Brewer Park Pond Restoration Project (2014 – 2016)

The landlocked Brewer Park Pond and former artificial swimming hole have undergone a facelift, a transfusion and a rejuvenation to become a naturally-functioning habitat for all kinds of wildlife in Ottawa and importantly become, once again, a part of the Rideau River itself. Using an ecosystem approach, the partners in this project intend to increase overall biodiversity with the creation of a new, vibrant wetland and pond with shoreline plantings, breeding bird habitat, amphibian habitat, turtle nesting beds and basking logs all connected to the main channel of the nearby Rideau River. The pond will provide improved spawning, nursery, rearing and feeding habitat for the local fish community in the Rideau all year round. This area will be particularly important for Muskie spawning. The on-site work took place in November and December, 2014.

The project accomplishes two important goals for local residents:
– Rejuvenation of the pond with increased fish and wildlife habitat
– Maintenance of current park uses after construction, including complete walking trail around the pond.

We are pleased to confirm that both objectives will be achieved thanks to the goodwill and understanding of all the project partners including MINTO, Richcraft, the City of Ottawa, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Muskies Canada, the Institute of Environmental Science at Carleton University and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.

Muskies Canada Ottawa Chapter has been a partner in this project throughout the long planning approvals process over most of the last 2 decades. Hedrik Wachelka has been tireless in his work to help move this project forward. The Ottawa Chapter, with assistance from the Hugh C. Becker Foundation has partnered with Carleton University to tag and monitor 40 Esocidae (20 Pike and 20 Muskies) to follow their movements before and after the completion of this new feature.

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There will be an opportunity to volunteer for a shoreline planting day May 9, 2015 around the perimeter of the pond. Capital Ward Councilor David Chernushenko said, “Residents of Capital Ward work very hard to maintain and improve our local environment, and like to seize special opportunities such as this. Tree plantings, river shore protection, clean up initiatives and promoting active outdoor life styles by our residents are all close to our hearts and this project fits us well. Thanks to all parties for bringing this progressive project to Brewer Park!”

For more information: Jennifer Lamoureux, Aquatic & Fish Habitat Biologist Rideau Valley Conservation Authority 613-692-3571 ext. 1108 jennifer.lamoureux@rvca.ca
http://rvca.ca/brewerpark/index.html

Jock River Embayment Creation Project (2014 – 2016)

In October 2014, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RCVA) constructed a fish habitat embayment at the Richmond conservation Area, located in Ottawa, Ontario. This project was done in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Shell Fueling Change, Muskies Canada Ottawa Chaper, National Defence Fish and Game Club, Community Foundation of Ottawa, Fendock and the Ottawa Flyfishers Society.

The project involved converting an existing grassed park area into a small wetland embayment along the shoreline of the Jock River. Raab Construction Ltd. was retained to help construct the new wetland and work couldn’t have been completed without the help of a group of dedicated volunteers.

A Spring Community tree planing day is planned for May 16th to complete the project.

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Lamoureux, Aquatic & Fish Habitat Biologist
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-3571 ext. 1108
jennifer.lamoureux@rvca.ca
http://rvca.ca/brewerpark/index.html

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Lake Simcoe Muskie Restoration Project Wins Top Conservation Award (2010)

The Spring Fishing and Boat Show and its partners established a new award in 2010 for the top fishing conservation project of the year. The inaugural winner was Muskie Canada’s Lake Simcoe Muskie Restoration Project. This multi-year project is to reintroduce muskellunge into Lake Simcoe after an absence of about 30 years. The project is led by Dave Boxall, Project Manager, and Jim Kelly of Muskies Canada and Jason Borwick and Brad Allan of the Ontario MNR. It is supported by many partners, including the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Sir Sandford Fleming College, Muskies Inc., Canadian Sportsman’s Shows, Bob Izumi’s Fishing Forever Foundation, Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers and the Spring Fishing and Boat Show.

