Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Dragon Hunting in T-Bay

My real purpose for my Northern Ontario trip was to carry out dragonfly surveys in the Thunder Bay area.  We teamed up with Colin Jones and Mike Burrell from the NHIC and spent a solid 4 days of field work on several good rivers looking for Rapids Clubtail, a species recorded just across the border in Minnesota, but not as of yet in Northern Ontario.  Although we did not find the species on these rivers, we still found lots of other interesting species.  Below are a few of the interesting observations from our time in this wonderful area.  Due to low water levels, canoeing was all but impossible except in a few reaches of river.  The upside was that there were next to no biting insects, a very strange thing indeed for June in Northern Ontario.

The Arrow River was a beautiful, clear flowing, boulder-strewn river that was difficult to walk.

The Whitefish River seemed to have the most suitable habitat for Rapids Clubtail, and was also great for other riverine species such as snaketails and a few clubtails.

We paddled a short stretch of the Little Whitefish River.

The Pine River was very low and could barely be called a river in most spots south of Hwy 61.

The Pigeon River was also a really interesting river that forms the border between Ontario and Minnesota.  In the photo below, Canada is the rock on the right side of the water, the US is on the left.  It would have been easy to walk across in most spots, but we saw what happened to that jogger out west!

Horned Clubtail

Arctic Skipper

Riffle Snaketail

Rusty Snaketail

Mustached Clubtail

Macoun's Arctic

Twin-spotted Spiketail

Twin-spotted Spiketail

Swift River Cruiser

Swift River Cruiser
 This was quite the surprise.   Mike snagged this nightmarish Sea Lamprey in his insect net for a photo op.  This is a nasty invasive species that attacks native fish species.

Check out those teeth!  We didn't test it out to see if it liked human...

I will leave you with a nice photo of Lake Superior from Old Woman Bay.

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