October 17: More Stories from the Wild




Photographers/ filmmakers John and Janet Foster are back once again with more stories, exciting wildlife adventures on their old farm, and new discoveries they have made this year in Hastings County. Friends of the Salmon River welcomes you to an enjoyable evening with John and Janet as they share their captivating stories behind the images. Great photo tips too.

The Fosters have directed and hosted many nature and wildlife programs, including To the Wild Country and Wild Canada on CBC. For over forty years, the Fosters have been telling stories about Canada in film assignments for CBC, TVOntario, and the Discovery Channel. Don’t miss this opportunity to savour conversation, photos and videos with these renowned and delightful story tellers.


Come to More Stories from the Wild and the AGM on Monday, October 17 at 6:30 pm at Roblin Wesleyan Church, 3100 County Road 41, in Roblin. Entry is free for current FSR members or $5.00 for non-members. Refreshments provided. For information, contact Susan Moore at susan@moorepartners.ca or 613-379-5958.

Family Nature Day: Wild about Wildlife on July 9 at Beaver Lake Park

Family Nature Day: Wild about Wildlife on July 9 at Beaver Lake Park (Erinsville) hosted by Friends of the Salmon River and Quinte Conservation. Free event. See live falcons, snakes & reptiles; make mud art and net water bugs.



[Article] Pink Cats And Salmon: Campfire Fish Tales, Scotch And Real History

There are some who doubt the reality of the “Salmon” in the Salmon River. Based on campfire tales primed with scotch, some folks hint at pink-fleshed catfish as the source of salmon tales.

Yes indeed there were Atlantic salmon in the Salmon River (along with pink-fleshed catfish). No they did not migrate along the St. Lawrence annually. They were a large, landlocked population of Atlantic salmon trapped in the Lake Ontario basin when it was transformed from a sea basin to a freshwater lake. They migrated up rivers draining into the Lake: the Credit, the Humber, Etobikoke Creek, even the Don, Duffin’s Creek and yes, the Salmon rivers, both ours in Ontario and the other one in New York state.

There is much information about these salmon in a large document, “The Lake Ontario Salmon (Salmo salar)” written by J.R. Dymond, edited by H.H. MacKay and distributed by the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests after Dymond’s death in 1965.

Dymond recorded sizes of these salmon: 6 to 15 pounds for 200 fish from an experimental net in 1871, 8 to 18 lb. from trap nets 1876, 8 to 13 lb. for 30 adults that spawned in 1868, and an average of 14.75 lb. for over 400 taken near Pulaski, N.Y.

The Royal Ontario Museum stated “Previous to 1830 salmon were so abundant in Lake Ontario as to be important in promoting settlement along its shores.” Records date back to the Jesuits. Salmon were an abundant food source in Quebec and in Ontario. In 1832 Pickering wrote of the Credit River area “two persons in one canoe with a spear and a torch will sometimes kill eight or ten barrels (of 200 pounds each) of salmon in one night …”

Salmon fishing was not considered a sport; they were simply food and used to feed workers until some rebelled. “Men hiring out to work stipulated that salmon should not be given to them to eat more than three days in a week.”

Log drivers on the lower Salmon River lodged such complaints.

However settlers still depended on salmon as a “cash crop”. (We have held to this ancient Canadian view of natural riches being nothing but dollars waiting to be transformed.)

Effective netting methods were imported, probably from Scotland, and some blamed trap nets for the severe reduction of the salmon population. But at the time of widespread clear-cutting under government monopolies, many mill dams were built on spawning streams and many mills dumped vast amounts of sawdust into those streams. Along with the unthinking harvesting, these reckless treatments of the streams would have driven the salmon toward unsustainable population size and reduced reproduction.

Our current thinking is no less flawed. We have stocked two Pacific salmon species into Lake Ontario to satisfy the sports fishing industry while, at the same time, organizing a large project to reinstate the Atlantic salmon. The pacific salmon, along with imported steelheads, are running up spawning streams that might be used by the Atlantic salmon and our unclear, mixed objectives may be unattainable.

