Boating-Fishing-Nature Backdrop Summer In Hamilton
Tuesday November 2011
The City of Hamilton and its partners officially opened the Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail and fish and wildlife habitat enhancements on July 1, 2000. The 3.4 kilometer long multi-use trail makes its way along the shore from Bayfront Park to Princess Point, and through the Desjardins Canal with a floating walkway paralleling the boat channel.
The trail connects to the Trans Canada Trail, the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail in Burlington, and the Desjardins Canal bordering Cootes Paradise. Special attention has been given to ensure universal accessibility, and to provide residents and tourists with focal points to observe natural, historic, and cultural features such as Cootes Paradise, Dundurn Castle, and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
The Hamilton Waterfront Trust is a charitable organization with a mandate to make it possible for everyone to use and enjoy Hamilton’s waterfront.
“FACT” Mute Swan eggs are now oiled by the city of Hamilton, so there will not be as many Swans around the Harbour next year, sadly enough
Our organization is leading the way with various developments designed to enhance the waterfront experience and promote easy access to the water’s edge.
Recent developments include the construction of an integrated, environmentally-conscious waterfront trail and the introduction of two 37 passenger trackless Hamilton Waterfront Trolleys.
Aboard a Hamilton Harbour Queen Cruise, passengers have the opportunity to view the waterfront from the water while dining or dancing. The Hamiltonian Sightseeing Tour Boat provides a narrated tour highlighting the history of one of North America’s most noteworthy harbours.
Below are Images from the Month of June 2011 this year.Each day I ebiked and travelled the trail for all the wonderful surroundings, Wildlife, Sunrises and would come back in the evening for Sunsets.
Work Ethic is very important and I am drawn to the lake evryday when possible. Enjoy the images
In species, there are 285 turtles. And, in Hamilton Cootes Paradise has identified 6 species. When Canada was ice-covered and without reptiles, the greatest diversity of North American turtles was probably in the south-eastern corner of the continent where almost 16 species are today. Turtles are egg-laying Toothless Reptiles with limbs and girdles roofed over by a wide rib cage and fused by bony plates in the skin. The outer skin covering consists of horny – epidermal scales of keratin (sulphur – containing fibrous protein). the basic body plan of turtles is a three layered box of ribs, skin – bones and horn like scales – has remained unchanged over 200 million years and, with modifications, has been adapted life in the oceans, rivers, lakes, bogs, forest, grassland and desserts.
Female turtles use long-term memory to find the same nesting site year after year. They will take the same route regardless of what dangers await them. Unlike most animals, turtles are long – lived; a feature which may make them particularly vulnerable to population decline. For example Blanding’s Turtle, may live for 60 years or more. Other turtles can live to be 30 or 40 years old. What is interesting is the delay in reproduction in turtles – they don’t start to breed until they are 12 – 18 years old. So, some turtles simple do not live long enough to reproduce. The ones that do reproduce typically lay less than a dozen eggs a year and most of these eggs are eaten by predators such as raccoons and skunks. In Cootes Paradise Marsh raccoons have been identified as a highly known predator of turtles.
On the western shore of Lake Ontario in Hamilton -Dundas – Burlington is Cootes Paradise Marsh. There is a two-kilometer stretch of Cootes Drive from McMaster University turnoff to Dundas that is a four-lane highway called Cootes Drive that runs through a portion of this coastal wetland. Here many turtles have been victims of traffic mortality. RGB conducted a 1999 and 2,001 study of these turtle traffic moralities and the results were staggering: (1) in 1999, Snapping Turtles – 66; Midland Painted Turtles – 11; Blanding’s Turtle – 1. (2) In 2,001, the Midland Painted Turtle mortality had increased to 17. Although, the total turtle mortality for 1999 was 80 and 2,001 was 25 that indicated a significant reduction; it should be noted that a 65% increase of dead Midland Painted Turtles occurred on Cootes Drive. in 2,001. As human population expands into urban areas, turtle mortality is a concern in Canada. In a 2.007 study by Pennsylvania State University the researchers investigated the cues turtles use to find water. Their results showed Adult Painted Turtles indicated a trend towards polarized light. In August 2,008 threatened turtles were turning up during a study of an Ontario lake by the Gananoque River Watershed Project. This was the Stinkpot Turtle, who emits a musk from its glands near the bridge of their shell when frightened. It also holds its mouth gaping waiting to bite anything that comes near, when picked up. McMaster University Biology Department investigated the use of Ecological Indicies to Predict Occurrence and Abundance of Turtle Species in Great Lakes Coastal Marshes using surveys from the summers of 2001 – 2007. The resutls suggested that conservation of sensitive species such as the Common Musk Turtle will become critical as human development continues.
