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My Summer Experience with Your Local Conservation Authority

My name is Evan Barton, and I have had the pleasure of working for Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) for the 2019 summer season. I worked as the Watershed Monitoring Technician, working alongside Lindsay Champagne, Watershed Biologist and Mike Smith, Water Resources Technician. This job with GRCA has had a wide variety of tasks and has been an excellent opportunity for me to further develop my skills and acquire new ones that will be applicable to the rest of my career as well.

A large part of my job was to operate the Sea Lamprey control trap, which was used as part of the Sea Lamprey Control Project done by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). This project involved trapping various different species of fish and tallying the numbers of each species that came through, however there was a special focus on Sea Lamprey. The trap was put in place to stop the invasive Sea Lamprey from travelling upstream further into the watershed; any Lamprey that came through the trap would be marked by punching two holes in their dorsal fin and would then be released at a site far downstream from the trap. Any Lamprey that came into the trap that had been tagged would be euthanized and then sampled for length, weight, and sex. The collected data would then be sent to the DFO to further contribute to the project.

I also took part in other watershed health studies such as fish spawning surveys, aquatic invertebrate surveys, electro-fishing, invasive species monitoring, water quality analysis, wetland turbidity analysis, and stream base flow surveys. All of these different surveys contribute to the monitoring of the overall health of the watershed, which is a very important area of concern for GRCA so that they can continue to maintain healthy ecosystems throughout their jurisdiction.

This job has been a great opportunity for me, each day I have been able to further my knowledge and develop new skills that I will be able to apply throughout the rest of my career. The staff at GRCA made a very friendly and encouraging workplace that made day to day work feel fun and relaxed. Anyone who is interested in the work that GRCA does, whether you are interested in watershed health, stewardship, conservation areas or any other events and services GRCA offers, I would recommend going to www.grca.on.ca  to learn more.