Salmon on the move

New video ini­tia­tive helps track fish as they travel along the Ga­naraska River

Northumberland Today - - FRONT PAGE - VA­LERIE MAC­DON­ALD

PORT HOPE — A Lake On­tario At­lantic Salmon Restora­tion open house at Cor­bett’s Dam show­cased new fish count­ing and fish vide­o­record­ing equip­ment which Mayor Bob Sander­son says is an im­por­tant in­vest­ment in the com­mu­nity, and tourism.

A new app links the video of fish go­ing through the dam on their way up river to spawn, and is be­ing pi­loted by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s tourism de­part­ment. It also tells vis­i­tors how far they are from restau­rants, ac­com­mo­da­tion and other busi­nesses as they make their way along the Ga­naraska. The goal is to draw tourists from the pop­u­lar dam into the down­town core, the mayor ex­plained dur­ing an in­ter­view.

Real-time video has not yet been achieved in the pi­lot project, as far as the mayor had been in­formed.

Among the fish mov­ing up­stream at this time of the year are Rain­bow and Brown Trout, plus Chi­nook and Coho Salmon, Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Forestry’s (MNRF) Mike Yuille.

He is part of the Lake On­tario Man­age­ment Unit that as­sesses and mon­i­tors near shore and off shore fish com­mu­ni­ties.

Last year, the min­istry, to­gether with the On­tario Fed­er­a­tion of An­glers and Hunters and other part­ners con­tin­ued their pro­gram of rein­tro­duc­ing At­lantic Salmon into streams and rivers that flow into Lake On­tario.

In an ef­fort to re-es­tab­lish the fish into the Ga­naraska River, they put year­lings into it. Some were iden­ti­fied as they went down­stream to­wards Lake On­tario, Yuille said.

By 2019, if all goes ac­cord­ing to plan, adult At­lantic Salmon will be caught on cam­era mak­ing the trek from Lake On­tario up­stream to spawn.

They can be iden­ti­fied most eas­ily be­cause a rear fin was re­moved from the year­lings, he ex­plained.

With an in­vest­ment of $120,000plus, new fish count­ing and fish video record­ing equip­ment has been in­stalled in a cage that can be low­ered and raised at Cor­bett’s Dam for those pur­poses.

MNRF’s David Brown noted that the project is good for the At­lantic Salmon fish restora­tion pro­gram and for the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Port Hope. He said he was pleased this wa­ter­shed is in­volved in it.

“Restor­ing a species is not some­thing we take lightly,” Brown said.

Ear­lier dur­ing the open house, Sander­son said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is work­ing to stop il­le­gal fish­ing but not to halt le­gal fish­ing in the Ga­naraska River that runs through the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s down­town core and into Lake On­tario.

He noted that when ci­ti­zens were asked what was im­por­tant to them in their com­mu­nity, it was an in­vest­ment in the Ga­naraska River.

“That was even over low­er­ing taxes,” the mayor said.

It is im­por­tant to ed­u­cate peo­ple and es­pe­cially chil­dren about the en­vi­ron­ment, he said, adding that this in­cludes dif­fer­ent eth­nic groups drawn by the fish in the Ga­naraska River.

Restor­ing a species is not some­thing we take lightly.” MNRF’s David Brown

VA­LERIE MAC­DON­ALD/NORTHUMBERLAND TO­DAY

Mike Yuille of the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Forestry is part of the Lake On­tario Man­age­ment Unit that as­sesses and mon­i­tors near shore and off­shore fish com­mu­ni­ties. A wall of mon­i­tors dis­plays fish caught on video in new $120,000-plus worth of equip­ment in­stalled at Cor­bett's Dam in Port Hope.

VA­LERIE MAC­DON­ALD/NORTHUMBERLAND TO­DAY

A still pic­ture from a video of fish pass­ing through Cor­bett's Dam in Port Hope on its way up­stream in the Ga­naraska River to spawn.

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