Three Research Projects Funded
The Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation has again funded several research projects that will add to and enrich knowledge of our local environment. Our stewardship of natural resources depends on developing knowledge of how ecosystems function. Your support of the RLEF enables us to ensure we include our unique environment in ongoing research.
At the Fisheries Conservation Foundation, work will continue to understand the impact of reduced fishing during the years of COVID-19 travel restrictions on the long-term health of the bass populations. Populations of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass greatly increased on Lake Opinicon during 2020 and 2021, as a direct result of lower levels of angling during bass reproductive periods. This was also observed on Lower Rideau, Big Rideau, Upper Rideau, Indian, Sand, and Devil Lakes in 2021, when travel restrictions continued. As restrictions lift in 2022, it is expected to that levels of pre-season fishing will be similar to those before the pandemic, greatly reducing fish populations; ongoing surveys will confirm the impact of angling on populations, reinforce the importance of a pre-season moritorium on fishing, and provide input into a proposal to enhance the role of fish sanctuaries.
At Carleton University’s Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, a team is studying ways to ammeliorate the damage caused by hardened shorelines. Large sections of the Rideau Canal hare lined with concrete or stone walls, and on the inter-connected lakes retaining walls of various sorts have been constructed to diminish erosion or enable marinas and municipal docks to function. Promising research in other locations points to ways to modify such walls to incorporate more natural features. The Carleton team will test this strategy, deploying modified test wall sections and comparing the environment around them to unmodified locations.
At Queen’s University’s Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab, work continues on a long-term, longitudinal study of the Rideau Lakes Environment. Analysing a library of samples stretching over 25 years, this team is identifying the stressors that trigger algal blooms, looking at how aquatic environments have changed through time. Within a context of increased shoreline development and human-generated climate change, understanding of the role of nutrients is evolving as longer summers, warmer temperatures, and less ice cover influence the lake enviroment. This improved understanding will help inform policy-related, water stewardship decisions.
The RLEF needs your support to fund projects like these. Thank you for your donations.
If you are interested in support for a project, please Contact Us.