The fall colours of Autumn have started to appear, bursting on the scene like bright firecrackers. The banks of the Grand River are presenting a beautiful show for walkers and canoe enthusiasts alike. I have been looking forward to this time of year on the river since the start of this project. Hopefully it doesn't go by too quickly.
After walking for about 2 km on a stretch of the Walter Bean Grand River trail near Old Zeller Dr. in Kitchener I took the narrow side trails that access the Grand in a variety of scenic places. I came across several showy sunflower plants that looked as if they were leaning out over the bank to get a better look at the water. I was just preparing to take a picture when I noticed a kayaker making his way down river. I was surprised to see him take the narrow channel around a small island and come close to the bank. Sometimes serendipity can really help make a picture.
I recently spent a morning with a crew from Biotactic Fish and Wildlife Research including the founder Chris Bunt. I watched them use a large net to gather specimens of different fish species including northern pike, small mouth bass, white suckers, black redhorse and pumpkin seeds. Some of these were pit tagged which allows the fish to be tracked. Biotactic has been involved in fish and wildlife projects throughout North America but have a special dedication to the Grand River.
A handful of different juvenile fish including young small mouth bass were counted and catalogued with larger samples receiving tags. Biotactic is also helping to preserve the black redhorse fish, a threatened species in the Grand.
Mike English, a professor of geography and environmental studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, right, talks to student Joan Patterson, 18, left, and Kirk Kieswetter, 23, in the Grand River in Waterloo, Tuesday. The group was part of a class learning different techniques to measure water flow volume.