Grand Lake Meadows



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Yellow Lamp Mussel, Courtesy of the New Brunswick Museum
Yellow Lamp Mussel, Courtesy of the New Brunswick Museum
Fish, drawing by Cheryl Bogart, Queens County Museum
Fish, drawing by Cheryl Bogart, Queens County Museum Collection
During summer, winter and some fall periods fish habitat within Grand Lake Meadows is limited to small permanent ponds, Upper Timber Lake, Lower Timber Lake, Burpee Lake, Trout Creek and a series of inlets that enter the “meadows’’ from Grand Lake.
Currently, data for fish populations is available only for a sample of the permanent ponds, Trout Creek and minimal information exists for flooded (spring freshet) Meadows wetlands. There are eight species of fish that are resident to the Meadows during summer and low water fall periods. These are: Yellow Perch, White Sucker, Golden Shiner, Brown Bullhead, Chain Pickerel, American Eel, Gaspereau, and Pumpkinseed. Some of these species may be trapped in these aquatic habitats as the spring flood water recedes.
During the freshet much of the Meadows is flooded and becomes potential fish habitat. Additional species that have been found on the Meadows during these high water conditions are Lake Whitefish and White Perch. While Brown Bullhead and Yellow Perch are the most abundant species during low water conditions, Gaspereau is by far the most numerous species during the freshet. Gaspereau and Lake Whitefish appear to use the flooded meadows as a spring migratory route to spawning areas.
It may well be that the Meadows is most important as spawning, incubation and nursery habitat for a variety of species including: Gaspereau, Yellow Perch, Brown Bullhead and White Sucker. It would appear that winter fish populations within the Meadows are virtually non-existent because of low oxygen levels in the water.
Also in the St. John River in the immediate vicinity of the Grand Lake Meadows there are colonies of yellow lamp mussels, a rare species of fresh-water mussel that may very well be in adjacent creeks and ponds within the Protected Natural Area.