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.


April, 2017 News

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 http://www.nugget.ca/2017/04/23/ice-off-lake-nipissing 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. See http://ufrca.com/index.php?page=ice-out-dates&redirected=1 The water level is very high. Presently Lake Nipissing is 196 metres above sea level. The summer target range is 195.75 to 195.95 metres above sea level.

Photo Contest
The UFRCA Photo Contest entry deadline of April 15, 2017 is fast approaching. See all information on the Social and Events page: http://ufrca.com/index.php?page=photo-contest

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. See http://www.northernontario.travel/northeastern-ontario/canada-150-discovering-the-french-river

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?

March, 2017 News

Members - The March 2017 Newsletter was distributed March 9. If you did not receive the e-mail notification but should have, contact us immediately.

February, 2017 News

Posted February 23, 2017

An announcement was distributed to all UFRCA members and many past members and is available A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE CHIEF COMMANDA RIVER CRUISE.pdf 

January 2017 News

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Thanks to Kathy LaBranche for sending this image she discovered in Banff. Click on the image to enlarge, and "think about summer".

December, 2016 News

Special December Newsletter
The Special December 2016 Newsletter was distributed to both current members and many past members. To view the newsletter click UFRCA winter 16_final.compressed.pdf 

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 

November, 2016 News

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
and https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/lake-nipissing-fisheries-review-completed-466176

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.
See http://www.nugget.ca/2016/11/12/im-the-only-person-who-is-really-exonerated-investigated-councillor-says 

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.

October, 2016 News

October Newsletter
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 admin@ufrca.com 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. 

September, 2016 News

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
See http://www.anishinaabe.ca/index.php/anishinaabe-blog/
3. Nipissing First Nations wants to have winter walleye fishing closed
The Nugget September 12, 2016

See http://www.nugget.ca/2016/09/12/there-is-no-doubt-that-the-winter-fishery-is-harming-adolescent-fish-and-negatively-impacting-the-recovery-of-the-walleye-population
4. The Nugget September 14, 2016
See http://www.nugget.ca/2016/09/14/natural-resources-and-forestry-considering-nfns-request-to-close-the-recreational-winter-walleye-fishery-this-season
5. The Nugget September 23, 2016

See http://www.nugget.ca/2016/09/23/the-real-threat-is-from-those-who-are-fishing-illegally-pretending-to-be-the-righteous-who-disregard-what-is-right 

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.
See https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/west-nipissing-mayor-calls-fraud-investigation-a-difficult-and-challenging-period-407923 

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 UFRCA Emergency Phone Numbers Summary July 2016.pdf 

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 

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

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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.


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

Posted April 11, 2016
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


An article on the CBC web site  indicates the invasive species Asian Carp has been found in Lake Erie. A growing population of Asian Carp has become widespread in US waterways, and a narrow barrier in Chicago between the Illinois River and Lake Michigan has been a focal point of concern for some time. See:

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: