Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunter Concerned about Offshore Turbines

walleyeOntario Out of Doors, Fall 2009 Issue

Fish and wildlife agencies want some questions answered before in-lake wind turbines become regular fixtures on Lake Erie.

 The Great Lakes Fisheries Commission’s Lake Erie Committee released a position paper earlier this year raising concerns about the electricity-generating units, which, though given the go-ahead in recent legislation, haven’t been built yet.

 Although the units are used in Europe, the committee is concerned that much of the research cited is associated with salt-water environments.  Noise and vibration, both during construction and long tern, and the effects of the electromagnetic field generated by wires are cited as potential issues.

 Concerns were also raised regarding their potential to change Lake Erie’s currents, which could conceivably affect temperatures, deposit silt in fish spawning areas, and impact walleye migration routes.  Recommendations include careful consideration of proposed sites and banning the units from being erected close to important fish habitats.  The group also requested a monitoring programme and notice regarding any potential sites.

 Dr. Terry Quinney, OFAH manager of fish and wildlife services said answering questions up front is important, not only regarding the effects on fish behaviour, but also on their impact on anglers and traditional fishing areas.  He also wants assurances that turbines wouldn’t impact migratory routes and staging areas.

4 thoughts on “Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunter Concerned about Offshore Turbines

  1. It’s about time that someone spoke up for the voiceless wildlife of Ontario! If you go ask the con artists at CanWEA what the effect thousands of twirling, vibrating 400 foot high towers will have on migratory birds, bats, butterflies, fish et al in and around the Great Lakes, they’ll coolly tell you that the impact will be [cough, cough] insignificant — or actually, there will be NO IMPACT at all!

    After all, we all know that CanWEA also claims that there are no known negative health impacts on human residents near the towers!!

  2. Simple question: Is the environmental-economic risk to a Great Lakes environment from offshore wind energy development far greater than the perceived benefit?

    I and many others think so:

    Great Lakes Fisheries Commission’s Lake Erie Committee Position Statement on Offshore Wind Power (keep in mind that they’re a political body and are trying to be polite): http://www.glfc.org

    Proactive Conservation Policy for Offshore Wind Projects: http://www.scribd.com/doc/19595058/Conservation-for-Offshore-Wind
    Quote of the Year: “[Carpetbagging Wind Energy] Developers and utilities will prioritize their developments and some will push for ignoring the impacts on fisheries. Historically, conservation issues and their economic impact tend to be ignored by policymakers until it is too late.”

    Lake Erie’s Lakebed: The Biological Engine of the Great Lakes
    Sport and commerical fishing on Lake Erie is a HUGE business amounting to billions of dollars in revenue and spinoffs. NEVER FORGET THAT FACT.

    Annual Angler Days on Lake Erie dwarf the other Great Lakes by a wide margin: In 1991, it exceeded 7 million! See http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/atlas/images/big09.gif
    The bigger the circle, the bigger the economic benefit!

    Fish? Did someone say fish?
    Here they are in all their glory: http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/greatlakesfish/bigposter.html
    And don’t forget that there are far more aquatic beasties in the Great Lakes than just fish.

  3. So far wildlife and fisheries are considered expendable in the mad rush to build industrial wind developments. Loss of birds, bats, cervid habitat and more are superficially covered in most land based Environmental Screening Reports. A year’s worth of studies is considered to be adequate, which in itself does not necessarily provide much, but remember the proponent does the studies, so what else can be expected then studies that do not report much negative expectations. Mitigation is a word used to make it appear the development can be designed to not have a negative effect. For example we are supposed to be happy that feathering the blades in low wind speeds will reduce bat kills by 50 to 60%. Bats don’t reproduce that fast so how long before this “mitigation” kills all the bats? Not building the industrial wind developments is the only true mitigation measure.

  4. Pingback: Fish and wind turbines don’t mix « Wind Turbine Syndrome News

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