As an alternative measure, RGB created two adjacent Cootes Paradise sites in 2,001 for three experimental turtle nesting beds. The Laking Garden in Burlington was the cite chosen for the nesting beds, one uphill from Blackbird Marsh and one at the mouth of Grindstone Creek. Here, La Farge Canada, a Dundas Quarries donated 40 tonnes of gravel for the project. And in 2,002 the Ministry of Natural Resources Community Fisheries/Wildlife Involvement provided a tracking system of remote surveillance in the nesting beds for turtles that had been measured, tagged and released by RGB as a tracking system. The most numerous species in Cootes Paradise and along Grindstone Creek are the Midland Painted Turtle, Snapping Turtle, Common Map Turtle, Blanding’s Turtle, Common Musk Turtle and the Eastern Spiny Soft-shell. The last two are “threatened” or at risk. The Eastern Spiny Softshell in Ontario is below 2,000 turtles and in Quebec less than 100 turtles in 2,002. Six of eight species have been identified by COSEWIC (The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada). The Federal Species and risk Act (SARA) restore and protect habitat for imperiled wildlife. Project Rescousse dubbed the SOS beer. goal is to help imperiled wildlife and to increase awareness of endangered species. The main reasons for diminishing turtle populations in Cootes Paradise is (1) Decreasing in quality and quantity of local wetland habitats; (2) Urban and Industrial pollution, (3) Enroachment and habitat is due to 85% wetland vegetation cover loss within Cootes Paradies; and, (4) Severely decreased water quality. Although it is impossible to quantify the actual abundance of turtles historically found within Cootes Paradise from anecdotal records, it does seem likely that turtles were more numerous than they are today. Turtles are found in CootesParadise, Grindstone Creek and Hendrie Valley, but the near disappearance of other turtle species indicates at least a partial decline. But, release of Red – Eared Sliders, a common turtle pet, dumped into Cootes Paradise is an issue, although they have hot interfered to date with native turtles in Cootes Paradaise , this practice is illegal. These pet Red-eared Sliders in Ontario wetlands, pets gone wild and they are displacing stressed populations of Ontario turtles.
A 2,008 study by First Nations Species at Risk, Curve Lake, near Buckhorn, Ontario identify the Wood Turtle. This turtle is called “old redleg” due to its orange or brick-like colour of its legs. They have been identified in three regions in Ontario and studies are being conducted to the size and extent of these populations and threats to them. Wood Turtles are protected under the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The Ontario Natural Resources recovery plan calls for survey that are already being implemented. The species is protected in Appendix 11 of the Convention On International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora (CITES) which controls international trade in listed species. In 2,007 Dr. Ron Brooks team at the University of Guelph researched turtles at risk to prevent further turtle population declines. They investigated Blinding’s Turtle, Northern Map Turtle and the Spring Soft-shell Turtle. The Spring Soft-shell Turtle is a freshwater turtle with a flattened body and a long, flexible neck and head with a tubular snout. But, the Spring Soft-shell Turtle’s sex can be determined at hatching which is not dependant on water temperature like the Painted Turtles, but it is determined genetically. Males, have sharp defined circular spots on the carapice and females have less-defined blotchy spots. The Leather-back Turtle is the only Sea Turtle in Canada. And, most turtles have a circular spot behind the eye. As of June 2,002, at the River-view Park and Zoo in Peterborough, Ontario The Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre (KITC) opened and provides medical, surgical and rehabilitative care for injured nature turtles of eventual release back to their natural habitat.
This summer several Midland Painted Turtles were seen in Hamilton Harbour.