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PostPosted: July 26th, 2021, 12:29 pm 
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Location: Pickering, Ontario
Grab some popcorn, this might lead to fights. :lol:

Took a paddle yesterday on a central Ontario river, but it was shortened by a deadfall that my old decrepit body was probably not capable of hauling over, and there was no practical way of portaging around it. Prior to that we had encountered a submerged one that we only just managed to get over, with a total weight of approximately 180kg/400pounds. The river itself, apart from Armageddon levels of mosquitos and deer flies, was a lovely flatwater paddle, and I would love to go further.

So here's the question:

What are the legalities, and practicalities, of clearing obstructions like that? The one that stopped us could be done with a chain saw, but it would have to be done from a canoe, perhaps not the safest way of handling it. The submerged one might succumb to a chain saw, but it would need a fairly long blade, and again, would need to be done from a canoe.

Here's where things get weird. For the one that stopped us: explosives. A professional, licensed expert could drill a couple of holes a few metres apart, insert the boom-candy, and set them off to shatter that section out and have it drop into the river to be carried away by the current. I know that suggesting things like that get a few people on edge, but where this is located there is absolutely no danger to anyone, it's completely devoid of humanity. If it could be done legally, it might be the easiest way.

I'm not going to give away the location, because I don't want people going up there and trying removal themselves. But if anyone has experience at this sort of thing, contact me and I will let you know.

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PostPosted: July 26th, 2021, 1:21 pm 
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Without seeing pictures I'd say a chainsaw sounds like by far the easiest solution.

If I wanted to find someone willing to canoe to a tree blocking a river, insert dynamite, and then canoe away from the tree to detonate it I don't even know where I'd start looking.

That's assuming you could even get permission to dynamite it in the first place, which could prove even more difficult.

Alan


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PostPosted: July 26th, 2021, 1:33 pm 
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Quote:
no practical way of portaging around it.


I'm skeptical....do you have any pics?

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PostPosted: July 26th, 2021, 4:35 pm 
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Location: Edmonton area
Licensed trappers are permitted to use explosives to blast beaver dams, and occasionally lodges, so they may be a potential source of expertise/labour/materiel.

However, location dependent, I suspect that the cost of the prerequisite Governmental standard environmental assessment alone would be prohibitive, let alone the petition started by potentially affected dwellers-thereabouts.

There are such creatures as hydraulic power saws which easily cut under water and could be run from rafted canoes; that would be my recommendation.

The red tape and grief involved in demolitions almost anywhere in Ontario are extremely proscriptive and costly to navigate. Good luck.

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PostPosted: July 26th, 2021, 6:49 pm 
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Location: Pickering, Ontario
recped wrote:
Quote:
no practical way of portaging around it.


I'm skeptical....do you have any pics?


Extremely thick vegetation on both sides. I think that you would have to bushwack a landing point while in the canoe before you could bushwack yourself onto the bank and around. Not impossible, but like I said, not practical.

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PostPosted: July 27th, 2021, 7:26 am 
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I do this kind of thing all the time, with chainsaws, but also with hand saws and axes.


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PostPosted: July 27th, 2021, 10:43 am 
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I've heard of people using comealongs to pull log obstructions out of the way on rivers if possible... I've only used them on land to clear trails and to get heavy logs down that are hung up on other standing trees, for cutting. Chainsawing in a canoe sounds dangerous, esp if the log is in the water.

https://images.thdstatic.com/productIma ... 4_1000.jpg

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PostPosted: July 27th, 2021, 1:59 pm 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Like real estate it may be location, location, location. Although I have never considered explosives.

I have port-clearing acquaintances that travel with chain saws. While I appreciate their efforts I will never be they. In part because chain saws are inappropriate on my local waters, and I’m not hauling a chain saw along on a multi-State trip to unfamiliar waters.

My steep riparian valley home river is a “blue ribbon” trout stream, and has frequent strainers and sweepers. I always have a 10” Silky saw, and something carry a 20” bow saw. If it is sized so that I can quietly (and surreptitiously) handle it with one of those I will, otherwise I’m finding some way to drag the canoe around.

If I can quietly remove some hand saw-able slender trunks or limbs in areas difficult to get around on land, or cut a safe passage though branchy sweepers on “Oh shit” blind curves, I’m game. Or at least I was.

But, the banks of that home river are in parts private property and in part linear State Park lands. More over the “blue ribbon trout stream” is a local economic engine, supporting fly shops and guides, B&B’s and other local businesses. Trout fishermen got money to spend, and they value strainers for creating deeper, shaded pools on that narrow river.

A dozen or so years ago a guy in one of the local canoe clubs, who fancied himself a budding arborist, brought in a few friends, and a chainsaw, cables and a come-along to clear the cut sections so they didn’t just float down and add to the next strainer, and removed some large fallen logs.

Not just cutting out a 3 foot wide passage in the canoeable flow, but removing the whole damn tree. From the most productive stretch of trout waters, a short class II section at the top. And then, with daylight left, continued cutting for another couple miles downstream into gentler waters. He then proudly photo documented those efforts on a local canoe club board.

A local trout guide got wind of it, and there were all sorts of repercussions, from scolding articles in the local feebie North County weeklies, to the metro daily, to some legal consequences.

The end result was that no one clears any strainers anywhere on that river. Even in the less trouty class-nothing novice float sections along the lower end. A youth “nature” camp and the local Natural History Society once ran novice trips there, and kept that easy stretch clear. No more, they won’t touch a fallen tree and don’t even take folks out anymore.

Last time I counted my favorite 5 mile fast water section of that river, below the best trout pool top end but above the dull water, had 8 impassible strainers. I miss paddling on that river. Thanks dude.

