My Watermark is the St. Lawrence River by Cardinal, Ontario.
We grew up on the St. Lawrence River, down by Cardinal. When we were growing up there, we were there every Sunday as soon as the ice broke to when the ice came back in. At that time back in the 80’s, 70’s there used to be a lot eels in our area. We used to fishing a lot and we would catch eels and at the time guys would catch them and they didn’t like them and they never kept them so sometimes they would just cut them off the lines, the things would fight like crazy and we didn’t think much of it. Here we are 20 years later and the eels have disappeared. At the time you would catch them every second cast in our area and now you don’t catch them at all.
At the time we had no Canada geese in our area, we had very few different types of birds, the minks weren’t there and now here we are 20-30 years later and we have mink in our area eagles in our area. The cormorants have all come back, the geese are everywhere, there are all kinds of different ducks, we actually had flocks of snow geese in our area this year. It’s incredible when you have the huge flocks of them travelling through, so it’s been an incredible because the river’s changing. It went through the whole zebra muscle cleanse we call it where it was clear and now it’s starting to fill up again with a little with a little bit of algae and different things, which isn’t a bad thing for the fish and things.
People seem to have been doing a pretty good job of cleaning up the river step by step. I know the pollution plants have been getting upgraded. The plants that we put into our area are all getting upgraded as far as what’s flowing in. The river has always been a very important thing. We grew up on it, we’ve kayaked it, my partner and I have actually kayaked from Brockville all the way to Tadasac over time. You know what started it, it was the stupid little TV show booklet, with the little model canoe going to the sea. We actually did that, we kayaked all the way to Tadasac with the whales, saltwater and tides.
It really gives you perspective when you kayak from the Kingston, Brockville area, all the way down through the two damns, through Montreal. Then you’re into the Trois-Riviere and into Quebec full tide and the mix of the water and the salt and it doesn’t take long before it’s salt water.