Kam Valley Nature Reserve (Whitefish River). Photo © Mike Bryan

Kam Valley

The Kam Valley Nature Reserve

On February 3, 2023 TBFN purchased a 4.15 acre island as an addition to the original Kam Valley Nature Reserve.  The new property protects flood plain habitat and species similar to those found at the original TBFN reserve at Stanley purchased in 2001. 

The new island is located on an ox bow in the Kaministiquia River just west of the Old Fort William historical site.  The entire island is flooded, and the shoreline heavily scoured by ice every spring.   Emergent vegetation including cattails, reeds, rushes and horsetails grows in the shallow water surrounding the island.  Shrubby thickets and tangled vines cover portions of the interior, with small groves of Black Ash and American Elm on slightly higher ground.  Sand and gravel deposits provide a sunny habitat for prairie plants. 

The Kam River is wide at this lower portion of its course with oxbows and marshy back waters thick with aquatic plants.  This is ideal habitat for spawning and feeding fish of many sorts.  Lake Sturgeon, a Species at Risk (SAR), are found here and use the Kaministiquia River corridor to reach known breeding locations below Kakabeka Falls to the west.  Snapping Turtles (also a SAR) have been recorded breeding on the adjacent island.  Bald Eagle and American White Pelican (both SAR) fish in the waters of the Kam River in this broad ox bow area.    

The original Kam Valley Reserve, acquired in 2001, is a rich floodplain area located where the Whitefish River enters the Kaministiquia River near Stanley.

The 30-acre property is home to a number of regionally rare plants including Bur Oak, Blue Cohosh, Indian Hemp, Wood Nettle, Turtlehead, and Carrion Flower. Part of the reserve is a seasonally-flooded swamp dominated by Black Ash and American Elm. Along the Whitefish River, sand banks and gravel bars provide a sunny habitat suitable for prairie plants. The varied bird life includes Eastern Wood-Pewee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Indigo Bunting, and Great Crested Flycatcher.

Donations from club members provided most of the funding for the purchase of this reserve. A single donation in memory of a loved one covered a third of the cost. TBFN thanks all of our donors for their help in preserving this special place.