Tag Archives: Biodiversity

Discovering The Hendrie Valley

Discovering The Hendrie Valley

In The Mist of the morning
In The Mist of the morning
Hendrie Valley
Hendrie Valley

12/8/2013

Bee
Bee

Located on Plains Road, this thriving wetlands ecosystem is part of the Royal Botanical Gardens parklands. Free to explore, the beautiful sunny wooded trails circulate through marshes, on boardwalks and across small bridges. You’ll see chipmunks, geese, turtles and tons of birds – bring feed if you want to see them
eat out of your hand. You’ll also see just as many photographers and birders! It takes about 60-90 minutes to leisurely explore. Paid parking is in the lot across from the RBG entrance. Once there, look for the large trailhead sign that says “Cherry Hill Gate”

Cardinal
Cardinal
Female Cardinal
Female Cardinal

An area that a friend has taken me two times now and, each time we discover different trails to explore. is the Hendrie Valley Trails of the Royal Botanical Gardens.The Trails are rich with diversity,plenty of wildlife, and a pleasant quiet ,short hike.

Orchid wild
Orchid wild
Birds will eat from hands
Birds will eat from hands

A smaller scale version of Cootes Paradise, this area which includes the 100 hectare Grindstone Creek Valley stretches to the end of Carroll’s Bay and contains the finest collection of floodplain wetlands on western Lake Ontario. Transferred to the Royal Botanical Gardens in 1941 for ecological protection, the area features slopes forested with old growth trees, a 60 hectare river mouth marsh complex, and 4 creeks. Major access points are along Plains Road and include the RBG Centre and Cherry Hill Gate.

Should I or should I not
Should I or should I not
Birds dash to your hand
Birds dash to your hand

This is a great spot to see birds and assorted waterfowl. You will see in this area that a large project is underway to create new banks along the water’s edge and also provide a system that works as a natural barrier against invasive carp. This has been facilitated through the re-use of over 100,000 discarded Christmas trees.And other equally intelligent moves to keep the marsh as pristine as possible.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wild Orchid
Wild Orchid
red-winged-blackbird
red-winged-blackbird

Following the trail through the Grindstone Creek Delta, you soon arrive at a spectacular boardwalk that borders Grindstone Creek providing an excellent vantage point to watch nesting birds and observe beavers and other wildlife. This is a great place to bird watch and if you bring some seed along you can have some fun feeding the friendly birds by hand.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers
On recent walks I have seen incredible amounts of red-wing blackbirds, blue jays and cardinals
Enjoy all Hamilton Has to offer.Was nice to see this fawn, he is actually in another shot, see if you can spot the fawn and Doe
Fawn Frolicking
Fawn Frolicking
Photographer
Doug Worrall
Sources:Wikipedia, Burlington Tourist,Cam Goede

HAMILTON HARBOUR FISHING DERBY 2012

HAMILTON HARBOUR FISHING DERBY

 

Friday August 10 2012

“only trace amounts of rain expected 40% chance” you will not melt

Be aware of developing Thunder/Lighting Clouds/Wind and take cover- safely

Happy fisherman

One great delight is to see a child catch his or her first fish.The achievement an fascination in there eyes is worth there weight in Gold. Prizes will be rewarded to the three biggest {weighed} fish, for each species, so this includes Carp. Weights can reach very high for these large fish.

Big Carp

The Hamilton Harbour watershed covers an area of approximately 500 square kilometres at the western edge of Lake Ontario and is a region of great physiographic diversity as a result of extensive glacial and glaciofluvial processes. The watershed can be divided into four subwatersheds which drain into Hamilton Harbour and include Spencer Creek, Grindstone Creek, North Shore and Redhill Creek subwatersheds. The watershed supports diverse fish communities and offers unique aquatic habitats to both migratory and resident fish species. The Niagara Escarpment represents the region’s most prominent geological feature with its limestone and dolomite ridge bisecting the watershed as it extends from the Niagara River to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula.

Rainbow trout

 

Myself will be looking for the Wolf of the Lake (The Pike )

Bob’s Pike

Fish

Children and wildlife

The wetlands function as a seasonal fish nursery for Lake Ontario, and despite the historical degradation, most historical species of fish can still be found using Cootes Paradise and in increasing numbers. As with birds and plants the location is the biodiversity hotspot for Canada with over 60 species present. Each spring thousands of spawning fish migrate in through the fishway from the harbour and lake, laying eggs and leaving shortly after, allowing the marsh to function as a giant fish hatchery.

fisherman

Annually between 5 and 20 million fish are produced for the lake depending on water levels and water pollution events. The species present reflect the degraded marsh habitat with the most common the Gizzard shad.

Rbg Fish-way escapee

Also common are night time predators species Channel Catfish and Brown Bullhead, along with invasive species such as Alewife and White Perch. Popular angling species present in limited numbers include pike, Largemouth Bass, and Yellow Perch, but the large adults are only present in the marsh during the spawning season which is closed to fishing. The spring and fall season also brings several migrating salmon and trout to the marshes main inflowing river.

Rainbow trout
Jerry’s catch

In 2007, when there was low water level in Lake Ontario and a favourable wind, all the water was pushed out of Cootes Paradise and the remaining carp swam out into Hamilton Harbour. RBG staff removed the fish gates and herded out the last of the carp, and then replaced the gates. Since then the Paradise has been relatively carp free. In the absence of these large destructive bottom feeders there is a gradual return natural native plant species populations.

Now in 2012 Cootes Paradise is threatened once again by increasing numbers of Carp and Goby fish. Goby fish is a feral species that destroys our environment.

