View topic - Thoughts on Canoe Tripping and Human Impact

It is currently July 4th, 2020, 3:01 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 52 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: August 26th, 2013, 7:02 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 19th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1879
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
chris randall wrote:

.....Also, any biologist worth their name hasn't believed in the idea of ecosystems being in balance for many years. Systems swing and flip wildly. They can head off in completely new directions following a disturbance. ......


Correct. There is no such thing as "balance". However at various scales there are evolutionary and ecological stable states, and dynamic equilibriums that operate within bounds of variation that can and have been measured. Species evolve evolutionary stable strategies or behaviours that tend to have fitness advantages, (otherwise they disappear). These are statistical bounds based on observations (means, standard deviations, confidence intervals, errors, etc), that year after year, century after century, tend to explain observed phenomenon. These bounds may be wide or narrow, depending on the parameter. Many parts of the ecosystem work like pistons – as one goes up, another comes down. Both are still there but in different distributions.

Climate continues to change, and has always been changing, and so nothing is stable, fixed, in balance, etc. in longer time frames. Isostatic rebound continues.

However there are also chaotic one way shifts with unpredictable trajectories. These include trajectories that never “settle down” into new dynamic equilibriums, they stay chaotic. This often happens when invasive exotic species are introduced by humans into places in the planet they have never existed in. Stable states and natural cycles are disrupted or destroyed, and the trajectory can be chaotic. Its very sad. Humans must stop moving species around.

One of the best things you can do as a LNT advocate, or caretaker of our landscape, is to advocate for the laws to be changed to stop live bait being used and moved around. Buckets of mostly native specie, but with exotics sometimes (unbeknownst to the bait dealers and fishermen) are being moved around in trucks, boats and airplanes. Bait is flown across watersheds every day by bushplanes serving the fly in fishing tourism industry. This includes flying between Great lakes and Arctic watersheds. Moving live bait around is madness.

Canada has no native earthworms. The ones you use for fishing are all invasive exotics, literally chewing up and churning our native forest soils. Our forest soils did not evolve with any turnover mechanisms by invertebrates. The green moss coverage across forest floors you see in my northern boreal photos will not exist with earthworms – it will be shredded and eaten, polluted by worm castings, and it will only be tufts. The soil micorhizal fungi system that all our trees and plants tie into, is being shredded. Many seeds are eaten, and symbiotic relationships between native invertebrates and plants, and the way they reproduce, is being destroyed. These earthworms also change the ecosystem to favour exotic plants that come from the same place. Hence you see our native understory flora disappearing, and being replaced with the exotic garlic mustard, and other species from Asia and Europe that do not belong here. Places like Algonquin are on that slow motion chaotic change that is unpredictable, due to the spread of earthworms used by fisherman, and from the farming that used to happen there.

The vermiculture compost industry is importing worms from all the other continents and dumping them here. In a state of utter madness, yet more soil pests are being spread by people (who call themselves “green”, who think that we had no native composters here (!), and that they somehow need exotic invasives from the other side of the planet to compost their kitchen wastes. Its madness.

_________________
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 26th, 2013, 7:14 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 27th, 2009, 7:44 am
Posts: 989
Location: Ontario
I TOTALLY did not know that about the worms! I don't fish with any other form of 'live bait' precisely because i am aware of the real dangers that it poses. But I have never heard anyone say that about worms - ever. That REALLY needs to become more common knowledge. I confess I have pretty often just released any un-used bait worms onto the ground towards the end of paddling fishing trips, and now i feel HORRIBLY GUILTY about that. But, who knew????

I'm glad you posted that, HOOP. But I wish I had known that fact years and years ago. :(

_________________
In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.
Mark Twain


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 26th, 2013, 6:38 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 19th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1879
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
sk8r wrote:
I TOTALLY did not know that about the worms! I don't fish with any other form of 'live bait' precisely because i am aware of the real dangers that it poses. But I have never heard anyone say that about worms - ever. That REALLY needs to become more common knowledge. I confess I have pretty often just released any un-used bait worms onto the ground towards the end of paddling fishing trips, and now i feel HORRIBLY GUILTY about that. But, who knew????

