Fifty Point Master Plan

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Fifty Point Conservation Area (Fifty Point) is an 80-hectare property owned and managed by the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority (HCA) located on Lake Ontario at the mouth of Fifty Mile Creek. Fifty Point is at the easterly boundary of HCA's watershed and within the municipal boundary of the City of Stoney Creek and the Town of Grimsby.

HCA started acquiring land for Fifty Point in 1970 and the original development plans were prepared in 1975. The conservation area opened to the public in 1978 and since then site development has been guided through two Master Plans. This plan updates and replaces the 2000 Master Plan. The recommendations in this Master Plan are intended to help guide and direct our management, capital improvements and operation of Fifty Point for the next ten years.

We Want to Hear from You!

Your input will help us draft a new plan for conservation and land management at Fifty Point for the next ten years. Historically this area was primarily agricultural in nature, however, there are now significant development pressures surrounding the property and population growth is rapidly transforming the area. The conservation area is now one of the few remaining areas of public shoreline in the area. Consequently, Fifty Point has become a major waterfront destination experiencing more intensive recreational use than most other HCA areas. The natural areas of the property are also an important refuge and habitat for migratory birds and other species being displaced by the surrounding development.


Fifty Point Conservation Area (Fifty Point) is an 80-hectare property owned and managed by the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority (HCA) located on Lake Ontario at the mouth of Fifty Mile Creek. Fifty Point is at the easterly boundary of HCA's watershed and within the municipal boundary of the City of Stoney Creek and the Town of Grimsby.

HCA started acquiring land for Fifty Point in 1970 and the original development plans were prepared in 1975. The conservation area opened to the public in 1978 and since then site development has been guided through two Master Plans. This plan updates and replaces the 2000 Master Plan. The recommendations in this Master Plan are intended to help guide and direct our management, capital improvements and operation of Fifty Point for the next ten years.

We Want to Hear from You!

Your input will help us draft a new plan for conservation and land management at Fifty Point for the next ten years. Historically this area was primarily agricultural in nature, however, there are now significant development pressures surrounding the property and population growth is rapidly transforming the area. The conservation area is now one of the few remaining areas of public shoreline in the area. Consequently, Fifty Point has become a major waterfront destination experiencing more intensive recreational use than most other HCA areas. The natural areas of the property are also an important refuge and habitat for migratory birds and other species being displaced by the surrounding development.


  • Fifty Point Conservation Area Wetland and Fisheries Enhancement Project Up

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    Background
    In 2018, due to the fact that the pond at Fifty Point Conservation Area was determined to be connected to Fifty Creek, the stocking program of Rainbow Trout in the pond would no longer be permitted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).

    While Fifty Point provides a variety of angling opportunities to conservation area users including in the marina inlet and Lake Ontario, the loss of a stocked fishery in the pond was a concern as fishing is popular at Fifty Point and there was interest in continuing to provide fishing opportunities at the pond.

    Also in 2018, the HCA completed a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study to examine potential solutions for flooding issues being experienced at the north end of the Conservation Area and adjacent lands associated with Stoney Creek Watercourse 11 (WC11) which traverses the park.

    The EA found that by diverting the upstream flow to the Fifty Point pond, some flooding relief could be achieved. The proposed diversion creates the opportunity for the creation of a wetland adjacent to the Fifty Point pond and further creates the opportunity to create additional fish habitat as part of the wetland and within the pond.

    A summary of the fisheries and bathymetry data collected is highlighted below. This information notes that the pond supports a number of warm and cool water fish species, across different age classes. While some spawning and reproduction are occurring naturally, it was also determined that the absence of littoral (near shore) habitat and riparian buffers are a significant limiting factor to the productivity and sustainability of the pond fishery.

    HCA staff have undertaken a review of the requirements to transition the Fifty Point pond to address the above-noted issues. We have also engaged the consulting firm Water’s Edge to assist with the proposed design.

    Proposed Design
    A preliminary design for the project from Water’s Edge has been prepared and is shown in Figure 1.

    The design includes the creation of a connecting channel from WC11 to Fifty Point pond through two wetland cells along the pond shoreline.

    The wetland cells will be divided by the existing trail to provide opportunities for users to view the wetland features. The wetlands will be constructed with variable depths to provide a biologically diverse habitat feature. This will provide additional spawning and rearing habitat for the fish in the pond, as well as additional habitat for other species of wildlife that are present at Fifty Point CA.

    This design currently does not contain any proposed shoreline modifications outside of the proposed wetland cells, as it was identified additional soil sampling was needed to inform this portion of the design process.

    Project Implementation
    HCA staff are working to finalize the design. This will be followed by the final design and detailed construction designs, and project cost estimates. It is anticipated that the project may be constructed beginning in 2022.

    Figure 1 Draft Preliminary Drawing from Water's Edge

    Summary of Fisheries and Bathymetry Data
    In the summer of 2019, the HCA contracted Natural Resources Solutions Inc. (NRSI) to sample the pond for fish and complete a bathymetry survey. The fish were sampled using two different techniques. The shoreline habitat was sampled using a raft electro-fisher and the deeper waters were sampled with short set gill nets. The sampling captured a total of 227 fish and revealed the pond already contains at least 9 species of fish constituting both warm water and cool water fishery Figure 1. The pond does appear to be dominated by 4 species of fish, 3 of which are considered game fish.

    Figure 2 Pond contours and habitat features from NRSI report

    Based on this information, the pond at Fifty Point does contain a natural fishery similar in structure to both Christie and Valens Reservoirs with Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) as the large predatory fish and then smaller Centrarchids” panfish” (Lepomis sp.) and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) as an additional game fish group. There is multiple year classes present which does indicate there is some successful spawning occurring within the pond and the fish are able to survive the winter below the ice. Common Carp are also present in the pond which could provide additional angling opportunities. It is noted that Carp are also likely having a negative impact on the ecology like the impacts they create at Christie and Valens Reservoirs.

    For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Colin Oaks, Aquatic Ecologist at coaks@conservationhamilton.ca.

Page last updated: 16 August 2021, 07:03