Welcome To The Website of the
Upper French River Cottagers Association

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The Upper French River lies between Lake Nipissing and the Chaudiere Dams at Dokis First Nation. The French River then continues downstream to Georgian Bay. 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.

Contact the UFRCA at info@ufrca.com 


MNRF/NFN Set Research Nets On Nipissing
Posted September 26, 2018
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, in partnership with Nipissing First Nation, is helping protect fish populations in Lake Nipissing by collecting data and conducting research this fall. See the North Bay Nugget article here.

Spring Floods, Summer Heat, Lower Water, Rain, and Fall Drawdown
Posted September 24, 2019

It’s been that sort of summer. The spring flood on Lake Nipissing and the French River was followed by an extended period of very little rain and falling lake levels. September is the usual “rainy season”, and frequent rain has slowed the drop in the lake level, which now sits less than 10 cm below the summer range. Further rain might, in fact, start to raise the level back into the summer operating range, but it is time for the annual fall drawdown to commence in October.
Here is the PSPC report issued Monday Sept. 23, 2019
Lake Nipissing and French River
Recorded Water Level Forecast
The following is the water level forecast for Lake Nipissing and the French River as of Monday, September 23rd, 2019, as provided by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). The precipitation at the French River Dams station for the month of September was at 115.1% of the total monthly historical average.

Lake Nipissing
As of September 23rd, 2019, the average water level of Lake Nipissing was 195.68 metres (7 cm below the summer operating range 195.75 to 195.95 metres). Approximately 25 mm of rain fell over the region yesterday and there is another 5-15 mm possible by tonight. The rest of the week is calling for up to 15 mm of rain. Based on the current forecast and as we are approaching the drawdown period, we will be doing a slight increase through the dams today; the lake level is expected to remain relatively stable. Further change in the lake level is dependent on the amount of inflows and precipitation.

French River
At Dry Pine Bay, the river level on September 23rd, 2019 was 180.3 metres, which corresponds to a flow of 40 cubic metres per second. At Wolseley Bay, the river level was 186.28 metres, which corresponds to a flow of 37 cubic metres per second. The flows on the French River will increase slightly in response to the planned operation at the dams. Further change in the river levels will be dependent on the amount of inflows and precipitation.
The next update will be on Monday, September 30, 2019.

New Board Elected at AGM

Posted September 8, 2019


At the 2019 Annual General Meeting held on August 4, 2019, the following were elected to the Board of Directors for the 2019-20 season:

Amanda Derks

Sheilah Scrocchi

Martin Scrocchi

Claire Thorpe

Jim Abbott

Officers will be elected and committee chairs appointed at the first Board meeting. Draft minutes from the AGM will be posted when available. Note that there are vacancies on the Board, and if you wish to serve, contact info@ufrca.com or any Board member.

Lake Nipissing and Upper French Now Below Summer Range
Posted August 27, 2019

Here is the PSPC Report from Monday August 26.
Good afternoon,
The average level on Lake Nipissing has dropped to 195.70 m, a decrease of nearly 7 cm since last Monday. Inflows have continued to be very low with very little precipitation and high rates of evaporation on the lake, resulting in an overall drop in Lake levels. This week’s forecast is mainly sunny with a chance of rain Tuesday Aug. 20, bringing 5 to 10 mm. The flows down the French River are at the minimum. Lake levels will depend on actual inflows, but is forecast to continue to slowly drop with the current forecast. You will find today’s updated graph attached here.
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00 AM Monday Aug. 26:
Sturgeon River:                     27 m3/s         
Dam outflow:                        36 m3/s 
Wolseley Bay:                       35 m3/s
Dry Pine Bay:                         36 m3/s
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:           0 m3/s
Daily Inflow (last 24hrs):      0 m3/s
The next scheduled update will be on Tuesday, September 3, 2019,.
Thank you,
Eric Potvin, Ing., P.Eng.
“Rowing Bob” Allison – 1939-2019
Posted August 27, 2019

The UFRCA extends its condolences to the extended Allison family and immediate family of “Rowing Bob” Allison who died earlier in the summer. Thanks to Amy Watkins for supplying the information and obituary.


Posted June 22, 2019
Here is the PSPC report issued June 22.

Good morning,
The average level on Lake Nipissing has dropped to 195.83 m, a decrease of 4 cm since last Monday. The level on the lake has declined nearly 0.5 cm/day on average over the last 7 days. Inflows have continued to decline with very little precipitation and high rates of evaporation on the lake, resulting in a drop in Lake levels. There is no rain in the forecast until the weekend, which may see minor amounts in the form of showers. With the latest planned reduction in flows, we are near the minimum outflow and depending on actual inflows the Lake level may be relatively stable. Downstream on the French River, flows are expected to continue to drop due to the latest cut in flows at the dams this week; a cut of 30 m3/s will occur this morning. You will find today’s updated graph here.
Here is the supplementary data as of today at 6:00 AM:
Sturgeon River:                     31 m3/s         
Dam outflow:                        73 m3/s 
Wolseley Bay:                       79 m3/s
Dry Pine Bay:                         93 m3/s
Last 3 Day avg Inflow:           6 m3/s
Daily Inflow (last 24hrs):      -86 m3/s
The next scheduled update will be on Monday, July 29, 2019.


Posted June 30, 2019

UFRCA members recently received an
e-mail notice from UFRCA President Sam Goodwin regarding the Cottage Location Map. Note that three of the maps will be given as door prizes at the AGM.