I'm glad you posted that, HOOP. But I wish I had known that fact years and years ago. :(


Thanks Sk8tr! The sad truth is that it is common knowledge in the scientific community, but no government is doing anything about it. Its bizarre that some governments in their park policies ban all live bait, in order to protect their park ecosystem, but outside the park, anything goes, same government. In some cases the same government ministry!!!!

Here is a great website to get you started on the worm issue – The University of Minnesota is in the scientific lead in the Great Lakes region:
http://www.nrri.umn.edu/worms/forest/index.html

Here is a recent report by Ontario MNR.
http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/@climatechange/documents/document/stdprod_092861.pdf
Great compendium of the many species that have invaded, but poor wishy washy conclusion IMO (i.e. wait and see and do nothing). Also its incredibly hesitant and feeble in its recomendations. The US is far in advance of Canada in documenting destruction, and yet the laws in the US are also feeble and continue to allow imports and use as bait. MNR is its recently released invasive species policy discussion paper, failed to make the recommendation to ban live bait. http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTIwMjg0&statusId=MTgwMDA0&language=en


For something truly scary, Google “Asian jumping worms”. They are expanding in forests in the southern US. There are forests now in the southern US where all the leaf litter is consumed, as well as plants, and nothing grows on the forest floor – its mud made of worm castings. I have seen southern Ontario woodlots where there is almost nothing but exotic garlic mustard, and greasy mud, and that greasy mud is exotic worm castings. The only woody plants reproducing are exotic Eurasian buckthorn. Buckthorn understories replacing tolerant native hardwood forests. We are seeing the beginning of the end of our native forest and aquatic ecosystems.

That is one of the reasons I go crazy when I hear dogma about hell to pay if you cut one live shrubbery out of a tent pad so that you can put your tent there. Some of the abuse of LNT (not the good rationale principles Barry is talking about), are at the wrong scale, fussing about nothing that matters. There are some really critically life and death issues there for our ecosystems that are being missed.

Live bait has to be banned now. Canoe trippers should be at the forefront for making this an election issue. Please comment on Ontario’s Invasive species policy.

_________________
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 26th, 2013, 7:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 19th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1879
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
What you are looking at in the image below, is a river of wild rice. This is the Little Savant River where I was 2 weeks ago. This is as pristine as it gets. This the definition of natural.

All of this will be destroyed and turned to mud if exotic carp get into it. Totally, utterly destroyed, and it will never come back, ever. Ever!

Right now, as you read this, the tourism outfitter is flying buckets of live bait into Little Savant Lake, the headwaters of this system, once or twice a week, all summer long, year in, year out. THIS IS INSANE! Eventually carp, and other exotics will get here if buckets of live bait are not banned.

Image

The common carp Cyprinus carpio is one of the Asian carp that has totally invaded the Great Lakes ecosystem, and devastated its marshes, as well as much of central and southern North American wetlands. Once beautifully diverse, robust, clean, clear water marsh ecosystems brimming with diverse life, have been reduced to muddy, silty, simple systems with much of the flora and fauna gone, and basically simple plant communities of cattail, and some open water species, and not much else. I used to be a southern Ontario wetlands specialist, and I can tell you that when you go inland and see a non-invaded mash, its like night and day – you think you are on another planet. The Great Lakes coastal marshes will never recover, never come back to what they once were, ever, as long as they are infested with carp. Carp kills wild rice when carp biomass gets to critical thresholds, which they eventually always do.

And we are now faced with two more carp species poised to invade, if not already there. And there are many other invaders destroying our native ecosystems.

This is what is important and what matters. Taking a swim and washing with Campsuds, or cutting shrubbery on a tent pad so that you can camp, leaving a trace, will not hurt your ecosystem. Thinking and preaching at only these trivial scales is the wrong scale to be worried if you are worried about canoe ecosystem integrity and sustainability. Yes by all means make principles, and sometimes rules, for campers for campsites on human waste management, vegetation management, leaving no garbage, etc....all good stuff. Its so bad out there in front country, that I will not travel in many front country crown land areas, and some heavily used parks, because I know there will be human waste strewn about all over, and its just disgusting, and I won’t tolerate it, so I won’t travel there. But don’t confuse these things with higher scale effects that are top down drivers.

