Something's Fishy: A year underwater

Eastern sand darter, Grand River, ON (Photo by Alan Dextrase/Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2016

For someone who writes about fish, it is no surprise that when I tell people what I do, it is always prompted by an inquiry about which finned species is my favourite.That’s like asking a mother which of her children she likes best. Each...

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Life in freshwater country: How helping water helps Canada (Part Two)

Bow Lake, AB (Photo by Sarah Boon)

Bow Lake, AB (Photo by Sarah Boon)

In Part One of this blog I presented an overview of Canada's freshwater resources and the need to protect them for people and nature. Here I will further explain how today’s problems need new solutions. Over the last year the Nature...

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Life in freshwater country: How helping water helps Canada (Part One)

Elbow Lake, Frontenac Arch, ON (Photo by NCC)

Elbow Lake, Frontenac Arch, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

If you are Canadian, either by chance or by choice, you probably have a story about water. It might be learning to paddle a canoe, pulling your first fish from the water or standing on the dock on the May 24 weekend with friends, challenging each...

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Something's Fishy: Here comes the sun(fish)

Warmouth up-close (Photo by Clinton & Charles Robertson/Wikimedia Commons)

“We rise when the fish do!” exclaimed my grandfather just as I was settling into the guestroom, known fondly as my room-away-from-home, at my grandparent’s house. “When’s that, grandpa?” I called back in...

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Eddying out

Our cedar-strip canoe (Photo by CBT/NCC)

I can't remember the first time I ever held a paddle, but I do remember our family's first canoe: hunter-green, its aluminium gunnels were harshly unforgiving on knuckles if I dipped my paddle too close. My knees quickly became criss-crossed with...

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Atlantic Salmon: Lake Ontario’s ghost fish

Atlantic salmon jumping in Humber River (Photo by Tom Moffatt/ASF)

The Atlantic salmon is usually associated with Canada’s east coast, where declining populations of the species have inspired conservation efforts by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, as well as Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Historically,...

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Something's Fishy: Homeward bound

Lake sturgeon (Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

There’s really no place like home. Whether you’re returning from a vacation or simply coming home after work or school, there’s nothing like being greeted by the familiarity of your humble abode.This feeling is multiplied when...

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O'piping plover where art thou?

Group shot at the Mather Lake census (Photo by Gail F. Chin)

2016 marks the 5th international census of the piping plover population. Recently, I joined the Saskatchewan chapter of the Nature Conservancy of Canada in a two-day count at Mather Lake and Shoe Lake West in an area of central southern...

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Something's Fishy: Carp, the misunderstood outsider

Common carp (Photo by William Crochot/Wikimedia Commons)

Common carp (Photo by William Crochot/Wikimedia Commons)

Born and raised in Ontario, I have a hometown pride that carries me throughout the lands and waters of this fine province. This territorial instinct reminds me of the boundaries set by the Greasers in S. E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders. The...

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A Canadian river story

La Chasse-galerie, 1906, by Henri Julien (Photo by Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec)

Our rivers carry many responsibilities. For years, they have been pathways for communication, exploration and discovery. Like any great journey, these rivers have stories. From coast to coast, myths and legends have been passed down for almost as...

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