Fish of Tommy Thompson Park
There are a wide variety of fish species found in and around Tommy Thompson Park. Small prey or forage fish such as minnow and shiner species, as well as alewife and rainbow smelt, provide an abundant food source for a range of wildlife that forage and hunt in and around the park. There are also many species of recreational or sport fish, including largemouth bass, yellow perch and lake trout. The entire fish community of TTP, and ultimately Lake Ontario, fulfill many ecological, cultural and economic roles.
There are many fishing opportunities at TTP. Aquatic habitat enhancements are ongoing and have already improved conditions for coolwater fish in the Embayments, including successful Northern pike spawning channels. Habitat enhancements scheduled for Embayment D will improve warmwater fish habitat, as they have in the Cell One Wetland. Coldwater fish habitat is provided in East Cove; however habitat enhancements for this area are not scheduled in the immediate future. While Cells Two and Three have mixed fish communities, aquatic habitat enhancements have yet to be undertaken and fishing is only available from shore as the waters are not considered navigable.
TRCA has adopted a NO LIVE BAIT policy at all of our conservation areas in order to help control invasive species and native species not present in certain waterbodies. The introduction these species can disrupt food webs and entire aquatic ecosystems. Only worms or artificial lures are allowed.
Provincial licences are required to fish at TTP. For information on fishing licences and regulations please visit the Ministry of Natural Resources. For more information on eating the fish you catch please consult the Guide to Eating Ontario's Sport Fish.
The following is a shortlist of species you may catch at TTP, however there are many more. For more information on TTP fishing and other fishing opportunities in the GTA please refer to Urban Fisheries of the Toronto Region or Urban Fishing Opportunities in Toronto & Surrounding Areas.
• Northern Pike (Esox lucius)
All fish are prey early in their life; however some species remain prey items for their entire life. Forage fish play a critical role in aquatic ecosystems; they make an important contribution to biodiversity; and they provide a link in the food web for energy transfer to higher trophic levels. Forage fish populations are also an important indicator of the overall health of the aquatic ecosystem. In fact, the majority of the fish population in the Great Lakes is consists of forage fish. Forage fish will benefit from overall aquatic habitat enhancements and certain species will benefit directly habitat enhancements targeted at other species.
• Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus)
Invasive species can wreak havoc on ecosystems resulting in adverse impacts to everything from tourism to public health. Exotic species may alter their environment by changing water quality and quantity, disrupting complex food webs and spreading disease in addition to many other negative effects. Invasive species lead directly to a loss of biodiversity and even species extinction. The number of introduced species in Lake Ontario continues to grow due to illegal releases, "dirty" bilge water and improper boat cleaning. In and around TTP the most common exotic species are common carp and round goby. Please do not use live bait or transfer any fish, regardless of their origin, to a different waterbody and help us in our continuing effort to keep our waters free of introduced and invasive species and provide a great fishing experience for years to come.
• Common carp (Cyprinus carpio)