Summer Employment at the GRCA

My name is Mitchell and I am a Trent University Student who has just completed my second summer internship at the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA). I was lucky enough to work under Mike Smith, GRCA Water Resources Technician again as an Assistant Water Resources Technician alongside another GRCA summer student. My internship with the GRCA has allowed me to continue growing my skills, knowledge and field work experience, as well as my self-confidence from working with many different people doing a wide variety of tasks.

As one of the Assistant Water Resources Technicians, I had multiple different tasks to complete around the Ganaraska watershed, including data collection from stream gauging, baseflow, groundwater aquifer levels and wetland monitoring. Other tasks that we completed throughout the summer were garden and trail maintenance, rain gauge calibration, installing monitoring equipment and seine netting.

The main purpose of my contract this summer was to collect data from stream gauging sites every week and to gather baseflow data. The stream gauging is done to determine the flow of water in the main streams of the watershed, which is used todocument the conditions and determine if the flows are changing over time. Baseflow is a measure of how low the stream flows get each summer and is a key indicator of watershed health.

One of my favorite tasks this summer was completing electro-fishing surveys. Electro-fishing is a method that is used to calculate fish populations in creeks, and to determine species composition, species density and water quality. It was a great way to spend the day and I learned a lot about fish identification and gained a better understanding of wetland ecosystems.

I am very grateful to the GRCA for another summer of employment and for the opportunities they have presented to me over the past three months. I have continued to learn many new skills throughout this summer and have increased my knowledge on a vast number of topics. I would encourage anyone that is interested in the environment to stop into the GRCA on Hwy 28 in Port Hope and learn more about the Ganaraska River and the ecosystem surrounding the community.