The Quarterly Chew Newsletter

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Take a Bite out of Time

Join us for our monthly meetings!

The Cornwall and Area Watershed Group invites you to join us at our monthly meetings! When: second Wednesday of the month, from 7 to 8 pmWhere: Cornwall Town Hall community roomWho: All are welcomed! Please check out our Facebook page for cancellations.

Summer 2022 Newsletter

The CAWG crew was fortunate enough to complete many projects this summer…

 At the beginning of the season, the crew worked hard to plant native trees and shrubs along the riparian zones of various properties all throughout the North River and Hyde Creek watersheds. Around 5000 native trees and shrubs were planted throughout the season, such as yellow birch, white pine, black spruce, red oak, red maple, hemlock, tamarack, white meadowsweet, and more. 

We took advantage of our 11-member crew and split up into smaller groups to effectively complete stream enhancement techniques within areas of our watershed. Brushmats and cover logs were installed in Watts Creek, Warrens Creek, North River, and Hydes Creek to restore natural stream meander, mitigate widening and sedimentation, and improve fish habitat. 

Electrofishing surveys were conducted in pre-established sites across our watershed to estimate populations of Atlantic salmon, Brook trout, and Rainbow trout. Thanks to the PEI Watershed Alliance for lending the gear, our crew was able to successfully survey all of our sites over a two week period. 

Using chainsaws, rakes, and other equipment, the crew created new angling and walking trails in riparian zones of the upper north river. The new trails mitigate bank erosion and allow for easier and safer access to fishing sites along the river. Signs were also installed for public education. 

Community Events (Spring 2022 Newsletter)

(Volunteers needed, please e-mail to apply)

Naturalization Areas: tree planting and pollinator seeding. April 22 @ Cornwall Rd behind the post office & April 23 @ Lacardy Dr. Both events will be held from 10am-2pm; the community volunteers are welcomed to help us continue the promotion and naturalization of these once heavily manicured habitat.

Fishing Derby on Saturday May 21, 2022 at 8am: Hyde Pond– No fishing license required; prizes for best catch include $50 for first place, $30 for second place, and $20 for third place. Bring your fishing rod, tackle box or dig up some worms at home, bring the family and enjoy some time on the pond catching Brook Trout.

CAWG Rain Barrel Fundraiser @ Terry Fox Place on Sunday June 5th Prepaid pick up only for our rain barrel fundraiser, you can purchase them up to May 23rd at and $10 of each sold will go back to wildlife conservation in your area. Open to all communities in the Hyde Creek and North River Watersheds. June 5th is World Environment Day, so we will be celebrating by giveaway trees for those who have purchased and pick up their barrel that day (3 per household). It is a drive thru pick up event from 8- 4pm.

Trees for trash on Saturday June 11, 2022 at 8am-2pm: Cornwall Community Gardens MacArthur Drive, Cornwall (Community Gardens)- Collect garbage in and along the creek and receive a tree for each bag collected. Garbage bags provided, Indigenous tree and shrubs only. For those who cannot help us clean up the rivers due to challenges, extra trees will be available to give away (3 per household).

Winter 2022 Newsletter

Thank you to our senior staff member Jamaal Scott for his dedication to wildlife conservation and watershed management. Jamaal will be moving forward to expand his career goals and complete a Master in Business. We will miss him dearly, and wish him the very best!

This winter was a time to prepare for many upcoming projects, including tree planting in the river’s riparian, acquiring permits to remove large infrastructure blocking fish passage, creation and replacement of angling trails for safety, planning our electrofishing and assessment sites, inputting our 2021 water quality data into DataStream, sharing our Atlantic Salmon redd survey data and species composition and population data with the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and networking with our extended community.

It was a beautiful winter, but we are looking forwards to kicking off the field season early planting trees. We have the following volunteer opportunities and community events happening this Spring (March 21- June 21). Looking forwards to seeing you all outdoors! Enjoy 🙂

Fall Newsletter

CAWG tackled many large projects this Fall…

In September, we installed a large sediment trap in Watt’s Creek. It will serve to help reduce sedimentation, and create much needed habitat for our native Salmon and Trout.

Aerial View of the Rock Deflector. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

 We also installed a sandstone rock deflector on the North River. This structure will be used to create a holding pool for Salmon and Trout, to excavate sediment and to restore natural river meander.  

We would like to thank local landowners Larry Cosgrave and Miriam Lank for giving us permission to use their property for these projects. We would also like to thank the Wildlife Conservation Fund for funding these projects, and for providing signage for our public spaces.

