| Mar 03, 2005

Feature article, March 3, 2005

Feature article March 3, 2005

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Salmon River Habitat Strategy fills second hall

by Gray Merriam

On Saturday 26 February 45 people filled the Branch Library in Tamworth at an Open House presented by the Friends of the Salmon River, the Lennox and Addington Stewardship Council, the Frontenac Stewardship Council and the Hastings Stewardship Council. Just a few days earlier, the first Open House had also filled the W.I. Hall in Lonsdale.

People came to learn about the Salmon River Habitat Strategy Study being done by a partnership of these stewardship groups. After the volunteer group, the Friends of the Salmon River, was organized last April, the Stewardship Councils obtained funding from the Canada-Ontario Agreement to begin assessing the health of the Salmon River watershed. It is a big job because the watershed begins near Cloyne, at Story Lake, and extends all the way to the Bay of Quinte near Shannonville.


By using the latest satellite technology, Melodie Green, the full-time researcher on the study, has assembled maps of the whole watershed. Her map of the watershed shows the edges of the big basin in the land that collects all the water flowing into the Salmon. The maps also show all the forested areas in that watershed, the types of vegetation along the immediate shorelines of the river and all the known areas of special interest throughout the watershed. Results of inventories of fishes by both electrofishing and by trap netting were also presented.

One special area in the watershed include the Salmon River Alvar, an area of shallow soil over limestone that does not hold moisture well and so has some rare plants that would normally be found on prairies. Puzzle Lake Provincial Park is another special area along the Salmon, recently designated as a Provincial Park and under study to learn more about special environments and species that occur there. The newly appointed Superintendent of Puzzle Lake Park, Lloyd Chapman, was one of the participants at the Tamworth Open House. Others participating included staff of the three Stewardship Councils, Ontario Nature and Friends of the Salmon River. Displays were presented by those groups and by the Upper Canada Wood Cooperative, Cataraqui Canoe Club, Kennebec Lake Association, Concerned Citizens Against the Richmond Landfill, and, of course, many displays by the Salmon River Habitat Strategy Study.

Steve Pitt, Coordinator of the Lennox and Addington Stewardship Council explained that by using Environment Canada guidelines, results of the Salmon River study will ask "how much habitat is enough for a healthy watershed?". If some spots need help, both advice and funding sources will be provided to landowners. To safeguard the currently healthy condition of most of the watershed, the Stewardship Councils are offering to work individually with landowners to provide stewardship plans for the owner's property custom-designed by a professional at no cost and with no obligation.

The most important people present, the people on the land, ended the Open House with a lively series of questions that generated a full and friendly discussion with the resource people present -- a true information exchange.

The final Open House in this series will be in the Community Hall in Arden next Saturday March 5 from 11 am to 1 pm.

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