Jackfish Bay has been identified in the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement as an Area of Concern. In 1985, the International Joint Commission identified Jackfish bay as an area of concern. Located on the north shore of Lake Superior, approximately 250 kilometers northeast of Thunder Bay, the area of concern consists of a 14-kilometer stretch of Blackbird Creek; between the pulp mill in Terrace Bay and Jackfish Bay, including Lake “A” and Moberly Lake (Lake “C”) as well as Jackfish Bay.
Jackfish Bay was originally listed as an area of concern based on problems related to:
- conventional pollutants,
- heavy metals,
- toxic organics,
- contaminated sediments,
- fish consumption advisories and
- impacted biota due to industrial point sources (pulp mill) and in-place pollutants (contaminated sediments).
Some of the major environmental concerns relating to this area include:
- health of fish and wildlife communities including habitat, degraded aesthetics
- degradation of sediments and aquatic communities, which utilize the watercourse.
The predominant source of contamination for Jackfish Bay is the wastewater discharge from the Terrace Bay pulp mill into Black Bird Creek, since the opening of the pulp mill in 1948. The effluent flows from the mill site located in Terrace Bay, Ontario, through Blackbird Creek into Jackfish Bay, Lake Superior.
Jackfish Harbour Remedial Action Plan Timeline
1991: The Stage 1 Remedial Action Plan (RAP) Report for the Jackfish Bay AOC, identified 8 beneficial uses as "impaired", 7 as "not impaired", and 4 as "requiring further assessment".
1998: The Stage 2 RAP report was complete, identifying still 8 beneficial uses as "impaired", 8 as "not impaired" and only 3 as "requiring further assessment".
The Jackfish Bay RAP is a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, with support from the Jackfish Bay Public Advisory Committee (PAC). Many linkages and alliances have been developed as part of the Remedial Action Plan process between the RAP team and various other groups in the community; including private citizens, recreational groups, industry and municipalities.