McKee Park - Site #26

Windsor, Ontario


Project Goals and Objectives: Enhance shoreline habitat and submerged fish habitat for lake sturgeon and other species

Project Description: McKee Park is located in Sandwich just downstream of the Ambassador Bridge. In 2003, Essex Region Conservation Authority, the Detroit River Cleanup Committee, and other federal and provincial partners implemented a unique soft engineering project at McKee Park.

In addition to protecting this shoreline, large rock 'islands' were constructed to protect the embayment from the high energy environment, and submerged rocks were placed near the shoreline to create sturgeon spawning areas.

Cost: $182,000

Timeframe: 2003

Partners: Environment Canada, Essex Region Conservation Authority, City of Windsor, University of Windsor, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Ministry of Environment, Ducks Unlimited Canada, University of Windsor, Essex County Field Naturalists Club, CAW Windsor Regional Environmental Council, Essex County Stewardship Network, Little River Enhancement Group, and Citizens Environment Alliance

Ecological Effectiveness: In spring of 2007, two gill nets were set immediately offshore from the restored wetlands. Both gill nets were 53 meters (174 feet) long and were set for 24 hours. Eight gizzard shads were caught in this 24 hour period. In addition, in spring 2007, egg deposition densities (eggs/m²) were measured. 1,335 walleye eggs/m², in fall 2007, seven lake white fish egg/m² were measured and in spring 2008, 147 lake white fish eggs/m², 473 sucker eggs/m² and many white perch and white bass eggs/m² were collected. This demonstrates that five species of fish were using rock revetments at McKee Park as spawning habitat.

Restoration Contact: Essex Region Conservation Authority

Monitoring Contact: Jim Boase of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service