Atlantic Salmon Redd (Jamaal Scott/CAWG)

Our crew conducted redd surveys throughout November to determine where and when at-risk Atlantic Salmon were spawning throughout the North River Watershed. We recorded a total of 14 Salmon redds; the highest number observed since 2013. The improving numbers are encouraging, and will act as a basis for future habitat restoration for this important species.

White Spruce. (TRCA)

We took advantage of our mild fall and planted roughly 200 native trees including Yellow Birch, Red Oak, and White Spruce throughout the North River Watershed. These will act to control erosion, reduce water warming and store carbon for many years to come.

Coming soon: Winter 2022 Newsletter

Summer Newsletter

Our field crew tackled many projects this Summer…

Macphail Woods: Eastern White Pine
Eastern White Pine

We planted roughly 500 native trees this Summer in North river and naturalized areas throughout the Cornwall Municipality. Planting different species of trees allows for a more diverse and natural ecosystem, holds nutrients, and helps store carbon.

Rainbow Trout

The crew conducted electrofishing surveys to determine types of fish species and their abundances throughout the North River watershed. We found healthy numbers of Speckled Trout and Rainbow Trout, as well as small numbers of Atlantic Salmon and Rainbow Smelts.

Jack Nordquist twining a brushmat

Our crew created around 250 brush mats this year. This riparian enhancement technique reduces excess sedimentation in our rivers, provides juvenile fish cover and helps combat bank erosion.

Jonah Keizer placing cover logs

We have installed numerous cover logs throughout the North River and Hyde Creek Watersheds. These provide macroinvertebrate habitat, and much needed cover for our native Trout and Salmon.

Coming soon: Fall 2021 Newsletter

Spring Newsletter

Gearing up for our summer season…

Upcoming events:

Fishing Derby on Saturday May 22, 2021 at 8am: Hyde Pond– No fishing license required and worms provided; prizes include $50 for first place, $30 for second place, and $20 for third place.

Trees for trash on Saturday June 12, 2021 at 8am-2pm: Cornwall Community Gardens – Collect garbage along the creek and receive a tree for each bag collected. Garbage bags provided, Indigenous tree and shrubs only.

Tree Planting on Canada day- Thursday July 1, 2021 at 8am-4pm: Across from 109 Cornwall Rd – please park on side of road. Planting indigenous trees and shrubs as well as pollinator seed.

Species at risk snapshot:

Male Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows prefer forested areas in close proximity to ponds and streams. They are aerial hunters, and their acrobatic flight patterns help them catch insects. These birds are important in our ecosystems since they help control insect populations. They are quickly losing habitat in PEI as they prefer cavities in trees for nesting. You can help this at risk species by putting up nest boxes in your own backyard.

Black Ash

Black Ash

This native tree has a narrow top, light grey bark and their leaflets are compound and opposite. Black Ash are an ecologically important species that prefer nutrient rich, marshy soils. They are crucial for the survival of many arthropod species. Black Ash can live for roughly 300 years, and can reach heights of up to 25m(82ft). This tree is highly valued commercially for interior finishing and flooring. Preserving this tree species is vital to the biodiversity of our Acadian forest.

Northern Long-Eared Bat

Northern Long-Eared Bats

Northern Long Eared Bats are a small species of Bat averaging only 4 inches in length. These mammals are great at controlling local insect populations, such as mosquitoes. These bats, along with Little Brown Bats have had their populations reduced drastically by the spread of White Nose Fungus. You can help conserve this species by putting up bat houses, and by not tearing down abandoned buildings on your property.

We have a new guest in Hyde pond, a beaver! Be sure to keep an eye out for it.

Cornwall and Area Watershed Group

In Response to Covid-19 we want to promote the best practices while you are spending time outdoors to maintain your health and wellbeing. Whether you are bird spotting, fishing, photographing wildlife, or just taking in the landscape step by step, if it is in an area with others who don’t live with you please follow these guidelines. We need to mention that PEI’s fishing season has postponed opening until June 1st, 2020. For more information click here

Coming Soon: January 2021 Newsletter

September 2020 Newsletter

Recognizing Community Champions of Environmental Stewardship

We need to recognize the PEI’s  Wildlife Conservation Fund, which supports the effort to recognize community environmental champions. The funds from purchasing a conservation license plate from Access PEI are put towards The Wildlife Conservation Fund and we are grateful for this contribution from Islanders who recognize the exceptionally unique quality of this island’s ecological, and help to conserve it.

