Administrative Update to Castle Creek Provincial Nature Reserve (P2634)
Interim Management Statement (updated 1991)

May 2013

1. Purpose/Rationale

Legislation has changed since the management document was last approved, so have policies and values within the park. New information should be added to keep the IMS current, relevant and effective as management direction (e.g. species at risk information, values and pressures). The current IMS is void of many provincially accepted policies which should be added to inform both MNR and external interests of accepted uses and policies.

The following adjustments are proposed, resulting from a review of the IMS and its relevance as management direction in the context of 2013:

  • Add current provincial policies which have undergone public consultation since the IMS was written
  • Add new / additional research information, as available, including life science, recreation and earth science information
  • Omit references to D.L.U.Gs and modernize references by citing reference to PPCRA / CLUPA
  • Modernize wording to be inclusive of all Aboriginal peoples (including Métis)
  • Update mapping products

Provincial policies which have undergone public consultation in the past along with additional general information are the only changes being implemented at this time. These adjustments should produce a more cohesive document that is easy to use for both staff and the public in terms of direction for the park, permitted activities and convey additional information which may not have been available at the time the current IMS was authored. An amendment may also be carried out in conjunction with this update or at a later date to rectify any inconsistencies in park policy which are out of scope for this administrative update.

2. Description of Administrative Update

See attached

3. Decision

I approve this administrative update to the Castle Creek Provincial Nature Reserve Interim Management Statement (1991).

Signed by:
Tim Sullivan
Northwest Zone
Ontario Parks

Date: June 18, 2013

Background Information

Date: 16.02.86

This table provides background information for Castle Creek Provincial Park (P2634)
Name:Castle Creek
Class:Natural Reserve
M.N.R. District:Thunder Bay
M.N.R. RegionNorthwest
Total Area (ha)1075
Site Region:4W
Site District:2
Date in Regulation:February 16, 1985

Life Science Representation/Targets

This table provides information on life science representation and targets for Castle Creek Provincial Park (P2634)
Site Type / Landscape UnitSpecies / Communities
Weakly to strongly broken shallow sandy till over Proterozoic bedrock. Moderately to strongly broken shallow and deep sand till with lacustrine clays.- Cedar stand with orchids
- Castle Creek pond system and associated vegetation
- Rare and uncommon plant species

Earth Science Representation

This table provides information on earth science representation for Castle Creek Provincial Park (P2634)
Geological ThemeFeature
None documented. 

Cultural Resource Representation

This table provides information on cultural resource representation for Castle Creek Provincial Park (P2634)
ThemeTheme Segment
undefined; (possible) Fur Trade
Indigenous Settlers, Traders and Potters, and
Northern Hunters and Fishers
Earthen mound
Laurel/Black duck (pottery)

Recreational Opportunities

This table provides information on recreational opportunities for Castle Creek Provincial Park (P2634)
Day UseCar CampingWilderness/Back Country


This table provides information on inventories for Castle Creek Provincial Park (P2634)
Level/TypeReconnaissance/Completion DateDetailed/Completion dateRequired?
Life ScienceChecksheet Revised checksheet
Earth Science  Brief Survey
CulturalSite Record Forms  

I. Land Tenure

All land within and adjacent to the park is Crown land. There is no tenure granted for any land within the park.

The Ministry of Transportation (M.T.O.) has a gravel pit reserve (#1091) lying partially within the westerly portion of the park which was patented in 1959.

There is also an existing Land Use Permit for a hunting camp located adjacent to the southwest portion of the Nature Reserve. (The Land Use Permit holder’s name and address is on file at the Thunder Bay District Office.)


Options will be considered to remove the portion of the gravel pit reserve from the park.

As the Land Use Permit location contains the only meadow type flora of the area, the Land Use Permit will be terminated upon the demise of the present owner, and the area of the Permit included within the park.

Granting of tenure will not be considered for any land within the park.

II. Land Acquisition/Disposition

There is no patented land within the park.


With the exception of the adjacent Land Use Permit area, no consideration will be given to acquiring additional land or disposing of land within the park.

III. Existing/Proposed Development

There is no existing or proposed development at the present time.


Development (excluding that related to public health and safety) will not be undertaken prior to completion of a management plan.

The boundaries for Castle Creek Provincial Park will be surveyed and cut, and appropriate signage provided, if funding permits.

IV. Recreational Activities

Castle Creek is regulated as a Provincial Nature Class park under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act. Therefore, the park was not established for recreational purposes.

Hunting and sport fishing have been traditional activities in the area.

The stocking of fish has occurred in the past in the two lakes within the park.


Hunting will not be permitted to continue.

Sport fishing and wildlife viewing are permitted activities in the park.

Stocking of lakes within the park is not permitted.

If unforeseen conflicts develop in the future between recreational uses and resources protection, necessary restrictions will be implemented through planning.

V. Commercial Activities

The park is included within two trapline areas (TB0093 and TB0094) and Baitfish Harvest Area TB0004.

The park has been withdrawn from mineral staking.


Commercial timber harvest, oil, gas, peat and aggregate extraction, the generation of electricity and other commercial uses are staking mining claims, developing mineral interests or working mines is not permitted in the park (PPCRA).

Existing commercial fur harvest may continue for the lifetime of the current head trapper. If a license is revoked, surrendered or an application for transfer is received prior to that time, all portions of the registered trapline within the park will be rescinded from the trapline’s legal description.

