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John from CRAA

Member Since 30 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Sep 26 2013 10:40 PM

#287271 Volunteers needed to help at Bowmanville Fish Lift

Posted by John from CRAA on 23 September 2013 - 05:51 PM

As many of you know, the fishway is closed and the new ladder not built on Bowmanville Creek (yes it's crazy). Volunteers are lifting salmon and trout over by hand. Volunteers are needed every day!

They have lifted roughly 4,100 fish so far.

If you guys are looking to help out with your fishery they could sure use some assistance lifting the fish over the dam. Contact Dave to volunteer.  Dave Lawson  905-985-1407 








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#287270 MNR needs help collecting chinook eggs on the Credit River

Posted by John from CRAA on 23 September 2013 - 05:50 PM

MNR hatchery staff are looking for volunteers to help collect Chinook salmon eggs from the Credit River in Streetsville for the MNR hatchery. Volunteer dates are:

October 1st to 4th, 2013
October 7th to 10th, 2013
Time: 9 AM to roughly 1 PM each day.
You must be on the volunteer list to gain access to the collection site. The site is also peanut free!

If you can volunteer for one or may days please contact John Sager from MNR (info below). Let him know the date(s) you can help and names of all volunteers with you (i.e. your buddies).

Access to the collection site is on Kraft (Mondelez) property so you must pass through their security office. John will send details to volunteers.

CRAA has provided volunteers for this project since 1990 so come out and give a hand.

Chest waders (rubber or neoprene) are suggested. MNR may have extras. No breathable waders.

John Sager, Chatsworth Fish Culture Station
email: john.sager@ontario.ca
cell: 519 378-8034 






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#287269 yesterdays catch! not bad!

Posted by John from CRAA on 23 September 2013 - 05:49 PM

Oh come on guys...really?  It's a Chinook, 100%, no question.  Some of you need to brush up on your fish ID.




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#267195 CRAA is hiring a tree planting crew - apply now!

Posted by John from CRAA on 04 April 2013 - 09:34 PM

CRAA – Tree Planting/Rehab Crew 2013-15

Crew Leader (1 position)

Team Member Role and Responsibilities: On-the-ground Project Management, Planting Crew Lead. Paid position.

The crew manager will act as the project manager through the supervision and continual coordination with the chair or the board. The crew manager will be responsible for most of the details involved with getting planting materials, equipment, and staff to the site in the scheduled time. This work will involve job postings; interviews; contracts; landowner communication and notification; truck and trailer rental; scoping material prices; purchasing planting and maintenance material; pre-planting photos; and determining the most efficient site access points. The crew manager will also be an active member in both planting and maintenance work. Additionally, the crew manager will be responsible for managing the community engagement program including: coordinating volunteer days; preparing a power point presentation of why we plant trees; contacting immigration offices to engage newly landed immigrants; contacting high schools to engage youth volunteers. Finally the crew leader will be responsible for the inventory of results throughout the length of the program and the completion of the associated reporting requirements. This position will be a minimum of 8 months per year and if satisfactory funding is found the position will be extended to a full year and potentially run for the full three years of the project.

Qualifications and Experience: The candidate will preferably be an experienced Biologist (or related field) with tree planting experience, and experience working with and coordinating staff, volunteers and land owners. Several years experience working in the environmental field and managing staff will be a benefit.

Wages: $20.00-22.00 per hour based on qualification and experience. Full time, 40 hours per week. April 20, 2013 to August 31, 2013 contract – may be opportunity to extend if funding is available.

Crew Member (2 – 18 week contracts, 4 - 6 week contracts)

Team Member Role and Responsibilities: Planting Crew (2), Tree planting and maintenance
Crew members will work as part of the planting team under the direction of the Crew Leader. They will be responsible for tree planting during the short 8-week window where bare-root tree-stock can be planted. Following the end of this window in spring, the crew members will be responsible for installing tree guards, watering trees, removing old guards and replacing where necessary, vine removal, and possibly mulching or weed suppression work where warranted. Additional duties will involve: assisting the crew leader with aspects of coordinating volunteers; inventorying trees including survival assessments; nursery maintenance duties; tree seed collection, dispersal, and propagation in nursery planting beds; measuring planting areas and tree-spacing.

