Holy smokes! Its mid-August! The summer has absolutely flown by and mornings out on the water are definitely a little bit more chilly than they were – but still gorgeous none the less!
Our eel team here at Canadian Wildlife Federation has been up to a lot since our last post – here’s an update!
- After approximately 4 weeks of rigorous trapping below Chats dam near Fitzroy Harbour we have stopped trapping throughout this area. Despite lots of potential eel habitat and the capture of many juvenile sunfish, bullhead and bass, we were unable to capture any eels. Although we didn’t capture any eels, we are happy with the effort that we put in throughout the area.
- Although we have ceased trapping at Chats, we are continuing to trap around Chaudiere Falls, right in downtown Ottawa, in hopes of catching some of the eels which were tagged in the Trap and Transfer.
- Testing of our acoustic telemetry equipment is almost wrapped up at Chaudiere Falls and we’ve been able to test some potential receiver spots for next year and determine our tag detection range – all of which is valuable information that will help us determine which channels eels are choosing to bypass the Chaudiere Falls facility. Next week, we are hoping to test a potential receiver location near Chute-A-Blondeau, just above Carillon dam, which is the first hydro facility located on the Ottawa River.
- We’d like to give a HUGE thank you to Eric Smith. Eric is a member of the Arnprior and District Fish and Game Club and has been an integral part to the eel project since its inception 7 years ago, even before Canadian Wildlife Federation was involved. Eric has put in many volunteer hours trapping, tagging, flying and chasing after eels throughout the Ottawa River. This year, Eric led the trapping project below Chats dam and was a key addition to the tag and transfer project that occurred early this summer!
- We received an exciting call from Naomi Langlois-Anderson, the Senior Fish and Wildlife Technician from South Nation Conservation located east of Ottawa. Her team, which was conducting annual aquatic sampling in the South Nation river had caught an eel! Since there was a potential that this individual could be one that was part of the trap and transfer that took place earlier in July, our eel team met up with Naomi and her field crew which held the eel for us so that we could scan the individual for a PIT tag. Turns out this eel was a resident of the South Nation and did not have a PIT tag but it was still great to see that there are eels within the Ottawa River watershed!
Our crew is currently finishing up the rest of the field work and then time to make sense of all the data that was collected! If you have any questions regarding the Ottawa River Eel Project, please feel free to contact us here at Canadian Wildlife Federation and we’d be glad to answer your questions!