We recognize the community champions below for their contribution to local environmental stewardship within the North River Watershed. The North River watershed is a large watershed located between Charlottetown and Winsloe. It is an important watershed as it is used by the City of Charlottetown to supply residential and commercial water supply. This watershed is frequently used by angler’s who fish Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout, Striped Bass, Groundfish and Gasperaux. Most importantly this watershed is home to a wealth of biodiversity which keeps our communities healthy and functioning.

George Bassett
George conserves a beautiful piece of land along the North River in Miltonvale Park. He lives in Charlottetown now but owned a sheep farm for many of years on this property. He used to Sheppard the sheep down to the river to drink from the clean waters. These clean waters are also home to many species, including Atlantic Salmon. Anglers are commonly seen fishing off of Milton Bridge throughout summer and fall, as it is an iconic place to catch brook trout. After the sheep farm Mr. Bassett has had the land reforested in softwoods under a provincial forestry program. Now established, there are hardwoods like yellow birch and oak growing up. While relaxing alongside the river on his land, one can hear migratory songbirds singing and coyote pups learning to howl in the distance. Thank you Mr. George Bassett for your many years of wisdom and conservation on this land.
Roger MacNeill
The late Mr. George MacNiell passed his land onto his son Roger, who remembers the cattle foraging all the way down to the river’s edge before drinking up the cool clean waters that run into the North River. His land has not seen cattle on it for some time, but the remnants of an old dam where the water was pooled still hold memories, and today are providing habitat for the local populations of Brook Trout and Atlantic Salmon that spawn nearby. Mr. MacNiell’s upland habitat is rich with a mixed hardwoods and softwoods, some species are old growth which means they are over 100 years old. On your way for a walk down to the river you can meet one of the largest and most beautiful Tamarack trees growing on his land. Thank you Mr. Roger MacNiell for recognizing the true value of this land and keeping it conserved for future generations.

Miriam Lank
Mrs. Miriam Lank and her late husband Billy Lank, farmed the land next to the river for generations. They always left a large buffer zone between the field edge and the river, that was over 60 Meters wide. They are both passionate about the environment and he fished the river for trout on occasion. As of right now, many other community members fish off the banks. The path down to the river’s edge through Mrs. Lank’s land is one well-trodden. On a summer’s evening at the end of the path there is always at least one angler minding the waters for a bite. Now the land is rented for produce, she still insists on keeping a large buffer zone down to the river’s edge which protects the ecosystem. She lives in Hyde Point along the coast and is planning to reforest her coastline to mitigate the effects of sea level rise from climate change. She is a recognizable community champion and her insight is inspiring. Thank You Billy and Miriam Lank for taking the time, the right actions and the best management practices to keep benefitting our ecosystem.

Larry Cosgrave and Linda “Liz” Vaine
Mr. Cosgrave and his wife Liz live alongside the Watt’s Creek tributary, a historical Salmon river within the North River watershed. He and Liz are in enormous support of the local island ecology. They rent their land for local honeybee colonies and on a warm summer’s day there are swarms of honeybees suckling freshwater off the sphagnum moss that grows upon an old half sunken log on the river’s edge. Here the river’s edge is also abundant with delicious blackberries, and if you look deep into the river, you will see Brook Trout darting up and down the channel. There are hummingbirds nesting here in the summer, and they can be seen enjoying the nectar from the wildflowers that embrace this river. Thank you Larry and Liz for your careful and tender watch over the local ecology. The species that thrive on your land are always demonstrating joy.

June 2020 Newsletter

Nicolas Havenga and Hannah MacLean Install tree swallow nesting boxes in Cornwall’s Naturalization Gallery off Hilltop Drive, PEI

We were off to a great start in June because we had so many staff that were available to start work, they would have otherwise been in school but due to the pandemic, they were able to complete school work online from home and hold a job!

June 14th We held our Trees for Trash event, where we give one tree away for every bag of trash the locals can haul out of the river, or pick up alongside the riverbank. There is always a lot of trash that enters a river that runs through the heart of an urban area, so it was great to have a turn out for this event. We collected a little over 20 full bags of trash….well technically some great locals collected it, and we gave them whatever tree(s) they wanted. Come on out for our next one in June 2021!

We kicked off the field season with training for our younger staff. Some who have never worked in a river before. They learned to brushmat, stake, twine, how to properly plant and care for trees/shrubs. This whole season will be a learning opportunity for them, and next year they may like to return with the experience they have. We always volunteer positions open during field season, we work Monday to Friday 8-4:30pm and welcome anyone looking for experience to tag along.

