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Eels are probably not something you would like to cuddle up with, but they are an amazing fish in grave danger of totally disappearing from Ontario rivers. The American Eel is an endangered species that was once abundant in the upper St. Lawrence River, Ottawa River, and Lake Ontario and their tributaries.
Eels were once so plentiful they were an invaluable source of sustenance to First Nations and early European settlers, and more recently supported thriving commercial and sport fisheries. Continue reading
“American Eels were once abundant in the upper St. Lawrence River, Ottawa River, Lake Ontario, and their tributaries, and in fact were so plentiful that they were an invaluable source of sustenance to First Nation communities and early European settlers, and more recently supported thriving commercial and sports fisheries. This all changed with the advent of a multitude of hydroelectric dams constructed within the historic range of the species.
Key to the American Eel’s survival and recovery is its ability to migrate to its spawning area in the Sargasso Sea, near Bermuda. This is a perilous journey that only a very small percentage ever complete due to the cumulative effects of the numerous hydroelectric facilities that have killed, maimed, and cut off migration to their spawning area. Consequently their once thriving populations have been reduced to a mere one percent of their original numbers.” Continue reading
South Nation Watershed – Go to bottom of posting to see details of Public Meetings on 25 & 27 February, 2013
As part of the campaign to preserve healthy Ontario rivers please note that a very valuable, rich and unique habitat containing numerous species-at-risk and holding the headwaters of several streams is at serious risk. This place is in Russell Township just outside the city of Ottawa in and around a former shale quarry, which is now a lake. Streams and springs rise up on the hill around the lake and drain into the Castor River, which drains into the South Nation and then the Ottawa. Species at Risk at the site include Bobolinks, Cooper’s Hawks, 10 species of amphibians (some at risk and some less so, although all amphibians have survival problems now), snapping and probably other turtles, Eastern Meadowlarks, Butternuts, rare Liverworts, several Mollusc species (snails), trees of increasing rarity, Orchids, and mosses, lichens and fungi. It is an important migration stopover point–at times hosting tens of thousands of birds at once.
That site is also the proposed site of a mega-landfill, which would be owned and run by Taggart Miller Environmental Services and called the Capital Region Resource Recovery Centre (CRRRC.ca). Taggarts own some of Ottawa’s biggest construction companies and Miller owns waste and construction companies in southern Ontario. They proposed to drain the 40-ac lake, fill it with rock and soil, blast a bigger hole beside it, and strip the site (which is between 200 and 470 ac, depending on if they exercise options on neighbouring farmland or not). The surrounding communities have been fighting the proposal for over two years. A few days before Christmas the Ontario Ministry of the Environment approved Taggart Miller’s Terms of Reference, even though serious problems with the vague, misleading document were clearly pointed out to the ministry by the community, which had completed their own scientific studies. Continue reading