Posted June 25, 2019

The 2019 Annual General Meeting will take place Sunday August 4, 2019 at the DOKIS COMMUNITY CENTRE from 10:00 am to Noon. The business part of the meeting will be from 10:45 to 11:45 and light refreshments will be served. Members were notified recently via e-mail of the AGM. If you did not receive this communication but should have, contact info@ufrca.com. New members are always welcome. For details on directions and shuttle transportation, draw prizes, etc., click here.

UFRCA 2019 AGM Agenda and 2018 minutes
2019 proxy form
Note that UFRCA "members" include property owners and immediate family members and that up to 3 votes per cottage property are permitted.

Posted June 18, 2019

It's time to renew your UFRCA membership or join as a new member. The membership year is from July 1 to June 30. Find all the information in the Main Menu "Membership". A related e-mail has been distributed to the membership. If you did not receive it but should have, contact info@ufrca.com. New members are always welcome!

Lake Nipissing has dropped well below the flood level of 196.22 metres. On July 4, the average level was 195.99 m, just a few centimetres above the summer operating range (195.95 to 195.75 m). Keep in mind that boat wakes can still damage sensitive shorelines and/or structures. Keep an eye out for floating debris and submerged rocks. This CHART (updated July 4) relates the current level to the benchmark levels of Lake Nipissing. The chart will no longer be updated. For the average level of Lake Nipissing, check the level at North Bay and at the French River Outlet and simply calculate the average. Prevailing westerly winds tend to give a higher reading at North Bay.

The Flood of 2019 - A summary
Posted July 4, 2019

It appears that the flood of 2019 can now be declared over. As of July 4, the average level of Lake Nipissing and the Upper French was 195.99 m, just slightly over the summer operating range. While many now have to deal with the repairs of docks and other structures, it could have been a lot worse. The managers of the water system did a great job in holding the level to under the 50-year flood level (196.59 m). While many on Lake Nipissing and the Upper French were swamped in some locations, our neighbours on the Lower French were severely affected. A compilation of web site postings may be viewed here.

Spring Newsletter
Posted May 23, 2019

The UFRCA spring newsletter was distributed to the membership on May 22 and is available here.

New Web Site Look
Posted April 21, 2019
You are seeing a new look on the web site. The Members Menu is being discontinued and members no longer need to “log in” with a user name and password. All pages previously in the Members Menu have been either discontinued or revised to be in public view and moved to the Main Menu.

Spring Freshet Underway
Posted April 15, 2019

The spring freshet is underway, and in the last few weeks, Lake Nipissing – although still ice covered – has risen to about 1 metre below the summer range. Creeks are running, and small ponds are starting to open up. After record breaking snow levels during the winter, there is still much snow in the bush. Rain, with temperatures well above zero predicted for later this week, will move us quickly into spring mode. To observe the opening of waterways, check the NASA EOSDIS Worldview web site.  Adjust the date and scroll to find a clear day when Lake Nipissing and other areas of interest are visible. The long term average date for Lake Nipissing to be ice free is April 28. Last year, the official ice-free date was May 14.

MNRF and Nipissing First Nation Extend Walleye Fishery Agreement
Posted March 12, 2019

See the North Bay Nugget article here.

West Nipissing (Finally) Approves Switch To OPP
Posted Feb. 25, 2019

After months of controversy, delays and deliberations, West Nipissing has finally decided to switch from its West Nipissing Police Service to the Ontario Provincial Police. For Upper French River cottagers, the result will be much simpler: If you need the police, call the OPP. See the Nugget article here. See the Security/Police page for a record of previous postings. The transition is slated for June, 2019.

Susan Lembke (1940-2019)
Posted Feb. 25, 2019

The UFRCA extends its condolences to the family of Susan Lembke, long time cottager on the French, who died recently. For the obituary submitted by niece Amy Watkins, click here.

Have Your Say – Cormorant Hunting in Ontario
Posted December 14, 2018

See the Environment Page: Flora and Fauna

Fall Newsletter
Posted December 9, 2018

While still officially fall, It's very wintry in the North Bay, Lake Nipissing and French River area. Here is the "Fall" UFRCA newsletter.

UFRCA has a new mailing address!

For years, our address has been c/o Kennedy Insurance in North Bay.  As a result of changes on our Board of Directors, our new address is:

Upper French River Cottagers Association

1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801

Toronto, Ontario  M5E 1W7

The address is a “virtual mailbox”. The service has been in place for quite a few years in Ontario and is easy to administer because it all done online.  Mail sent to this address will be forwarded automatically to the Board member designated each year to receive it, and this year (2018-19), it’s our Treasurer, Jayne-Ann Steele.  In the future, our mailing address won’t change even if our Board members do. If you are sending something to us through the mail, please use the new address.


Election Results
Posted October 23, 2018

Joanne Savage returns as Mayor of West Nipissing, and Denis Senecal is the new Ward 8 councillor, replacing Guy Fortier.
North Bay Nugget Oct. 23, 2018 Savage Returns as Mayor
See Messages from Mayoralty and Councillor Candidates


Posted July 15, 2016
Updated March 19, 2019
Updated July 9, 2019
Policing in West Nipissing has switched to OPP. West Nipissing EMS and Fire Service remain in place. In any emergency, dial 911.

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 Users Summary July 2016.pdf 

This document will be updated soon. The major change is that the West Nipissing Police are replaced by OPP. Dial 911 in any emergency or 1-888-310-1122 for the North East Region Communication Centre (based in North Bay).