It’s been quite a few years, but Damon Clarke can remember seeing logs floating down Deer Lake and into the Humber River en route to the paper mill in Corner Brook.
But before they reached the mill many of those logs became water logged and sank to the bottom of the lake.
Now the economic development officer for the Town of Deer Lake, Clarke sees potential in those sunken logs.
What piqued his interest was some research he’d seen on recovering such logs and using them to make things like musical instruments and flooring.
“Because it’s been under cold, cold water for so long the grain of this wood has been perfectly preserved,” he said. “And that’s part of the appeal of this.”
So the town wants to determine if this is a feasible potential business or industry for the area.
“I don’t know how many logs are there or what quality they are, but what we want to do is survey the lake bottom,” said Clarke.
He said this will be done in the spring using the Deer Lake Underwater Recovery Team’s side-sonar scanner.
The entire lake bottom — from north to south, to east to west and into the Humber River — will be scanned to determine how many logs there are, where they are gathered and the condition they are in.
He’s hoping they’ll be able to bring some of the logs to the surface to have them tested.
Scouring the lake not the only component of the project.
Clake has posted a description of what the town wants to do on Memorial University’s Yaffle site looking for some Grenfell Campus or Memorial students to conduct some research related to the project.
One to assess the impact moving the logs could have on the habitat on the bottom of the lake — they need to know if the logs are somewhere that salmon breed — and a business student to determine the quantity of logs needed to make it a feasible business, what equipment would be needed to set up and the best way to proceed — is this a community business or an opportunity to take to the private sector for someone to create a business.
“Ultimately, that’s my aim to get some economic development from this that creates jobs, creates some revenue for the town.”