA Dokis Liaison. See other photos in the Photo Gallery. Also scroll down to the video on the hydro project.
Crime Stoppers Doubles Rewards
Posted June 15, 2016
There have been numerous break-ins on the Upper French over the past winter and spring. As a result, Near North Crime Stoppers have doubled their rewards for information. For the press release issued June 15, click double reward june 2016.pdf
Pictograph on Kennedy Island
Posted June 8, 2016
In the 1980s, a field archeologist with the Ontario government researched and published a paper on the pictograph located on Kennedy Island. To view the document go to History - Local Area History http://ufrca.com/index.php?page=local-area-history and scroll down to Historical Importance. Thanks to Holly Waters for discovering this document.
Congratulations to Dokis FN on Election Results and Hydro Project Grand Opening
Posted May 30, 2016
With cottage season starting soon, it’s also time to think about recycling. For the specifics on recycling at Dokis Riverview Marina and in West Nipissing, see http://ufrca.com/index.php?page=going-green Specific rules differ in various municipalities, so know what the policies are wherever you take your recycling articles.
Great fishing plus great scenery equals …
Posted May 8, 2016
For super French River scenery and some savvy fishing, check out this You Tube video created by John Fry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2T83l0QeeA
Dokis First Nation Power Generating Station on Facebook
For some wonderful aerial photography of Dokis First Nation and their new power generating station view the video below.
Asian Carp found in Lake Erie
Posted January 5, 2016
For the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Fact Sheet on Asian Carp species, see http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Science/coe-cde/ceara/AIS-EAE/asian_carp-carpe_asiatique-eng.htm
The Invasive Species Centre is holding a competition for innovations on how to keep these fish out. See: http://www.asiancarp.ca/SitePages/Resources/InnovativeSolutionsCompetition.aspx