But yes, there really were Atlantic salmon in Lake Ontario and in our Salmon River and the neighbouring Salmon River across the Lake in upstate New York.

June 18 – On the Ground & In the Air

On Saturday, June 18 in Madoc, the Ontario Woodlot Association (Quinte Chapter) will host an active learning day. Two practical demonstrations will help landowners learn new ways to examine their property: Hastings County GIS Online Mapping AND see a camera drone in action.

OWA poster June 2016

June 9 & 12 – Know Your Plants Workshop

The Hastings Stewardship Council and the Local Wood Initiative are hosting the two-part Know Your Plants workshop on June 9 and 12, just north of Belleville. The aim is to teach people how to identify plants on their own land. Peter Fuller and David Smallwood, local specialists in plant identification, will lead the June 9 indoor session and the June 12 outdoor field trip, both at the Frink Centre north of Belleville.

Know Your Plants poster 2016

June 7 – Permits & Regulations Information Night

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Quinte Conservation Office
2061 Old Highway 2
Belleville, ON

Click here for the document containing extra details.

[Article] Our Woodlands and Wetlands Bus Tour

We all know we live in a spectacularly beautiful part of Ontario, but sometimes it takes highly knowledgeable experts to open our eyes and look at our own back yards in a new way. Who knew that scientists from all over the world travel here to marvel at and study things we take for granted: “pillow” rock formations from ancient sea beds, the Plevna Fault (which is not a shortcoming of the good citizens of that town), traces of the last glaciers to scour this landscape, a watershed divide, and an extensive wetland and headwater that harbours rare species? We can even boast of Little Round Lake: a meromictic lake, which is a stratified lake consisting of two layers that do not completely mix, and creatures that thrive without oxygen.

On the Woodlands and Wetlands Tour on April 23, organized by Friends of the Salmon River, about fifty lucky passengers learned to look at their terrain in a new way, thanks to some local scientists and experts. Gray Merriam (landscape ecologist) taught us about the Kennebec Wetlands complex, Dave Smallwood (professional forester) pointed out past and present forestry practices and woodlot management, Dugald Carmichael was the geologist on board who enlightened us with stories of events millions and billions of years ago that formed what we now see in the rocks at roadsides, and Don Cuddy (ecologist) shared his knowledge and insights into the complexity of the relationships between living things and the landscape.

The route took us north on Road 38 to Sharbot Lake, then up Road 509, through Snow Road Station, Ompah, Plevna, Meyers Cave, south on 41 to Northbrook, Henderson, and continuing south through Arden, returning to our starting point in Verona. There was never a dull moment as commentators both educated and entertained us.

The trip was a partnership sponsored by Friends of the Salmon River, the Ontario Woodlot Association: Limestone Chapter, and the Frontenac Stewardship Foundation. For more on these groups, see friendsofsalmonriver.ca, www.ontariowoodlot.com, and facebook.com/Frontenac-Stewardship-Foundation.





June 4 – COMMUNITY DAY 509 (Special Places “North of 7”)

Clar-Mill Hall, 6598 Buckshot Lake Rd, Plevna

Saturday June 4, 2016, 9:30 – 3:30

The Frontenac Stewardship Foundation is arranging an opportunity for people on the forested lakeland north of Highway Seven to exchange knowledge with agencies and individuals that have records of special places and events in that area. Places and events valued for their ecological, historical and cultural qualities will be featured.

Poster FINAL CD 509 REV 2

Eating from the Woods – May 3

Woodland Foraging for Edible Plants with Barara Roch.
On May 3 in Glenburnie. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Eating from the woodlot - www.friendsofsalmonriver.ca

​Ontario Woodlot Association – May 14

On Saturday, May 14, the OWA Limestone Chapter is hosting a workshop in Verona to help people with woodlots (of 10 acres or more) understand the steps to making a Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) plan. Woodlot owners may create a 10-year management plan for their woodlots and in return save money on their property taxes similar to agricultural land.

Pre-register by contacting Kevin Hansen at (613) 449-0732 or kevin.hansen@sympatico.ca

Ontario Woodlot Association - Friends of the Salmon river