MEDIA RELEASE September 26, 2019
Watersheds Canada and Cabela’s Canada Outdoor Fund
Easton’s Creek – Brook Trout Habitat Enhancement
Funding from Cabela’s Canada Outdoor Fund has made it possible for the planting and caging of 73 black willow and silver maple trees along Easton’s Creek, about 45 minutes northwest of Perth. The Brook Trout Habitat Enhancement project was led by Watersheds Canada.
This project addresses declining near-shore fish habitat quality by restoring in-water structures, spawning areas, and shoreline fish habitat. Waddle Creek is one of the few cold water brook trout creeks in the Mississippi Valley Watershed, flowing into Easton’s Creek and then into the Clyde River. By enhancing and restoring the habitat in this cold water creek, we will help restore and improve this brook trout population.
Easton’s Creek before planting the 73 trees.
“In order for cold water to stay cold, you need lots of stream cover. A lot of times the trees have been removed because of development and in this case we have a quarry development nearby that has taken down some of the native trees. We are restoring these trees and providing shade for the trout.” – Anne Bendig, MNRF Fisheries Biologist for 29 years, Retired
The planting and caging on August 12-13, 2019 was a tremendous effort from: the Lanark County Stewardship Council, the Lanark & District Fish and Game Club, the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, and Watersheds Canada.
While walking around the site, a small flow of water – called a seepage – was located flowing out of the side of a gravel mound. Typically this water would feed underground into the cold water creek downstream but because it was exposed in a gravel pit, the water was rapidly warming as it flowed down the hillside and into the creek. Ideally these seepages stay covered so as to contribute significantly to the cold water habitat. Because this seepage had been exposed to solar heating, its temperature was raised a few degrees in just a few hundred feet. While this seepage could not be protected due to the gravel quarry, the shade provided by the planted trees will help cool the water in the creek.
Cabela’s Canada Outdoor Fund generously sponsored this project, including the purchase of all supplies. Staff from the Ottawa Cabela’s Canada store attended an education and awareness event at Easton’s Creek on September 19, 2019 to learn about the project and the importance of brook trout to the area. General Manager of the Ottawa store, David Maynes, planted a black willow to bring the total number of trees planted at Easton’s Creek to 74 (pictured left).