Qualifications and Experience: Preferably the crew members will have evidence of interest in biology and ecology, as well as tree planting experience or experience with demanding outdoor physical labour.

Wages: $12.00 per hour based on qualifications and experience

We have two contract positions for April 20th to August 15th 2013 and four short term contracts for April 20th to May 31, 2013.

Send Resumes to:

Title: Tree Planting Crew

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#260220 C.R.A.A meeting

Posted by John from CRAA on 29 January 2013 - 11:22 PM

Thanks for posting.

The meeting is Feb 11, 6:30-9:30 at the Crooked Cue in Port Credit - 2nd floor. Come on out if you have a chance. Learn more about the clubs projects, recent activities and sign up to help out on projects.

To reply to a few of the comments above, there are no unanswered e-mails in the CRAA in box. So if you never heard from CRAA regarding volunteering you either e-mailed the wrong address or your message was spammed (which is unlikely since that is checked every couple months). CRAA is easy to find and easy to reach.

Or on the CRAA chat board

Now is your chance to come out and learn more, get involved and create a great fishery. No excuses, you know the date.

CRAA posts notices on our website and all the local trout/salmon chat boards for volunteer events, plus in our newsletter. Some projects like the fish lift and transfer are limited to numbers of volunteers by the MNR and their access agreements. Meanwhile other projects need hundreds of people, yet 20 show up. If you think buying a fishing license is enough to make a fishery you are kidding yourself. Less than 10% of the salmon and trout run is the result of MNR stocking at present, Most steelhead are wild, produced by CRAA's transfers and most chinooks came from Ringwood or natural reproduction. And the OFAH bit is funny...they are opposed to lowering steelhead harvest in Lake Ontario (was lowered a bit by MNR anyway) and OFAH opposed better access up the river for chinook, coho, brown and steelies so they can spawn.

The alternative is simple. Do nothing and if not enough people help then the projects stop and you loose the lower Credit fishery. MNR's budget has been cut deeply again. MNR stocking only accounts for 1,500-2,000 steelies at best in the river. Without CRAA working with the local city governments the rivers would be closed to fishing all together. Doing nothing is easy, but the costs are very high. If I and other CRAA volunteers had done nothing 20 years ago the fishery would be closed. Mississauga was pushing MNR to stop all stocking back around 1990 and planned to close Erindale in the early 90's to fishing. Yet CRAA, led by me turned it around, worked with the city, MNR and managed to open all this new water. Perhaps if you got involved it will get even better.

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#238562 how far up the credit do the lake run fish get?

Posted by John from CRAA on 09 September 2012 - 01:14 PM

To answer a couple of the replies questions:

Alfie - Lake run fish cannot pass the Niagara Escarpment, the Cateract Falls is about 30 feet high and is the natural barrier to lake run fish. The Highway 24 brook trout section is upstream of this the Cateract Falls so lake run fish cannot get to it. Brook trout are very, very rare below the falls in the Forks of the Credit which is dominated by brown trout, Atlantic salmon juveniles at present. The West Credit is blocked by the Belfountain Dam which is 20 feet high built on a natural waterfall. CRAA's position is quite clear to protect native brook trout. However there is very limited scientific support that brook trout are impacted by lake run fish, yet there are many studies that indicate they can get along fine (this includes chinook, coho, brown, steelhead, pink and Atlantic's). I would refer you to almost every Lake Supperior tributary as an example. Over harvest and habitat loss are the greatest threats to native brook trout. Massive MNR stocking in streams from 1950 to 1980 also severely damaged native brook trout genetics.

Mauro - I know almost every land owner from the Forks of the Credit to Port Credit and I am not aware of any that share your sentiment. In fact, almost every land owner wants the fish in their backyards. Many so they can take the kids/grand kids fishing and actually catch a fish or even see some fish other than minnows and chub.