Existing licensed bait harvest operations in park–encompassed waters may be extended annually, for the lifetime of the current licensee or until the license is surrendered – whichever occurs first. Annual extensions are conditional on the outcome of a policy review of bait use and bait harvest in protected areas. Trapline and baitfish cabins will not be permitted.

Transfers of licenses are permitted between or to Aboriginal peoples.

No other commercial activities will be permitted.

Ontario Parks will act as a plan advisor and reviewer during the Forest Management Planning Process, according to the northwest zone’s protocol for Ontario Parks' participation in forest management planning. This process ensures that park values and park–related values are recognized and that protection and mitigation measures are worked out through the development of the forest management plan when these values are potentially affected by adjacent forestry operations.

VI. Natural Resources

The park has been established to protect significant life science features.

The area was identified during the International Biological Program (I.B.P.) to have two major features; a cedar stand and shoreline marsh containing the beautiful calypso orchid which can be sporadic in its distribution; and the upland area which includes the Castle Creek ponds with two regionally rare and one regionally uncommon plant among its associated vegetation. Castle Creek ponds have been recorded as a sensitive area.

Castle Creek Provincial Park is within the Pigeon watershed, Wildlife Management Unit 13, Cervid Ecological Framework Zone C1 and Fisheries Management Zone 6.


Maintenance of ecological integrity shall be the first priority and the restoration of ecological integrity shall be considered (PPCRA).

Restrictions on recreational (Section IV) and commercial activities (Section V), as noted above, are expected to provide adequate protection to the life science features. If any unforeseen threats to the preservation of these features arises, appropriate measures and/or restrictions will be implemented through planning.

Consistent with the protection objective for provincial parks, species declared 'special concern' and 'threatened' by the OMNR will be afforded the same protection as species declared endangered. The statutes and regulations of the Endangered Species Act apply to any species at risk noted or observed within the park.

Forest fires are recognized as a natural ecological process in the boreal forest ecosystem, necessary for both maintenance and renewal. As per the Forest Fire Management Strategy for Ontario, in the absence of a fire management plan for the park, the fire management objectives for the surrounding fire management zone will apply. All fires that occur within the park will receive a full response as per direction outlined in the Boreal Fire Management Zone.

To promote and maintain the ecological integrity within the park, prescribed burning, consistent with Ontario’s Prescribed Burn Policy and associated guidelines may be used to reintroduce the natural role of forest fires within the park’s boundaries. Further long term direction will be addressed during the development of management direction for the park.

Until appropriate measures are identified in a management plan, insects and diseases will be controlled as is deemed necessary.

VII. Cultural Heritage Resources

There are three recorded archaeological sites of Historic Laurel (Black Duck) cultural affiliation within the park.


Any disturbance of archaeological sites within the park will be discouraged. Archaeological and historical artefacts and landscapes will only be removed or altered through approved research projects for the purpose of defining past cultural activities.

The locations of any archaeological sites will not be public information. Necessary measures (access/development restrictions) to protect the integrity of any archaeological sites will be addressed through park management planning.

VIII. Client Services

No literature is presently available.


Client services will not be provided until a management plan has been completed. Marketing or information products will be consistent with the Ontario Parks Marketing Plan.

IX. Research and Inventories

A life science checksheet and a cultural site record form have been completed for Castle Creek Provincial Nature Reserve.


Prior to completion of a management plan, a revised life science checksheet and a brief earth science survey will be required.

Additional research inventories will be encouraged by qualified individuals to further document park values and management needs. These may be carried out by MNR or by outside interest groups/individuals.

Research activities and facilities, under the auspices of an approved research application, approved by the park superintendent, will be compatible with protection values and recreational uses in the park (O. Reg 347/07 s. 2 (3)). Collecting may be permitted under the auspices of an approved research permit and valid collector’s permit (O. Reg 347/07 s.2 (2)).

Should inventories identify significant features, an update or amendment to this statement or a re–write may be requested.

X. Aboriginal Interests

Aboriginal persons and their ancestors have long had a connection with utilizing and caring for the land that should be recognized, respected and celebrated. The park lies within the area covered by the Robinson–Superior Treaty of 1850. Grand Portage and Fort William First Nation are the nearest communities to the park and are adherent to this treaty.

Thunder Bay Métis Council and Red Sky Métis Independent Nation, based in Thunder Bay, may also have an interest in this area.


For greater certainty, nothing in this plan shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for the existing Aboriginal or Treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada as recognized and affirmed in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.


Ministry of Citizenship and Culture Heritage Branch files – Thunder Bay.

Ministry of Natural Resources, 2005. A Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves. Ministry of Natural Resources. Queen’s Printer for Ontario.

Ministry of Natural Resources 2009. Cervid Ecological Framework. June 2009. Queen’s Printer for Ontario.

Ministry of Natural Resources. 2006. Crown Land Use Policy Atlas: Policy Report P2634 Castle Creek. Queen’s Printer for Ontario. Available Online. [URL:] (link is no longer active)

Ministry of Natural Resources (unknown date). Life Science Inventory Checksheet.

Ministry of Natural Resources. 1992. Ontario Provincial Parks: Planning and Management Policies. Queen’s Printer for Ontario.

Ontario Parks, 2010 – Permitted Use Policy Amendment. Ministry of Natural Resources. December 20, 2010. Queen’s Printer for Ontario.

Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006