Project Noble Beast Muskie Catch and Release Study (2009 – 2011)

In the early eighties, the one and only study on the impacts of catch and release angling on muskellunge, concluded there was up to a 30% mortality rate of angled fish, likely due to the stress of the experience. Thirty years and numerous changes in tackle, fish handling techniques and angler knowledge, there was a need to re-examine the mortality rate of muskies that were caught by anglers using modern tackle and techniques. In 2009, Masters of Science candidate, Sean Landsman, undertook a field study, fondly referred to as Project Noble Beast, to determine the sub-lethal and lethal effects of the catch-and-release process using two different handling procedures (normal and gentle). The project required intense angling effort, which was carried out over the summer and fall muskellunge angling seasons in 2009 and 2010, yielding 77 muskies up to 52 inches long. Under the tutelage of Dr. Steven Cooke of Carleton University and Dr. Cory Suski of the University of Illinois, Sean collected blood samples used to assess the physiological impact of the angling process and these samples were compared to those obtained from fish sampled via electrofishing (control group baseline levels). Behaviour and survival were assessed by attaching radio transmitters to a sub-sample of 30 fish (15 per handling procedure) and tracking their movements.

Hedrik Wachelka of the Ottawa Chapter of Muskies Canada worked tirelessly with Sean to organize, fundraise and assist in angling muskies from the Ottawa and Rideau River systems. Hedriks efforts and those of the nearly two dozen other volunteers from Muskies Canada were instrumental in the completion of the project. Blood sample analysis revealed minimal physiological disturbances between handling treatments. Behaviours were similar for fish from each handling group. Perhaps most importantly, all radio-tagged fish survived the catch-and-release event making this finding of 0 percent mortality dramatically different from the 30 percent figure previously suggested for muskellunge. True zero percent mortality can never exist in a hook-and-line fishery, but muskellunge fishing mortality may indeed be negligible.

Sean has published the results of this research in Fisheries Research an International journal on fisheries science, fishing technology, and fisheries management, and is available by permission, here. Seans paper was also presented at the World Recreational Fishing Conference in Berlin, Germany in the summer of 2011 to very positive reviews. This original research will save countless muskie and other fishes lives worldwide in the future.

Major funding for this research effort was generated by Muskies Canada, various chapters of MCI, Muskies Inc, the Becker Foundation as well as support from Carleton U and various government agencies.

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Muskies Canada Partners with Wounded Warriors Canada

Muskies Canada is proud to announce a new partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada to host a “Fishing in the Kawarthas” weekend at Scotsman Point Cottage Resort on Buckhorn Lake.

Fishing in the Kawarthas will provide ill and injured Veterans and their families with an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while fishing for muskellunge in the company of experienced Muskies Canada anglers. What’s more, the event will provide a relaxing environment that will allow the participants the chance for respite, reflection and the ability to reconnect with their fellow Veterans and family members.

woundedWarriorsWounded Warriors Canada is a registered charity whose mission is to honour and support Canada’s ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and their families.

 

cropped-muskies_canada_logo.pngMuskies Canada is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to Muskellunge angling, research and conservation. Muskellunge, or Muskie, is Canada’s apex freshwater predator and an important sport fish in eastern Canada. Muskies Canada anglers have boats and equipment well suited to host Wounded Warriors for a great weekend on the water.

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“It is with great pride that Muskies Canada entered a partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada, to spend time on the water with veterans that have given so much to their country.  It not only will be an honour to spend time with these veterans but to show them that Muskies Canada acknowledges and is grateful for their sacrifices”, said Tyler Duncan, a Muskies Canada Board of Directors representative and Chair of the Upper Valley Chapter.

Wounded Warriors Canada Fishing in the Kawarthas weekend will be held at Scotsman Point Resort on Buckhorn Lake, August 25-28, 2017. Friday night feature a “Meet-and-Greet” get-together with and Saturday will be Muskie fishing day, teaming participants with Muskies Canada members.

Phil Ralph, National Program Director for Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “We continue to witness first-hand the benefits of recreational programs that bring together Veterans and their families. We are proud to partner with Muskies Canada and Scotsman Point Resort on what will be a great annual event that provides our participants with important respite and the opportunity to reflect and reconnect.”

Scotsman Point Cottage Resort is a sponsor/supporter in the event and is donating accommodation for the Wounded Warriors Canada participants. “All of us at Scotsman Point Resort are very proud and honoured for the opportunity to provide the most courageous of Canadian citizens some well deserved relaxation and fun. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with all of the partners involved in this memorable event”, said Leslie Clarkson, General Manager of Scotsman Point Resort.

For more information, please see:

Wounded Warriors

Muskies Canada

Scotsman Point Resort

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