Along its course, the river widens into several lakes, including Onwatin in Hanmer; Kusk off Panache Lake Road (watch out for leeches); Grassy; and Wabagishik, out on the fringes of Ward 2. Lake Wabagishik was made famous by the Group of Seven. Franklin Carmichael painted the lake in 1928 and if you have ever paddled along its waters, you will understand why he was inspired. At the southern end of Wabagishik is a set of rapids where the river narrows once again. It is very picturesque.
I fell in love with the Vermilion River last year when I decided to paddle this stretch in early October. The colours were just starting to pop and the riverbanks were explosively yellow and bright. It was like travelling through the sun. I bottomed out about six times and had to drag my kayak through the chilly shallow waters, but it was well worth the effort.
Home and cottage owners on Ella Lake and a stretch of the Vermilion River have been experiencing water levels much lower than usual this year, and Vale has issued the following information:
As a result of our site visit of the Wabagishik facility on the 26thof February of this year, and your reassurance that the facility will continue to operate in accordance with the current Spanish and Vermilion Rivers Water Management Plan, with no anticipated changes to water levels, flows, sediment mobility or fish habitat, we have no concerns with the Project. In fact, the increased capacity of the new spillway to not fail under the 1:1000 year return event will ensure resilience in the face of the predicted increasing extremes of Climate Change.
VRS crew visit Wabagishik Generating Station at Lorne Falls, on the Vermilion River.VRS crew at spillway.
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