Morell River Management Cooperative was incorporated in 1988, and has since been the lead organization for the management of the rivers within the St. Peter's Bay area drainage basin
Morell River Management Coop has a well-established history in watershed conservation, restoration, and enhancement. The MRMC is the lead agency for the management of the Morell River, Midgell River, Bristol Creek, Marie River, Schooner Creek, and St Peters River. The organization has its roots in the Morell and Area Land Use Steering Committee, which successfully created PEI’s first conservation zone. The Steering committee was formed in 1972 by citizens concerned about cottage development on the Morell River. With the support of local landowners and the Provincial Government, the Green Belt was legislated in 1974. The Morell River Green Belt protects 44 kilometers of the river, with a 60-meter conservation zone on each side of the river. The Green Belt extends from the Village of Morell to the Hazelgreen Road on the East Branch, and the head of Leard’s Pond on the West Branch. The Morell River Conservation Zone protects the riparian zone from development of any kind, preserving the wilderness of the Morell River for present and future generations.
For over 30 years, MRMC has worked with landowners, other non-government groups, federal and provincial governments in an attempt to achieve the following goals:
1. Maintain the Morell, Midgell, Marie, and St Peters River, as well as Schooner and Bristol Creek as close to a “wilderness” watercourse as possible
2. Conserve, restore, develop, and enhance in-stream and riparian habitat for fish and wildlife
3. Promote good land stewardship within watershed boundaries
4. Conserve, restore, develop, and enhance populations of fish and wildlife
5. Provide opportunities for compatible uses of the river, such as angling, bird watching, canoeing, hunting, and trapping
To achieve our watershed management goals, MRMC has completed projects with the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, EcoAction, Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program, PEI Watershed Management Fund, Habitat Stewardship Program, Provincial employment programs, the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk, and the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund. We also value our partnerships with the Abegweit Conservation Society, the PEI Watershed Alliance, and the PEI Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The annual activities of MRMC are directed at protecting and enhancing salmonid habitat, restoring riparian zones, and improving overall water quality within the watersheds. We continuously monitor our rivers and educate the surrounding communities about the importance of maintaining healthy watersheds.
To learn more about MRMC's projects, view our Annual Report
In 1992, a landowner was found guilty of violating the Conservation Zone and charged $400 of a maximum $500 fine for a first offense. The judge suggested that considering the offense, the maximum fine should be increased. In British Columbia, a landowner was fined $130,000 for cutting trees in an area designated as parkland.
The Morell River Management Coop maintains the Morell River, Marie River, Midgell River, Bristol Creek, Schooner Creek, and St Peters River, all of which drains into St Peter’s Bay in King’s County, approximately 50 km from Charlottetown. The Morell is the largest of the six watercourses and drains about 167 km2. The river splits into many tributaries, yielding a total stream length of approximately 140 km. The last 8 km of the Morell, before reaching St Peter’s Bay, is a long, narrow (100-200 m) estuary where tidal fluctuations are often erratic, depending upon prevailing winds. St Peter’s Bay is approximately 19 km long, with a total surface area of 20 km2. A narrow channel bordered by extensive sand bars connects the bay to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The maximum tidal range is approximately 1.2m(4ft).
Mooney's Pond & Peggy's Trail
MRMC continues to operate the Mooney’s Pond Interpretive Centre and act as a steward for the walking trails and wheelchair accessible fishing sites adjacent to the centre. We communicate to local anglers and the community through our social media pages, annual meetings, and events like the Morell River Run Festival.
Mooney’s Pond has evolved over the years from a semi-natural Atlantic salmon rearing facility in the 1990’s to the present day Interpretive Centre and accessible walking trails. Throughout the years approximately 60,000 to 70,000 Atlantic salmon were raised and released at Mooney’s Pond. The pond has become a popular fishing spot for the amateur or professional angler.
Peggy’s Trail is a 1.9km loop trail around Mooney’s Pond. The trail is well-maintained by the MRMC staff. It includes a floating dock, bridges and observation decks, perfect for birdwatching and photography. Half of the trail is wheelchair accessible, including the lookout platforms and dock.
In 2005 a wheel chair accessible fishing platform was built so that everyone would be able to enjoy the sport of angling. The fishing pool was named after James Anderson, who was an integral part of the project. In 2010, Peggy’s Trail was upgraded and an additional wheelchair accessible board walk was built to connect Peggy’s Trail to Anderson’s Pool.
For more detailed trail information and to view a map of Peggy’s Trail, visit the Hiking PEI website