_________________
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 26th, 2013, 9:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 14th, 2004, 4:26 pm
Posts: 1896
Location: Toronto
Ok. Serious question again..

Supposing I want to catch some fish?
Plastic worms? I always felt bad about leavin bits of plastc on the lake bottom. But I suppose they dont reproduce... If they did that would be some serious invasivez.

So what to use for bait? Are leaches native or are they also probelmatic?

Hopefully this wont go off the rails again.

_________________
I like canoes


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 27th, 2013, 5:14 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: September 27th, 2008, 12:41 am
Posts: 847
Location: Warren, Manitoba
Depends on the leech, some are native, others not, same with crayfish, in MB a certain species of crayfish is banned due to not being native. In most of MB bait fish are permitted but not some parks, but again, different rules for different people, a certain Lodge in Atikaki is allowed to use live minnows within a no live-bait zone. Yellow perch and other small fish caught by hook are permitted to be used as live bait. Check your local fishing guide for what is permitted as live bait depending on the zone you are fishing in.

We use only artificial baits, primarily lead head jigs with light wire hooks and Berkley twister tails and can catch fish all day long. The wire hooks allow a snag to usually be recovered since you can bend the hook and free it instead of breaking the line, then just bend it back into shape and carry on.

Broken line is packed out, occasionally we do lose jigs with tails and in time that lead will eventually break down in the water. An alternative would be steel jig heads which are available in some stores.

I'm sure Hoop can fill us in on any consequence of losing the odd lead head jig...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 27th, 2013, 5:18 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 27th, 2009, 7:44 am
Posts: 989
Location: Ontario
I've had a lot of success on Lake Trout and Bass with these new STORM soft lures (made by Rapala I think) . They are INCREDIBLY realistic - they have these spooky 3D holographic eyes & their tails move like real fish, seriously:


Image


You can get 'em at LeBarons stores, or check out the website:


http://international.stormlures.com/pro ... ive-kickin’-minnow

_________________
In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.
Mark Twain


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 27th, 2013, 8:07 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5629
Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
Dan,
I never take worms canoeing, not because of the reason Hoop described, but because they are 2 hard to keep alive. Brag a Big 'O' crankbait behind your canoe---deadly for bass and pike and, if you're lucky, walleye. Crayfish pattern and white work well. Get them almost anywhere. I suggest pinching down the barbs in case it gets stuck into your hand.

_________________

Old canoeists never die---they just smell that way.



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 27th, 2013, 9:02 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2547
Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
These things are awesome too....however, be careful, if you buy them in a tub, the tub often leaks, and it is very smelly.
http://www.berkley-fishing.com/products ... innow-gulp


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 29th, 2013, 2:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 3rd, 2010, 5:59 pm
Posts: 182
Location: Kanata
Sorry to bring it back to the worm topic. I just learned that worms were invasive this summer. While on the Petawawa with my son we completed this Native, Exotic or Invasive Species book that the park produced for youth. The park states that live bait should not be used in the park and has a sign that says no fishing with minnows. I've always, until now, brought some worms for the kids to use. Anyone no if the no live bait rule in Algonquin includes worms? If it doesn't, why not? And if it does why do canoe outfitters for the park sell them?

rab


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 29th, 2013, 3:09 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 9016
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
No live baitfish is not synonymous with no live bait.
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/pa ... itfish.php


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 29th, 2013, 5:42 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 3rd, 2010, 5:59 pm
Posts: 182
Location: Kanata
So I wonder why they don't ban worms altogether? I'm sure many people just leave the unused ones behind.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 29th, 2013, 8:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: December 9th, 2012, 9:57 am
Posts: 356
Until I read in an earlier post by Hoop, I had no idea that our innocent little earthworms were an introduced species. I mentioned this to my 2 biologist daughters, and they said sarcastically “Well, yeah Dad?!” I guess I should talk shop to them more often. I remember gazing into a live bait tank at my uncle’s marina in the 60’s with childhood wonder. “Can I keep one? Can I take one home?” I’ll never know what they were, but I guess it’s a good thing plastic lures like those shown by Haslam and Sk8er are popular now? Thankfully lead shot has being phased out, but is there anything new a timid wanna be fisher like me should be aware of? (Before I face my 2 stern daughters again).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 30th, 2013, 7:25 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 9016
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
rab wrote:
So I wonder why they don't ban worms altogether? I'm sure many people just leave the unused ones behind.



