Since March 2018, Trent University has been in the basin studying nutrient (primarily phosphorus) delivery to Lake of the Woods from both watershed and atmospheric sources. It is well known that much of the nutrients that enter a waterbody are flushed in during storm events, so capturing that data is a definite challenge, especially when you don’t live here permanently.
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Crayfish are a common sight in this neck of the woods and are a highly sought-after crustacean worldwide, being rich in protein and low in fat. In fact, in Europe, they are considered a delicacy. Crayfish are omnivorous, so they feed on animals and plants, either living or decomposing.
Rusty crayfish, spiny waterflea, zebra mussels, purple loosestrife, rainbow smelt, narrow-leaved cattail. . . just a few of the more than 15 aquatic/riparian species here in the Lake of the Woods and Rainy River area that have come from somewhere else. They are not native to this part of the world.
Everyone lives in a watershed and here in this part of the world, we live in what’s called the Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed, a massive basin, with its beginnings (called headwaters) only a short distance west of Lake Superior. A watershed is like a bathtub or catch basin, defined by high points and ridgelines that descend into lower elevations and stream valleys.
For those living in the central portion of the watershed, the Rainy River is a majestic landmark that has a wealth of history and significance attached to it, not to mention beauty!
For the ecosystem as a whole, it is the most influential tributary to Lake of the Woods, contributing about 70 percent of the total water flowing into the lake.
Water. . . it gives us life, it symbolizes summer, it has spiritual meaning, it calms us, it’s what defines our community. To celebrate the importance of water locally and the great efforts collectively to protect it, this space will be dedicated to water throughout the summer months – its quality, its governance, its future and how we can all help to preserve it.