But wait, it gets better. There’s a new Sherriff in town; the current Riverkeeper is the best known local guide and fly fishing shop owner.

There is a rancher saying out west, “Shoot, shovel, shut your mouth”.


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PostPosted: July 27th, 2021, 10:37 pm 
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I too have wondered about this. Although I have fantasies that involve blowing up the crap that stands in my way, for me it usually works out much simpler.

The quintessential example for me is last year in Wabakami - one specific portage on our route was completely overgrown by ferns at one point. The trail was difficult enough to follow that we were relying on the dog (who was lower to the ground, could smell and feel a trail, and knew what we were doing) to guide us. We eventually got lost in a shaded garden of ferns that overgrew the trail, only finding our way back with a GPS, a compass, and some luck, perhaps some small modicum of experience. We gave up and rerouted.

But what if, say, we had enough time and supply to cut a trail through those ferns? Dare I say it, the most effective way to expose that trail would be RoundUp® (which is not that much more controversial than dynamite). Not that I would carry a backpack sprayer of roundup into the bush just in case I wanted to clear a trail, but I do wonder about the legalities of that.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about the legalities. It's a trail (and in this case, in Wabakimi on a portage that might see two groups a year) in the middle of nowhere, and I myself have been ever so grateful for the efforts of those who've gone before me and taken the time to make it easier and safer for me, by glyphosphate or explosives or just simple flagging tape. So, consequences be damned.

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PostPosted: July 28th, 2021, 7:44 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Yep... logs and trees in some streams can be valuable fish habitat... in some streams, removal of an obstruction might be so minor in impact, a conservation officer wouldn't see it as a harmful alteration, while on others, it could be seen to be significant and charges could be laid. A quick look at the Canada Fisheries Act shows fines for individuals destroying fish habitat could range from a minimum of $15,000 to a max of $1,000,000.

Worse, the offender could be made to do community service work as part of the sentence, such as repairing the damage with scouts, brownies, high school students and their teachers, prison inmates forced into hard labor, drug addicts needing rehabilitation, the Green Party, OFAH members, David Suzuki, and all this maybe overseen by local political figures smiling and pointing while posing for news reporters. Justin and Sophie Trudeau might even decide to paddle over to cluck and tsk-tsk how disappointed they were upon reading the news and what a great job the kids are doing with the restoration.

Some great underwater photos here along with info.

https://habitat.fisheries.org/forestry- ... n-streams/

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PostPosted: July 28th, 2021, 7:57 am 
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LOL, I suppose anything is possible, but up here on Crown Land, no one will get too excited. The forest industry is wreaking full scale havoc, cutting down miles and miles of trees daily, the only chance of criminal prosecution would be if you actually cut a few harvestable trees without a firewood permit, and took them home to burn. Strangely enough, I have had friends who were "caught" doing this, and had to pay stumpage fees, a staggering amount of 11 dollars. Any yet, when i asked the Ministry person if any forestry companies in our area had been fined for buffer violations, the answer was no, even though violations to existing canoe routes is fairly routine.

What am I trying to say? I dunno, GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DAMN KIDS!


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PostPosted: July 31st, 2021, 2:51 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON
Dave Bailey wrote:
Took a paddle yesterday on a central Ontario river, but it was shortened by a deadfall that my old decrepit body was probably not capable of hauling over, and there was no practical way of portaging around it. Prior to that we had encountered a submerged one that we only just managed to get over, with a total weight of approximately 180kg/400pounds. The river itself, apart from Armageddon levels of mosquitos and deer flies, was a lovely flatwater paddle, and I would love to go further.
How far from a nearby settlement did it happen?
Was it a historic canoe route?


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PostPosted: August 1st, 2021, 12:49 pm 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
RHaslam wrote:
LOL, I suppose anything is possible, but up here on Crown Land, no one will get too excited.


Again, location, location, location. If a strainer or port gets cleaned up and no one hears, did the chainsaw actually make a sound?

I don’t mind kids on the lawn; but down in our rural hollow I don’t have many of them except my own. I do wish the damn whitetails wouldn’t eat the tops off of the 200+ Hosta varietals the wife has carefully planted, separated and transferred.

I don’t mind the multiple active groundhog dens, one at each quadrant of the compass. Yeah, they browser the greenery, but they are enjoyably comical to watch.

Seriously, you, you silverback oldster, you are the size of an overfed Schnauzer. Flattening yourself out when you creep across the dirt driveway and sneak across the fresh cut lawn really isn’t helping that much.

That grandpa whistlepig has a magnificent den, multiple entrances dug under a towering dirt mound pile of old logs and fence posts, courtesy of our farmer neighbor. He must have a soft spot for woodchucks; I watched him spend time and considerable effort with his tractor positioning a rusty bathtub on the debris pile, covering the main borrow entrance.

Grandpa silverback is big, cautious and sly. I’m not sure a fox could take him. We don’t (yet) have many coyote, and he is safe from my .177 pellet gun or .22. Provided he not break in and developed a taste for my pricier plant matter.


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2021, 9:41 am 
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If you do decide to cut some narrow channels through the obstructions whether mid stream or on the portage I fully recommend a top handle chain saw. They can be dangerous but are sure the ticket for reaching out with one hand from the canoe to make a cut. You can have your Silky 14, give me a Jonsered 14 any day.

https://www.rcpw.com/equipment/gas-chai ... TkQAvD_BwE

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2021, 7:03 pm 
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Yury wrote:
Was it a historic canoe route?


No Idea. It was about a 20 minute drive from Washago.

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