Tag Archives: Snake-head fish

What Has Killed The Last Swan Hamilton

What Has Killed The Last Swan

Sunday July 10 2011

Pen Cob and now a dead Signet



“Where the swans nest, due to the higher water this year, there are many, maybe over populated by snapping turtles and Large Pike. There is always the likely-hood of a Snake-head fish, Raccoon’s and people being capable of killing a small Signet.The first two Signets to go missing was on Fathers Day, and the last one over this Weekend, Coincidence, No such thing.”

Signets ready to swim-only one survives
Bleak Future for the nesting swans in Hamilton


As a photographer that specializes in Mute Swans I feel like there is a Silent Spring ” Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964)” happening Constantly. The lack of wildlife, plants has left many people with many questions including myself. This Weekend due to health Issues I  rented a car and have been travelling around parking lot too parking Lot. Today I hiked down the Harbourfront Trail and am not shocked to see the Gazebo Signets that were born in Harbourfront Park this Year only have one outta six Signets left, I did a Post “we are the last two Sister” on my other Blog http://betterphotos4you.com. The Last Signet to go Missing was very small compared to his Sister :See image below.

Signet Still alive much larger than other


Where the swans nest, due to the higher water this year, there are many, maybe over populated by snapping turtles and Large Pike. There is always the likely-hood of a Snake-head fish, Raccoon’s, people and there dog’s being capable of killing a small Signet.The first two Signets to go missing was on Fathers Day, and the last one over this Weekend, Coincidence, No such thing. One whole clutch born over by Macassa Yacht Club the  signets and pen and cob disappeared on the May 24th Weekend. A good source has told me that he has seen young parents allow there children to take turtles and signet’s home with them after spending a day in the Park, or, Harbourfront Trail, I have many images of these people, but legal issues does not give me the  authority to publish them.The Parents were in there early 20,s, both of which were fishing all day and not watching there children, I did, and have images of the children throwing rocks at the nesting swan, ripping flowers out of ground etc…., children without parents. I am not going to get into the whole social aspect of today’s society and dysfunctional families or the lack of a suitable “respect nature” mindset educational System. People please respect what Mother Nature has given you ……………………………………….

Cob busks every hour

By Doug Worrall

Easy To Be Hard

This Image taken June 10 2011

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard, easy to be cold

Beautiful Mute Swan

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be proud, easy to say no

Beautiful Pen

Especially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil and social injustice
Do you only care about bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend, I need a friend


How can people be so heartless
You know I’m hung up on you
Easy to be proud, easy to say no

The Lone Mute swan


Especially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil and social injustice
Do you only care about bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend, we all need a friend

We all need a friend

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be proud, easy to say no
Easy to be cold, easy to say no
Come, on, easy to give in, easy to say no
Easy to be cold, easy to say no
Much too easy to say no

Much too easy for some to say "No"

Lyrics by Three Dog Night

The Mute Swan is in Danger of being removed from the protected species act, why? “E coli bacteria on the beach in Harbourfront Park”<<No one use’s>> Have they forgotten about the raw sewage,poison from industry they allow to drain into Cootes Paradise Marsh, and Hamilton Harbour.?



Doug Worrall Photographer


Michigan To Ban Wildlife Rehabbers Helping Mute Swans

Michigan is expected to ban wildlife rehabbers from helping injured mute swans

Thursday February 10 2011

Cob Mute swan

This following article is from the Grand Rapids Press.While living in the states I had the chance to visit this town and was immediately overjoyed from the Mute Swans omnipresence on the lake To be able to Ban someone from helpjng a injured

or sick animal is not Freedom, It’s slaughter.In many states hunters are allowed to shoot, with no limit as many mute swans as they have bullets.Today I visited some hunters chat rooms on the internet.They seem to hate many animals and just want to kill.How many of these people will end-up shooting something other than wildlife. Sustenance hunting is sustainable, but with the amount of Hunters compared to wildlife.Its time to “regulate”   Hunting before all is lost.Hire more Environment officers in Canada, looks like the united states is lost within themselves.Wow a self centered country. Yes Mute swans are Feral, yes snake head fish and other invasive species will overtake the Great Lakes and change our way of life. Zebra mussels are invasive, yet people seem to love the clear water now. Unfortunately  much of the great lakes have oxygen depleted areas where invasive species “snake head fish, Asian carp” can thrive due to zebra mussels and pollution.We are lucky to live in Canada, plaese conserve, reduce and reuse.Do not shoot an animal unless you intend to eat-it.     If you are able to drive to areas you know Mute swans are trying to survive this Winter, please take food for them.


