Sunday, 5 July 2015

A canoe ride marathon: 9 km!

Fragile shorelines
Since I cannot see the lake conditions, I try to go out early, before winds pick up or the summer residents get going on their boats, donuts, and jetskis. The fishermen are nice and quiet, and respect the tricky status of a canoe. As I finished my trek, yahoos in a speed boat were zooming around behind me. I HOPE they were teaching someone to drive the boat, but it was a bit unsettling.

I was a bit late, at 9:00 a.m., as it was a chilly morning (10 C./50 F.) and I wanted it to warm up. No sense having a sore butt AND being too cold!

As soon as I launched a woman approached me in a kayak. She was trying to find Jebbs Creek, which lead into the Tay River and into Perth. Fortuitously, I'd printed a map of this very spot, as that was my goal, to see what the area looked like. I led the group for a time, then I slowed to grab some photos.

Great way to travel!
The water was calm, and it was a perfect morning. A middle-aged couple was sitting on their dock, with their Husky eagerly bopping around. The properties are interesting, with a variety of 2- and 4-season homes.

I was really surprised to see some very large homes, with manicured grass right at the edge of the fragile ecosystem. Nearby Westport's issues have hit the news: Blue-green algae in Upper Rideau Lake contain toxins, tests confirm.

We've learned much about shallow lakes, algea and blue-green algae, thanks to the work of Environment Ontario, Watersheds Canada, and the Muskoka Watershed Council.

Living in Cottage Country Handbook
Get your copy of theLiving in Cottage Country handbook, now available at the MWC office for just $20!
Everything you need to know to live sustainably in Muskoka.

Watersheds Canada has a program to help lakefront homeowners convert their city-style lawns back to ecosystem-friendly waterfronts: The Natural Edge.
Such a shock coming around a bend and spotting manicured lawns.
Since the water is so shallow,
I guess this dock has to be jutting into the creek.

Someone has put new branches across the creek mouth

Before they knew better...
they built stone walls.
Manicured lawns

Otty Lake property owners have worked hard to create fish spawning habitats. The lake is very shallow, maximum 60', and zebra mussels abound. In the creek I spotted a lot of fish; sunfish, trout, and three long, skinny ones I think are carp or pike. There aren't many pike in this lake, they tell us.
hard to photograph the fish!!! I did see some on nests.

There was a beaver dam across the creek, at one point. I read somewhere about some issues with its removal in the not-so-distant past! (You aren't supposed to remove them in this time and age.)
Old beaver dam
You can see shiny Mica in the base of the old beaver dam

Otty Lake fish habitat celebrates successful Phase II

October 7, 2014 by  
In all, 175 spawning beds, 335 sunken wood clusters and 58 cornerstones have been installed in both Phases one and two. The team will also submerge and anchor recycled Christmas trees on the bed of the lake to provide areas where fish can rest, find shelter and feed.

Screen captures from my GPS! Evidence of a good trip.

Despite the kayakers going ahead of me, happily chatting, I did spot a lot of critters.

Here are some more of my photos:


eileeninmd said...

What a lovely day and outing. The kayaking looks like a lot of fun, a great way to see the wildlife. Happy Sunday!

"...E...", from VA, Beth said...

did you notice that you gave yourself a signature mustache? that is too much. i am so laughing. ha. ha!! priceless!!! love it!! i need to do that one. ( :

i am skipping over the snake views. love the birdies bestest.

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, I wish I could do this. I must admit I'm dreadfully jealous.
However, I get to enjoy your beautiful photos, which are a treat, with maybe one or two too many snake shots. LOL

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I didn't notice, Liz! I didn't even notice the snake, at first. My eye sight is definitely going...Glad I could make you laugh!!! My butt is still sore, as are my arms!

Red said...

I'd say you had a top o' the mornin kind of morning...good company, fresh air, scenery, photo ops...just a great morning.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I love the snake shots.... and the rest! YAM xx

EG CameraGirl said...

Great way to see the area, Jenn. I often wonder why city-folk bring their love of lawns out into the country!

William Kendall said...

Beautiful shots! The snake looks big!