I have images of the Goby fish so if you catch one, “Dont throw it back in water, and especially donnot use as bait . Put the fish in the garbage to save our Great lakes …..please.The Goby grow too two and a half inches long, a very destructive, invasive species are  from  illegal Ballast water dumping by Ocean Craft . Remember the Zebra Mussels?

Goby Fish two inches long

and Thanking  you in advance

Doug Worrall

Rainbow trout

Event is Date below:

The Hamilton Harbour Fishing Derby takes place this Saturday, August 11th from 8am to 12pm.  Prizes to be awarded at 1:30pm – – – THIS IS A FREE EVENT FOR ALL AGES!

Company-lets go fishing

Pier 8

47 Discovery Drive

Hamilton, ON

Check in Stations:

While you are out fishing, take your camera, you may see some wonderful animals……………………

The Fishway-Black crowned night heron

Pier 8 – Scoops Ice Cream Hut
HWT Centre – North Side
Bayfront Park Boat Launch
Fishway on Waterfront Trail
LaSalle Park Boat Launch
Marine Police Basin

3 age categories:

Child 10 and under
Youth 11 to 17
Adult 18 and over

Fishing, Environment and
Water Safety Demonstrations

_________________

1000 Free Fishing Rods for Children 12 and under

Silent Auction Fundraiser
9:00am to 1:30pm
Pier 8 – Hamilton Waterfront Trust

Harbourfront park

 

Information: Hamilton Waterfront Trust, Wikipedia

 

Photography

 

Doug Worrall

Hamilton Harbour Fish and Wildlife Restoration Project

Hamilton Harbour Fish and Wildlife Restoration Project

Wednesday December 28 2011

Signet Mute Swan

 

As Site Coordinator the  next post will be a year in review at Elements Photoblog.

Water-sports

I wish everyone a great New Year with the Optimism we need to  keeps  Nature reviving.

Text or to scull a bit

Many new images of people, places and a few older images.

Dundas Conservation area

All the best

 

Doug Worrall

Strong wings

In 1997 the operation of a carp barrier/fishway began at the Cootes Paradise marsh, blocking the passage of carp into the marsh during spawning season but allowing the migration of all other spawning fish. As a result, aquatic vegetation has made a dramatic recovery throughout Cootes Paradise and the harbour. Fisheries monitoring has indicated a positive change in the composition of the fish community, including an increase in numbers of top predators and in species diversity. Recently, over 200 spawning pike were counted at the Cootes Paradise fishway. Prior to restoration, only 19 pike were recorded at the fishway. Similarly, waterfowl numbers in Cootes Paradise have increased dramatically due to the increased distribution and abundance of aquatic plants. Birds have been staying longer in the marsh and gaining strength for their migratory flight south.

Blooms
Wildflowers

The Grindstone Creek pike spawning marsh has been a 20-year restoration effort. The Grindstone Trail, connecting Cherry Hill Gate to Sunfish Pond is open to the public and provides educational interpretation and protects the flood plain by directing the large number of visitors to the boardwalk. Tours are open to groups and can be arranged by contacting Royal Botanical Gardens.

Mated Mallard ducks June 1 2011
Female mallard June 1 2011

To date, habitat restoration efforts and improvements to public access have laid a strong foundation for continuing enhancement. Research and monitoring provide essential feedback for the design and construction of the next phases of habitat and public access projects.

Harbourfront park june 13 2011

 

Scientists with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Service, McMaster and Brock Universities and the Royal Botanical Gardens are co-ordinating monitoring and research to advance fish and wildlife habitat restoration throughout the Great Lakes. The Fish and Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project in Hamilton Harbour and Cootes Paradise proposes to create 372 ha of fish habitat, 299 ha of wildlife habitat, 16 km of shore habitat for fish and wildlife and 9 km of trails. Substantial progress has already been made:

Sculling Partners
Invasive species
  • Shoreline rehabilitation and a new trail at Chedoke Creek
  • Development of a carp barrier/fishway, aquatic plant nursery and breeding and nursery ponds for amphibians and reptiles in the Cootes Paradise marsh
  • Pike spawning habitat, rehabilitated flood plain habitat and a new boardwalk at Grindstone Creek
  • Restoration of the lower Grindstone Creek, employing recycled Christmas tree
  • Shoreline naturalization and development of underwater reefs at Bayfront Park
  • Shoreline naturalization, beach restoration, development of reefs and a new trail at LaSalle Park
  • Shoreline naturalization, and the development of colonial nesting bird islands, underwater reefs, trail and lookout at the Northeastern Shoreline
  • Sand dune rehabilitation and a new trail at Burlington Beach

Decline and Recovery of Cootes Paradise

Cootes Paradise

Once nearly 100% covered by emergent and submergent
aquatic plants, the extent of marsh vegetation has declined to
85% cover in the 1930s, and to only 15% in 1985. A variety
of stresses were responsible for this decline. Human development
and farming in the watershed contaminated the marsh’s
tributary streams with sewage effluent, eroded soil, and chemical
runoff. Within the marsh, carp activity physically damaged
and destroyed the marsh plants. Carp activity and eroded soil
from the watershed also muddy the marsh water, limiting light
penetration and plant growth. Controlled lake water levels,
and the introduction of non-native plant species have also
disrupted marsh ecology. For the restoration of Cootes Paradise
to be successful, RBG and other partners in the HH-RAP
agreed that an effective carp control program and pollution
abatement programs in the watershed were necessary.

Redwinged blackbird feeding

 

Doug Worrall Photographer