Hunter – Clyde Watershed Group Inc

Successful Applicant:
Hunter – Clyde Watershed Group Inc.

Award:
$3,036

Project Title:
Hunter – Clyde Watershed Project


Project Gallery:

Project Summary:

We planted trees around recent DOT work sites, Ducks Unlimited ponds, and a large natural area of protected forest, in addition to our regular plantings in upland habitats and riparian zones. We did some repair work to a previous project, rock pools adjacent to HWY 2 to maintain fish passage to the upper reaches of the watershed. We did extensive in-stream restoration works on several branches of the river to improve water flow. And, as usual, we participated in beach and park cleanups and ran our Educational programs, including our Environmental Fun Day and Adopt-a-River. We also monitored our kestrel box and its live feed camera, informing the public of the natural history of this native bird and its nesting habits. We banded 5 healthy chicks with the cooperation of the Wildlife Conservation Program at Holland College.

The project goals revisited:

1. Improved fish and wildlife habitat
We worked in key feeder streams to improve fish passage by clearing of in-stream debris, construction of brush mats and removal of nuisance beaver dams
2. Forest enhancement
2000 more native trees were strategically planted in areas where bank stabilization was necessary, stream shading improved water quality, and forests were diversified
3. Inspired, educated and engaged children and youth
Our Environmental Fun Day was attended by over 100 Grade 5 and 6 students and we again ran our successful Adopt-a-River program for grade 7 and 8 students. Outreach at summer events included a Cavendish Beach kiosk run in conjunction with Parks Canada, a booth at North Rustico’s Canada Day, a tree planting day with cadets from the Blue Heron Sea Cadets
4. Less risk (from garbage and discarded equipment) to fishers and wildlife
We regularly sent our work crew to clean local beaches and angling areas
5. An expanding database (with maps) of key stream health indicators
We continued water sampling at several sites in partnership with the Wheatley River Improvement Group. We also monitored for spruce budworm
6. Increased number of bird boxes mounted in our watersheds
Existing boxes were replaced or repaired where necessary. Our crew built a pair of Barred Owl boxes. We launched our “kestrel cam” in Hunter River. The kestrel box successfully attracted a mating pair of kestrels and the live stream video of laying, hatching, and fledging of 5 chicks proved both fascinating and challenging
7. Continued monitoring of anoxic events
We continued to participate in the province’s river watch program
8. Improved monitoring of key stream health indicators
During the time in the streams we assessed invasive species proliferation, infrastructure failures, monoculture alder growth, and sediment runoff. We partnered with technicians from the province to do fish counts in the river
9. Remove beaver dams where they are found to be blocking fish passage or causing excess erosion
We removed several small and developing dams. It was also necessary to improve previous dam removal sites. No beaver trapping was necessary in 2016
10. Public awareness of our activities
We heavily recruited new members this year, and successfully established a larger and highly functional new board