In 1935, Park Superintendent Frank A. MacDougall invited Dr. W.J.K. Harkness, the Director of the Ontario Fisheries Research Laboratory, to establish a field station in Algonquin Park dedicated to the study of the Park's fisheries. The justification for such a field station was the increasing pressure on fish populations as a result of the newly constructed Highway 60 which allowed easier visitor access to the Park.
Just a year after the initial offer, the research laboratory moved from Cache Lake to a more suitable location at Lake Opeongo. In the mid-1940s a partnership between the Ontario Government and the University of Toronto was established for the co-operative management of the facility. In 1961, the fisheries research station was formally dedicated to the late Dr. Harkness, its founder and first Director.
Over the years, the Harkness Laboratory of Fisheries Research has made substantial contributions to the knowledge and understanding Algonquin's aquatic species (especially Brook Trout and Lake Trout). However, the Harkness lab is not solely for fisheries research. During the summer months Harkness houses researchers studying everything from insects to mammals.
To date, the Harkness Laboratory of Fisheries Research continues the long and proud tradition of scientific research within Algonquin Park.
Take a 360° tour of the Harkness Laboratory
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