For those that are between grades 10 and 12, we offer a Comunity Service Bursary for volunteer hours. Every hour volunteered is equal to $5 towards your post secondary education tuition, up to 150hrs. We’ve had many students complete 150 hours volunteering with us and they get $750 off their post secondary tuition costs in their 1st year.

Community Service Bursary Program Details

Check out our busy summer schedule

Big Thanks to the Watershed Alliance, Dept. of Forest Fish and Wildlife, The Wildlife Conservation Fund for their support for our summer work projects!! AND Kudos to all you Islanders who support us when you buy a conservation license plate 🙂

March 2020 Newsletter

Annual General Meeting! This meeting is held to bring together members of the watershed and the general public, as well as to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year. All are welcome! May 13th , 2020 via an online Zoom meeting! Click the link below Join Online Zoom Meeting at 6pm!    
Upcoming Events
May 13th Annual General Meeting on Zoom at 6pm
May 16th Family Fishing Weekend (no license required) Cancelled
June 5th Forest Maintenance at the Naturalization Gallery on Hilltop Drive.
June 15th Trees For Trash Stream Clean Up at Community Gardens.
June 30th We will announce the winner of the Photo Contest. Send us your photos of you hugging a tree, a photo of local wildlife, river, and forests! visit our facebook page for more info.
Summer Employment As in previous years, students will be employed this summer doing watershed enhancement and community stewardship activities beginning July 1st for a minimum of 8 weeks. Does this interest you? Are you aged between 15 and 30? Returning to high school or post-secondary full time? Are you a Graduate? Send your resume!
 Big Thanks to Eastern Flight Delta Waterfowl Chapter, who offered to install two waterfowl hen houses on Hyde Pond in March. The houses above the water are where female ducks will incubate their eggs. These houses protect the eggs from predators like racoon, fox, mink, and skunk.
So let’s be keeping an eye out for a nest later in the spring! We will keep you updated if we see any. If you are curious, use a pair of binoculars to see into the house, but please do not disturb the nesting area as you will scare the nester away!
undefined  Wetland Work
Are you a wetland property owner? Are you interested in enhancing and rehabilitating wetland function? If so, please contact us on Facebook or by email. We would love to help swing you in the right direction and help get that wetland to its full potential. Contact us at

 Fun Facts! Frogs don’t drink with their mouths, liquids are absorbed by their skin. Female frogs are larger than males. This photo is of a Wood Frog!
THANK YOU   A huge thank you to all our Board Members, Volunteers, and Community. Thank you to the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, Wildlife Conservation Fund, Watershed Management Fund, Jobs for Youth, Employment Development Agency, Skills PEI, Career Bridges and Canada Summer Jobs. Thank you to our municipalities, Warren Grove, Miltonvale Park and Cornwall. A special thank you to all land owners in granting access to their properties so we can maintain easy routes in and out to our worksites!  

December 2019 Newsletter

Merry Fishmas & Happy Holidays

It’s pretty quiet at the CAWG. We have wrapped up our surveys for the year but need to check in and share with you because we have some good answers to your million dollar questions on Wildlife and Fish Habitat!

What is aWildlife Corridor and why do we need them?! Parks, hedgerows, tree lines, green spaces & even graveyards!

Removing Corridor CreatesImpacts include
increase food abundanceincreased population densities of adaptable species (fox, skunk, raccoon, coyote, rat/mice, pigeons, insects)
decrease in natural predatorsincreased reproductive rates of our most adaptable species
increased temperaturesdecreased home range for this wildlife, which will lead to frequent sightings and possible infestation
increased suitable den/shelter siteswildlife frequenting yards, predate on pets, become tame and beg for food scraps, and promote disease spread to a local population (i.e. mange in Ch’Town and Cornwall foxes/coyotes)

What kind of habitat makes a fish stick around? (no pun intended)

Cole’s Brook Fish Study

Completed by Sean Landsman, PhD Instructor, Interdisciplinary Science and Practice Program, Institute of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Science
Carleton University

“Our pilot project began 2018…I can give you a short synopsis of what we did. We tracked 59 unique individuals representing a mixture of brook trout and rainbow trout. The take-home from our pilot project is that they do not move much during the summer when we were tracking them. We did not do any formal home range estimates, but anecdotally I can tell you that 1) brook trout appear to be highly associated with coarse woody debris and 2) many of the brook trout used the same woody debris and undercut banks repeatedly over the course of the tracking period, which took place at approximately weekly intervals from July 18 to September 7th. Take-home points from are that brook trout don’t appear to move much during the summer period and will use habitat from mere inches of water to the bottom of deeper pools. In addition, coarse woody debris OF ALL SIZES can provide excellent habitat for brook trout, something that is repeatedly shown in the literature for a wide variety of salmonids. Coarse woody debris should be left in the rivers whenever possible; large-scale debris removal should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.” 

