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Key River Area Association

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The Key River area is approximately 80kms south of Sudbury and 100kms north of Parry Sound. The principal points of access are the marinas at Hwy 69 where the highway passes over the Key.


KRAA Membership Form


Winter ...


Key Exchange Newsletter, Summer 2012

Old Rattlesnake Article (1956)
with edits (2012)

About Old Key Harbour (from www.ghosttownpix.com)

Heritage Lighthouse Bill

Hwy 69/400 4-Laning at Key River Study

MNR Ontario Fishing Regulations


Bylaws (2008)


Important Information re Water Levels

Update - November 2012

Even though the deadline has passed, you can still let the IJC and, more importantly, your elected officials know your views and the impact low water levels will have on you. We suggest that you send a copy of your comments to the Federal Ministers of Environment and Foreign Affairs as well as to our MP, Tony Clement. Email addresses for these three are as follows;

Hon. Peter Kent
Minister of Environment
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Hon. John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Hon. Tony Clement
MP for Parry Sound Muskoka,
President of the Treasury Board, and
Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6


Deadline for Submissions to IJC has been Extended to September 30th, 2012

Due to the overwhelming interest on the part of the public, the IJC has extended the deadline for submissions to give people more opportunity to comment on water levels in Georgian Bay, Lake Huron and Lake michigan. If you haven't done so already, you have an extra month to make your voice heard.

Send in your submission today!

For those of you who couldn't attend the public meetings held by the IJC earlier this summer, there is still an important opportunity to send your comments to the Commissioners for their review and consideration. To make your letter writing easier, here is a sample letter from a Key River cottager which you are welcome to use and/or edit for your purposes. Include points that are relevant to your personal situation. Also, below are the letter that Killarney submitted on behalf of the municipality and key points from the Georgian Bay Association to include in your letter:

Comments must be received at one of the following addresses by September 30, 2012.

U. S. Section Secretary

Canadian Section Secretary

International Joint Commission
2000 L Street, NW
Suite 615
Washington, DC 20440
Fax: 202-631-2007

International Joint Commission
234 Laurier Avenue West
22nd Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 6K6
Fax: 613-993-5583

We suggest that you send a copy of your comments to the Federal Ministers of Environment and Foreign Affairs as well as to our MP, Tony Clement. Email addresses for these three are as follows;

Minister of Environment – Peter Kent - peter.kent@parl.gc.ca
Minister of Foreign Affairs – John Baird - john.baird@parl.gc.ca
President of the Treasury Board and MP for Parry Sound Muskoka – Tony Clement - tony.clement@parl.gc.ca

More Info

Text of email sent to KRAA membership - July 1, 2012

Hi everyone,  we don't want to make a habit of sending emails to the KRAA membership but the board unanimously voted in favour of sending  out this timely & important information package.

This July the International Joint Commission (IJC) will be holding hearings in various locations around Georgian Bay (and elsewhere) to hear the public's reaction to the report from the International Upper Great Lakes Study Board's on water levels in the Middle Great Lakes. It is critical that Georgian Bay landowners show up to these meetings in numbers to voice our concern with the "do nothing" recommendation. The comments that Georgian Bay Association plans to make to the IJC at these meetings is attached for your review. Please forward this email to all of your members and encourage them to share this with friends and family. This may be our last opportunity to sway our governments to take action. 

See "More Info" for background information:

Lakes Huron and Michigan Study Board's Public Meetings Provide Our Opportunity to Voice Concerns on Water Levels

Mark your calendar to attend one of the International Upper Great Lakes Study Board's (IUGLSB) public meetings in July (please see attachment).  As many of you are aware, the IUGLSB has completed its five year study and has concluded that despite an increased conveyance (amount of water flow) in the St. Clair River of 5.8% their recommendation is to do nothing and let nature take its course.  Their recommendation is based on the fact that erosion of the river bottom had stabilized.  However, their own information suggests that the rate of conveyance is still increasing beyond 5.8% but at a slower rate.  The conveyance rate not only needs to be halted but reversed to a flow rate that existed prior to 1986.  Until that happens, water levels will continue to fall.  The GBA and the Sierra Club Ontario's recommendation is to raise the water level by 25 cm (10 in.) and that can be accomplished with minimum impact to downstream users.  The 25 cm (10 in) increase in water levels requested is based on water level reductions resulting from dredging activities in the early 1960's and loss of water resulting from increased erosion and conveyance beginning in 1986.

Three Georgian Bay organizations, the GBA, Sierra Club Ontario and the GBF have been actively collecting and reviewing information.  They disagree with the Study Board's outcome and recommendations and are of the opinion that the outflow (St. Clair River) needs to be managed strategically different than in the past.  Sierra Club Ontario has provided extensive engineering support during the study period and has developed a conceptual design of a structure (air chambered concrete sills) that will not only correct the problem but can be moved in the very low chance that water levels rise once again to critically high levels.  They are so well designed that they will preserve sensitive lake sturgeon and other fish habitat.  The design will allow the lake levels to fluctuate but within a narrower range.  Their work supports and corroborates the GBA's position and recommendations (see attachment).

The Key River has been particularly impacted by low water levels in several ways some of which include the following:

  1. Property values are substantially devalued over comparable properties in northern Georgian Bay.
  2. Access to many properties is tenuous.
  3. Boating safety (even within the marked channel) has been impacted.
  4. Enjoyment of family residences has been compromised.
  5. Spawning habitat for walleye and northern pike has been restricted or denied.
  6. Wetlands have dried up.
  7. Access for building materials, equipment and commercial loads are being severely impacted.

The future does not look bright.  The Study Board's own report says that there is a 5% chance for increased water levels and an 80% chance for lower water levels.

The most recent water levels forecast shows a dramatic decline beginning in August.  Next spring expect that the water level to be lower (below chart datum of 176.0 m) than this spring and there were issues this spring with boat travel.

Sierra Club Ontario has made "Restore Our Water Levels" tee shirts available at Camp Dore, Key Harbour Lodge and Key Marina at a nominal cost of $10:00.  We are suggesting that the more people that the commissioners see wearing a tee shirt the better are our chances.  A similar situation on Lake Ontario forced the commissioners to reverse the decision made by the Study Board on that lake.  Let's do the same for lakes Huron and Michigan.  Dates for all public meetings (U. S. and Canada) are listed in the above attachment.  The Parry Sound meeting is being held at the Bobby Orr Community Centre, 7-17 Mary St., July 16 at 2:00 p.m.  So let's show up on mass from the Key River.  You will have an opportunity at the meeting to voice your concerns.  If you plan to say a few words, please do not make any inflammatory comments as your opinion will automatically not be considered.

If you have any questions, please email, Jerry Smitka at info@kraa.ca or drop in at our cottage at the southeast end of Cleveland Bay.  I will be at the cottage during the first week of July.  We are trying to get the complete Huron/Michigan water levels report on KRAA's new website www.kraa.ca .  Please access the website frequently.