Jlisk - It is well known. TU and IWFFC are the main groups that have actively worked to stop migraptry fish in the Credit River. Their argument is it will damage the fishing in the Forks. They have argued browns will get eaten, displaced, they will only catch smolts, land owners don't want them and snaggers will follow. However the fish populations around the Great Lakes where fish have access without dams is totally the opposite. Whiteman's Creek browns are better off today with 5,000+ steelhead than when they were segregated. I can provide dozens of examples. Migraotry fish do not eat much if anything when spawning or in rivers as adults - but resident trout eat lots of fry and smolts. One resident brown from Cobourg had over 25 Atlantic salmon smolt tags in its stomach and was pooping out more tags when it was caught a few years ago.

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#238452 Credit River reports

Posted by John from CRAA on 08 September 2012 - 04:53 PM

Ice breakers...for breaking ice. Not a dam.

Th old dam was taken out in the 1940's and is 100 yards downstream. The Ice breaker was built by CVC in the mid 80's to break ice so the golf courses closer to QEW would not be flooded/damaged by ice. If the golf courses planted trees along the river they would be far better off. It does not block or slow fish. There is 5,000 litres per second of water flowing past it in low water, 50,000 litres after a heavy rain.

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#238451 how far up the credit do the lake run fish get?

Posted by John from CRAA on 08 September 2012 - 04:40 PM

Fish in the Credit are allowed access based on politics and dams. The only way it will ever get better is if each and every one of you set down your rod and show up at meetings to tell MNR how you feel and what you want. Otherwise special interest groups that don't want salmon and migratory fish continue to take away your fishing opportunities.

The Credit River Fisheries Management Plan allows:

Chinook and coho salmon are stopped at Streetsville dam. Very few get over since the dam was changed in 2005, prior to that some did get over.

Steelhead are allowed to Norval, CRAA transfers some WILD adults past Norval dam (MNR sets the number, it was only 800 this spring) to a cold water spawning trib (see link)

Brown trout and Atlantic salmon are allowed free access past Norval to the Forks. CRAA fought for 15 years to get the lake run browns access and still a few complain.

Bass, American eel, sturgeon, sucker, etc on paper have free access, but are stuck below Streetsville. MNR has not allowed CRAA to lift or transfer bass for years now...no reason given yet.

Steelhead were stopped at Norval because a few anglers in the Forks didn't want them there. Chinook were stopped for a convenient egg collection site and the ignorant beleif by many biologists and anglers that they cannot reproduce. Some anglers also argued that migratory fish hurt resident trout (brown and brook) and that they should be stopped.

Yet in 2012 the knowledge we have debunks all the past rhetoric and BS and proves fish should have open access. Look out east (Bowmanville, Wilmot, Ganny) Each river has a run of roughly 10,000 steelhead, plus thousands of coho, plus 5-20,000 chinook each, plus thousands of browns and all three systems have resident brook trout and the odd migratory brook trout. Few dams, open access and great habitat means each small river produces between 30,000 and 40,000 migratory adult salmon and trout each year. The Wilmot watershed is 97km2. Bowmanville is 90km2, Ganny is 278 k m2 (and lake run fish can only access 52% of the Ganny watershed). Data from CVC, CLOCA and GRCA.

On the other hand the Credit watershed is 990 km2, 10 times larger than the Wilmot or Bowmanville watersheds! Imagine how many fish the Credit could have if dams were open and fish allowed to swim and spawn on their own.

Only chinook salmon can reproduce below Norval Dam in Georgetown. Coho, brown, steelhead and Atlantic eggs might hatch, but the fry spend 2 summers on average in the river and high temperature, few springs and flooding decimate the small fish preventing much reproduction. Yet as soon as you pass Norval there is lots of groundwater, springs, and cold temps all summer. Chinook fry hatch in April/May and leave the river by June of the same spring, thus avoiding the hot summer water temperatures. This situation is caused by geology - the river is all clay from Norval to Port Credit whereas above Norval you have many moraines, the escarpment and huge groundwater areas.

