Sunday, October 01, 2017
Help us clean up the Cootes Paradise this Sunday October 1 from 1pm to 4pm. Meet at 64 Hatt Street - rear lot down drive to left as you face the building.
Gentle Moderate and Rugged Terrain will be available as always.
In stream work is characterized as moderate work. If you are not keen on hopping in the stream plenty of shore support will be needed and we will be continuing our work at some of the "dryer" locations.
Walk up or sign up at stewardsofcootes.ca
That Wonderful Glorious Local Wonder of Nature is coming back to Spencer Creek in a few weeks. After 4 years of life in Lake Ontario - the salmon are making their remarkable journey to the places along Spencer Creek where they themselves were spawned. This involves major changes to the fish's physiology and the expenditure of the very last drops of their life force to fight their way upsteam so that the females can lay their eggs and the males can fight each other for the opportunity to fertilize them so that the species can be propagated for another four-year cycle.
Stewards of Cootes Watershed first concern is not the poachers nor those lacking sufficient information to keep themselves, their kids and their dogs out of the stream so as not to damage the eggs - but those are conversations for another day. Our first concern is that when the females start beating the gravel bed with their tails, they do not have the tragic misfortune of beating on top of a plastic bag or a tarp or a piece of sheet metal or piece of plywood hiding under a thin patina of silt and algae. No eggs will be laid if they do. We are equally concerned that they do not run into an obstruction like a tire or bicycle that has found its way into the creek. Such an obstruction will cause a female salmon to abandon her egg-laying run.
Plastic bags, tarps, sheet metal and plywood, tires, bicycles, and all manner of other man-made debris is what we regularly find littering the lower Spencer, often percolating up from deeper in the creek bed. Many of you would like to rant about the terrible people who let this material get into the creek in the first place. Our work simply does not afford us that luxury even when we feel it. We are too busy capitalizing on a short window of opportunity in late September when the water levels are running low to don the waders our supporters have graciously donated and quickly get this material out of the water followed just as quickly by ourselves so that we don't inadvertently interfere with the salmon or their eggs. This task of timing is made easier for us by the good folks at RBG natural lands who can let us know when the salmon show up at the fishway. The head of this hard-working team at the RBG Tys Theysmeyer in fact credits us with doubling the size of the available spawning grounds each year.
To which we say - It's time to jump in and do it Again ... and we need your help !