Thank you

Site coordinator

Doug Worrall

Mute swan

Crippled or injured mute swans may no longer find a safe harbor with wildlife rehabilitators in Michigan.

A state wildlife order prohibiting their rehabilitation and/or release into the wild if they have been rehabilitated is expected to be acted upon at the Natural Resources Commission Lansing meeting today.

State wildlife officials say the non-native swan, as beautiful as it is, has become a serious nuisance. Its population has nearly tripled in 10 years from 5,400 in 2000 to 15,000 swans in 2010.

The big white bird with the distinctive orange bill, black face and black knob on its bill threatens humans with aggressive behavior, native waterfowl species and has hindered state restoration efforts for the trumpeter swans, a threatened species.

“They are highly destructive to habitat,” said Mary Dettloff, spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. “We have been managing the mute swan since the 1960s here in Michigan. But the management activities have not been effective at slowing the population down.”

The decision to prohibit any further rehabilitation of injured mute swans is the latest chapter in the state management saga which has relied on nest and egg destruction, issuing permits for their removal (by killing them) on private lakes and open waters and long-term goal established in 2006 of reducing the mute swan population to 2,000 birds statewide.

“We’re not calling for the complete eradication of the birds,” Dettloff said. “But we don’t want people rehabilitating them. People like to look at them and see them on lakes. They are pretty birds. But people don’t differentiate between the three swan species, the mute, trumpeter and tundra swan that passes through. Most say a swan is a swan is a swan.”

Some wildlife rehabilitators oppose the policy, according to Dettloff. The prohibition runs contrary to their natural instinct to help a bird in trouble. But PJ Garner, the president of the Michigan Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, a trade association for wildlife rehabilitators, said her group is not taking a position on the matter.

“The feds took the mute swan off the protected status list in 2005,” Garner said. “They are not native to the North America. The were brought in from Eurasia as an ornamental bird in the late 1800s.

“Any time the state wants to flat out ban rehabilitation of avian or mammal species it is a concern to our members, but Michigan is not different from other states. It’s a pretty common practice not to allow rehab on invasive species. The quick fix is to put a stop on rehab.

“We have some members that are opposed to flat out ban; they would rather see the DNR find a way to compromise.”

However, Tom Funke, conservation director for the Michigan Audubon Society, said his organization fully supports the move and the overall plan.

Mute swans are a threat to trumpeter swans, he said. Mute swans arrive in large flocks in the summer during which time they molt their feathers. They ravage a lake’s aquatic food sources and move on, Funke said. That has an impact on native species like ducks and trumpeter swans. Mute swans also displace trumpeter swan populations by aggressively taking nest sites.

“Birders in general and Audubon chapters are in support of getting mute swans off the landscape,” Funke said. “We support the DNR’s efforts to reduce mute swan populations by various means. What’s coming (today) is just another means to keep them out of the wild.

Dave Nyberg, legislative policy staffer for Michigan United Conservation Clubs, said his group also supports reducing the mute swan population.

Female mute
Mated for life
Signets one month

“If you look at the science, mute swans pose a significant problem for wildlife species and pose a threat to humans. Minimizing their numbers to controllable levels is something we support.

“(Allowing their rehabilitation) would be like rehabbing an Asian Carp or a feral pig,” Nyberg said.


Grand Rapids Press


Doug Worrall

Beware Great Lakes Aquatic Fish Invasions

Beware !  Great Lakes Aquatic Fish Invasions.


As these “invasive fish species” are eminent to arrive in the Great lakes, as  a painful reminder that oil is not the only one of man’s activities that threatens to DECIMATE ENTIRE ECOSYSTEMS.  We need to set priorities in the search for solutions for Great Lake Aquatic Invasions !  One of the most significant “threats” to biodiversity in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence region is the introduction into an ecosystem of species that are non-indigenous.  Already, new species have invaded the Great Lakes, and others are on their way.


