Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Transitions (10/29/09 - 11/4/09)

Perhaps one of most attractive places along the Salmon River Corridor is the Salmon River Falls Unique Area. Last week Salmon River Steward Greg Chapman and myself, Salmon River Steward Liz Wolff, took a drive up to the falls to do some end-of-the-season pickup and leaf raking. I also took the opportunity to hike the Gorge Trail which is the very steep path used to access the riverbed area. I had never gone down the Gorge Trail before, but I quickly realized that it can be dangerous, especially at this time of year when fallen leaves and precipitation make the rocks slippery.

Left: River Steward Greg Chapman rakes leaves at the Salmon River Falls Unique Area. Right: Gorge view of Salmon River Falls. Photos by Salmon River Steward Liz Wolff.

Another location at which visitors should use special caution is the top of the falls. Even while Greg and I were cleaning up, we had to remind some sightseers that they could not stand within 15 feet of the edge. Later on, Greg and I talked with a few more visitors: however, these individuals were eager to see anglers along the river and wanted to know what the closest access site was. We directed the people to the Upper fly Fishing Zone where, although salmon season is ending, greater numbers of trout fishermen are coming to the Salmon River in preparation for prime steelhead and brown trout opportunities in the coming weeks.

Top: Brown trout caught at the Paradise Pool. Bottom: Anglers along the Upper Fly Fishing zone.
Photo by Salmon River Steward Liz Wolff.

Anglers in the Upper and Lower Fly Fishing Zones, specifically, have already begun catching beautiful trout for several days now, and are hopeful that this will be another plentiful season of fishing. In conversations along the river, Steward Greg Chapman has heard positive feedback about regulations limiting how many steelhead can be taken. Each angler is allowed to take one steelhead per day; this limit has noticeably increased the number of steelhead trout in the river. Many of the fishermen Greg spoke with also practice catch-and-release fishing, a habit that helps maintain a world-class fishery at the Salmon River.

View of the Salmon River Estuary. Photo by Salmon River Steward Liz Wolff.

Unfortunately, as salmon season comes to a close so to does Greg's time as a River Steward. Before leaving Greg would like to say a few words,

"After two years working in this region, I can say I'm going to miss it. I've really enjoyed getting to know the resource areas (both the Salmon River and the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes), and the people who work and enjoy spending their time here. I certainly would not mind finding another job in this area; barring that, I'll definitely be back to visit. It will be interesting to see how these areas, that receive such heavy recreational use, while still being ecologically complex and sensitive, will continue to evolve to meet the needs of their natural inhabitants and human visitors alike."

Greg has been a fantastic steward as well as colleague. We wish him the best in the future and thank him for all the great work he's done over the last two years!

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