Bronte creek or 12 Mile creek, as it is also known, flows into lake Ontario between Burlington and Oakville in the Greater Toronto Area. Running through a heavily industrialized region, the variety and size of fish that can be found in this otherwise small creek are a true surprise. One of the reasons why Bronte has so many fans is Bronte Creek Provincial Park, an area of 1,690 acres directly above HWY403, which attarcats about 250,000 visititors a year. The park is popular with anglers as it reserves a couple of kilometers of the creek. The section between HWY403 and lake Ontario is also a good fishing area with Petro Canada park providing access at the lower end of the creek. The main problem in this creek is the dought which occurs in fall. With the first rains in September or October, chinook salmon enter the creek and settle in the holes of the lower stretch and into the park above HWY403. They are followed by brown trout and steelhead from Lake Ontario. The creek has chub and other resident species.
Depending on conditions in the neighbouring rivers, Bronte may attract too many anglers in fall. When water levels are low, fish are easyly spooked and the ones that are caught during the day are usually snagged. Given the nature of this river and its location, ensuring proper etiquette is a challenge. On one occasion I came across a team of people entering the creek's waters at dusk with headlamps and spears. The bags they caried betrayed a content of many dead chinook. Lake Ontario fish contain contaminants and eating anything over 3 servings a month is considered unhealthy. It is possible that the stocking of chinook salmon in lake Ontario will be discontinued in favour of rebuilding the Atlantic salmon stocks. This may prove to be a smart move.