The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater seas in the world with 80,500 sq. miles of surface area.  An index for fish biology  has been body condition , and Lake Trout have been a key species for indicating ecosystem health of the Great Lakes.
Hamilton Harbour’s fish at risk to “aquatic fish invasions” are:  (1) At Bay-front Park the fish habitat is integrated into the shoreline; 65 underwater structures were installed to create an artificial reef; and, it has increased native fish species density.  (2) At Cootes Paradise, it is a natural spawning area for native Pike. (3) Grindstone Creek Estuary has 200 spawning Pike which is a dramatic improvement from 19 Pike previously recorded.  (5) La Salle Park has 125 fish habitat structures.  (6) the Northeastern Shoreline has a  fish diversity from 6 – 18 species in 78 fish habitat modules.  Other areas in Hamilton Harbour include: Indian  Point, Willow’s Point, Carrolls Point, and Hamilton Harbour to the east as fish areas.  Fish species include:
  • Small Mouth Bass, Large Mouth Bass, Silver Bass, Walleye, Crappie, Pumpkin-seed, Northern Pike, Chinook Salmon, Lake Trout, Catfish, Smelt, Alewife, Gizzard Shap, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, White Sucker, Emeral Shiner, Spottail Shiner, Brown Bullhead, Rock Bass, Blue Gill and Yellow Perch.
“Fish Fears have excellerated as a 2,005 study  pointed to the Snake-head fish coming to Canada as “high.” including the southern Great Lakes area.  The reason Snakehead Fish came to the U.S. is two-fold: (1) the aquarium trade, and (2) transport as fish food to live fish markets.  They are a popular food due to their excellent taste and can be found in Vietnamese pot dishes, or, pickled, smoked and dried.  The Origin of Snake-heads (Channidae) a freshwater fish native to Asia, from Pakistan to China, to Thailand, to Cambodia and Borrena; besides Russia, Korea and Africa.  Now they are in the U.S. and on their way to Canada.
Will the Northern Snake-head Fish Decimate
Great Lake Fish Ecosystems ? The 2,005 study says, “only the Northern Snake-head can survive in Canadian waters.”  These fish reach maturity at 2 to 3 years old.  EACH spawning female can release 15,000 eggs at once.  Furthermore, they can mate as often as five times a year.  Therefore, mathematically, in two years time, a single female can release 150,000 EGGS.  And, as they can “walk” on land, they lay their eggs in a nest they build in vegetation in shallow water.
SNAKEHEADS HAVE NO NATURAL ENEMIES ! They grow fast after hatching and feed on plankton, aquatic insects and mollusks.  As Adults: they are attracted to light and may come out of their cover to feed on prey.  They eat anything that moves: fish, frogs, snakes, and even birds and rodents.  They ambush their food and swallow them whole, or, cut their prey in half with their sharp teeth.  They are large, up to 1 meter in length, with big mouth , large tongue, sharp teeth and huge eye.
MAJOR PROBLEM – SNAKEHEADS EAT GAMEFISH !   THEY OVERCROWD A BODY OF WATER (i.e,, Hamilton Harbour) AND HARM NATIVE SPECIES.   Without any predators, they can adapt to any water with little oxygen.  They have a physiological need to breathe atmospheric air, with a suprabranchial organ: a primitive form of labyrinth organ that lies under their long dorsal fin.  They breathe air unlike other fish – by using this primitive lung above the gills.  The adults force the young to breath by pushing them to the surface. They travel short distances on land, rhythmically moving their fins and muscular bodies = “walking”.  They will not attack people but may injure anyone stepping on them.
Carp have been an issue in Hamilton Harbour.  But, the key piece of the 1993 Project Paradise was the installation of the FISHWAY.  This is a carp barrier and two way fishway structure designed to keep non-native carp out of Cootes Paradise Marsh, while still maintaining a two-way flow of native fish.


Voracious Eaters” are two kinds of ASIAN CARP “a dangerous invasion species” that can grow and weigh 100 lbs. are:  Bighead Carp and Silver Carp.  They prefer Rivers, but, if they reach the Lakes and breed, they  could “decimate plankton ” which is the basis of the food chain for native fish.
Asian Carp were brought to the  U.S. in the 1970s to clean algae from catfish farms. They escaped captivity and have spread through the Mississippi River and tributaries.  In May 2,010 little Calumet River tried “poisoning.” as a control method.  But, of the 100,000 lb. fish being killed, NO ASIAN CARP WERE FOUND.  Then on June 23, 2,010 in Lake Calumet, only six miles from Lake Michigan a 3 foot long Asian Carp was found “a dangerous invasive species of fish: !  Fishermen, water skiers, swimmers beware – when startled by boat motors, Asian Carp “jump.”
As conservationists  reporting any citing of “invasive fish species” is paramount to prevention of them decimating our Great Lakes Entire Ecosystem.