Good question.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: August 30th, 2013, 9:46 am 
Offline

Joined: November 20th, 2011, 7:16 am
Posts: 173
Dan. wrote:
The recent thread about garbage in Algonquin quickly turned into a discussion on Leave No Trace (LNT) camping...


Perhaps in your mind and no doubt others because people are all filtering information through their own biases. For me, I took little initial interest (because I really didn't think it was that bad) but with Kevin Callan's post (a person who is credible and without an "ax to grind") about finding human waste in the middle of a port, and garbage strewn everywhere I realized the problem was bigger than I thought. If I recall his post accurately, he spent 42 days there, it seems to me he was well informed. My perspective changed after that.

Dan. wrote:
I think some people me included were accused of elitism, bullying and being the root cause of all wilderness evil. ..


Really. The root cause of all wilderness evil? I think you might be overstating yours and other's actual importance or perceived contribution a tad but maybe wear a t-shirt if you all feel victimized and join a club
:)

Dan. wrote:
I am a big boy, I can take it..


These are fighting words, and I would hope people can post a view (contrarian or not) and not feel in order to be credible, one has to be big or have friends on the forum who will jump in at a moments notice to back them up with references. Its not about "taking it".

Its just about respect and avoiding stereotypes.

Dan. wrote:
What follows is my view of the world, please feel free to correct any factual issues or debate any philosophical points. .


OK. Constructively, your long post was in my mind, not particularly focused. It took a lot of liberties that would not hold up under scrutiny or objective debate. For example: What has the constitution got to do with crapping on a portage or burning plastic or feces in an open pit?

And the NWA is entirely off topic. Its recent changes reflect a government's desire to build infrastructure and increase commerce in areas previously off limits. Leaving garbage, scrawling graffiti, or peeing on the signpost won't help the recreational objectives of canoeists. It will just label us as pigs, and create a stereotype that industry can use to derail us.

You post is filled with red herring arguments, peppered with subjective personal endorsements of people who you apparently like and know (name dropping is what people do when they lack confidence because they don't actually have a defensible position ) and woven together with historical nonsense , all (I presume) to justify "making your mark".
:o

However, I think we can agree on some basics germane to this thread.

We ALL leave a trace. No argument from me. Parks posting signs, digging fire pits, people clearing ports, roads, everything we do in the quest to canoe is traceable.

How or who does it, and where and when its appropriate, its all about context. It is not dismissing a set of principles or personal guidelines because in absolute terms they fail or creating unfavourable stereotypes about people who adoption of those principles may be more literal than others..

LNT is in absolute terms is impossible. Even the most fastidious person leaves a trace, at the macro or micro level. So, government AND society try to manage the myriad of impacts and uses (recreation, industrial, biological, environmental etc etc) with some "rules". Its imperfect.

Recently in the Toronto Star a few articles on the Don River system and the efforts of a few dedicated people to restore it. Same (I think) for the Credit river (I didn't read it all because now you have to pay for the Star On-line, and I'm rebelling and waiting for September 1 when I have my next free 10 articles :0)

What I think it does illustrate is that rivers and lakes that people use for a variety of reasons are changed by human impact. And since rules have consequences that are often not realized until years or even decades later, historically and forever there were be a need to rebalance the scales, with new guidelines, or "rules", which could be perceived by some as conflicts in their human rights. That is another topic best left for the courts.

Regardless, changes to reverse impacts are required. Maybe its one lake at a time. Or one river. Or one park.

And when those rules or guidelines are established, (such as Algonquin's rules of no live growth, no new fire pits, etc) there are no exceptions. No excuses. Entitlement is a weak person's justification to avoid responsibility. Shared resources require we all try to do our part, even if we don't SEE the impacts of what we doing as being destructive.

I've read many of the posts in this thread and think there are excellent examples of context and some very good practices. All else aside, I think its probably a no brainer.

ETA: I looked for the articles on the Toronto star and it seems they aren't up to sharing yet. Maybe tomorrow.
:D


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 52 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group