Happy Holidays &  A huge thank you to all our Board Members, Volunteers, and Community. Thank you to the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, the Wildlife Conservation Fund, Watershed Management Fund, Jobs for Youth, Employment Development Agency, Skills PEI, Career Bridges and Canada Summer Jobs. Thank you to our municipalities, Warren Grove, Miltonvale Park and Cornwall. A special thank you to all land owners in granting access to their properties so we can maintain easy routes in and out to our worksites!

September 2019 Newsletter

Wrapping up a summer field season safely. The Worker’s Compensation Youth Safety Award 2019 “Focusing on the youth of today is one of the ways to build safe workplaces for tomorrow,” said Stuart Affleck, Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. “Seeing our youth develop and apply strong safety values at work is something we can be proud of.” Click here for more info. Hannah was awarded $500 for her safety practice on CAWG.

Hannah MacLean is being recognized for her safe work practices with the Cornwall and Area Watershed Group this summer. “Hannah makes an effort to identify safety hazards as soon as she sees them. She is very aware and can predict a sequence of events, while evaluating for safety, which is a skill on its own,” says her supervisor.

“You’re never too cool to wear safety gear,” advises MacLean when asked what she would tell new and young workers starting out. She admits it can sometimes be challenging to remind co-workers older than she is to work safely, but she is committed to doing so. “Safety is too important to not speak up when you see something unsafe,” she adds. 

Climate Change Can Be Seen! Check out our short local slideshow below

The CAWG summer field crew set out in early July, spending 2 weeks training in Hyde Creek watershed, then tackling Watt’s Creek, in the North River watershed, from the Loyalist Road to the Colville Road. These sections of river are Atlantic Salmon habitat, and we completed the following on 6 km of habitat on Watt’s Creek. Alder management, preliminary brushmatting, debris/blockage removal, and data collection. This was no small task and required 4 of the 8 weeks of continuous work. Two beaver dams were discovered, one in the Hyde Creek, another in Watt’s Creek.

The crew wrapped up their 8 week summer positions with a BBQ and swim at a colleague’s cottage in Rocky Point, and had a fun-day in Cavendish with laser tag and mini golf. They all look forward to returning on summer field crew 2020. They worked tremendously hard all summer, most of them tell me they have to nap when they get home, others have recreational commitments after work, but they all got to bed early and stayed prepared to work the next day!

Sincere Gratitude!   A huge thank you to our Amazing Field Crew, all our Board Members, Volunteers, and Community. Thank you to the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, the Wildlife Conservation Fund, Watershed Management Fund, Jobs for Youth, Employment Development Agency, Skills PEI, Career Bridges and Canada Summer Jobs. Thank you to our municipalities, Warren Grove, Miltonvale Park and Cornwall. A special thank you to all land owners in granting access to their properties so we can maintain easy routes in and out to our worksites!  

June 2019 Newsletter

The Winner of the fishing Derby held on May long-weekend is little Miss Anna McCarthy, she caught a brook trout, 25cm long, weighing 100g!
Congratulations Anna, you win a spin-rod, tub of worms, and a $20 Gift Certificate to Gone Fishing!

Check out some other photos from the Derby, We had a turn out of over 80 people! Many youth! Island Falconry came by with their falcons to enjoy the show!

The Queen Charlotte Naval Unit Honoured us with their presence for a Ceremony of Gratitude. They put in great effort to build the Cornwall community two observation platforms. These areas demonstrate local wildlife, identification techniques, and give trail users a place to rest on their travels. Big Thank you to them! We Also would like to thank Julie Pellisier-Lush for opening our ceremony with the drum and welcoming all of us to share in gratitude for mother nature.

A huge thank you to our returning Field Crew members, all our Board Members, Volunteers, and Community. Thank you to the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, the Wildlife Conservation Fund, Watershed Management Fund, Jobs for Youth, Employment Development Agency, Skills PEI, Career Bridges and Canada Summer Jobs. Thank you to our municipalities, Warren Grove, Miltonvale Park and Cornwall. A special thank you to all land owners in granting access to their properties so we can maintain easy routes in and out to our worksites!