In NY, the Salmon River now produces an estimated 10,000,000 to 20,000,000 WILD chinook salmon fry every year (NY only stocks 1.2 million lake wide each year). Yet NYSDEC estimates 50% of the fry are consumed by other smolts (bow, brown, atlantic, coho) and resident brown trout every spring. At the peak in late May, chinook salmon fry make up 89% of the resident brown trout diet. The resident browns often hit 6-10 pounds and are plentiful in Salmon River. Some how they co-exist with 100,000 adult chinook, 50,000 steelhead and 30,000 coho just fine and benefit from them. Date from NYSDEC and USGS.

Out east, every stream has huge resident brown trout populations that mix, mingle and co-exist with 30,000 steelhead, chinook, coho and migratory browns just fine. Not to mention brook trout seem to do just fine in healthy, cold water sections of all these streams.

If chinook, coho, steelhead, Atlantics and migratory browns and brookies had open access to the Forks I think the Credit's run would be so large it would shock everyone. Heck, we transfer 800-2,000 steelhead to one tributary above Norval and the run is poking at 20,000 in just 8 years. From Norval to the Cateract there is roughly 70 hectares of stream bottom habitat (700,000 m2) that is all cold water habitat. 100,000 WILD salmon and trout plus resident browns pushing 10 pounds could result. Maybe more!

So the only thing blocking this world class fishery is too many anglers not taking the time to demand it from MNR and speaking up at public meetings.

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#234246 Dead Salmon

Posted by John from CRAA on 16 August 2012 - 06:40 PM

Temperature and shortage of disolved oxygen is the most likely cause. There could be some post release mortality due to these afformentioned items too. Goes to basic ethics if you plan to C&R, check the temp. If fish stress...stop fishing. 22C is a general cut off for all salmon/trout, but 20 for brookies...and that is the max. Maritimes (DFO) uses 20C and 22C as cut of for river temps to fly fish for Atlantic salmon. Many maritime rivers have been closed for weeks/months due to the hot, dry summer.

Steelhead can be flossed and snagged :angry: and salmon can and do hit in the river :smile: . And spooked fish will avoid line and be hard to catch legally. But fresh or unpressured fish (this includes chinook and coho) will willingly chase flies, bait and lures. I have seen dark chinooks swim 50 feet to slam a flatfish or spinner, even chase a swung fly and hit floats. I have underwater video from my friend Rick showing them actively feeding on salmon eggs washed down from other salmon spawning. He also has video of them feeding on insects...yes adult, dark chinooks in Ontario tribs. Just like unpressured steelies will attack a bait or fly. Spooked bows and salmon will avoid line and bait and floats like the plauge.

Bottom line is don't generalize that salmon don't bite and trout do...every scenario is unique. And I have watched 10 guys drift though pods of chinook and not hook a thing (as long as they are careful not to snag them), only to change to a different fly/bait/egg/bead/lure and have them crush it.

Sort of reminds me of an Atlantic from the Gaspe I once hooked. The guide pointed to 'salmon'. I could make out a shape that maybe was a salmon. I ran a bomber over this fish and on cast 800 and something he rose...I was so shocked I of course lost it.

Today was 28C, 33 with the humidex. Nobody should have been fishing for salmon if they plan to release them.

Did you guys happen to notice they almost all have their adipose fin too! 100% of stocked chinook have clipped adipose fins this year so if the adipose is there, it's WILD.

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#233583 Credit River steelhead video by CRAA

Posted by John from CRAA on 11 August 2012 - 08:59 PM

Hi all,

Here is a link to a new 9 minute YouTube showing the whole CRAA fish ladder, tranfer and spawning process. The video has amazing underwater video of spawning steelhead in the Credit from member Rick Matusiak.


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#222288 Funny Catch Today

Posted by John from CRAA on 31 December 2011 - 08:40 AM

Looks like a coho jack, not a chinook. The size also suggests it is a coho, as jack chinooks tend to be 18-26" depending on which lake they are from.

It is also possible to have a female jack (fish with one lake year of growth), but males normally make up 97-99% of the jack run. Same goes with steelies (shakers), where the odd one will be female.

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