Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Climate Change Presentations by MVFN to Local Municipal Councils in Spring 2009

Climate Change Presentations by MVFN to Local Municipal Councils in Spring 2009

By the close of spring of 2009 the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists will have completed a series of  presentations on Climate Change Awareness and Adaptation to the Stewardship Council of Lanark County, the Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection Committee and to the municipal Councils of Mississippi Mills, Lanark Highlands, Carleton Place, Tay Valley, North Frontenac, Ottawa, Drummond-North Elmsley, and Beckwith.

The purpose of the presentations is to communicate the details of the findings of a two-day workshop, called “Weathering Climate Change”, held in September 2007 in Almonte, Ontario. Emerging from this workshop is the 2008 publication “From Impacts Towards Adaptation – Mississippi Watershed in a Changing Climate.” The document captures much of the key information and feedback from the workshop. The presentations were made by MVFN’s Environmental Issues Committee Chaired by Bill Slade and with presentations by members Howard Robinson and Cliff Bennett

Based on the discussion and feedback at the workshop and as documented in the publication, MVFN is aware that evidence shows the climate is already changing and that it will continue to change. Thus there is a need to plan for the impact of the future changes. Local strategies for action should be developed with assistance of the conservation authorities.

Please click on the following link to view summary slides of MVFN’s 2009 presentations to Councils and which contains links to other source material for further information and study: Adapting to Climate Change in the Mississippi Watershed 

Click the following for copy of the 2008 publication:  From Impacts Towards Adaptation-Mississippi-Watershed In a Changing Climate



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Fish, Fisheries and the Aquatic Environment: Past, Present and Future – a lecture by Dr. John Casselman

Press Release

Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

November 10, 2008

Submitted by Pauline Donaldson

MVFN to host another presentation by fish and aquatic environment expert John Casselman

Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ (MVFN) lecture series From the Ground, Up: Celebrating the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ First 20 Years continues November 20. MVFN welcomes back fish expert John Casselman to talk about fish, fisheries and the aquatic environment. Dr. Casselman has had a remarkable career as an aquatic biologist in the role of Ontario government senior scientist for Lake Ontario fisheries, and has published extensively on fish and fisheries around the world. In recent years he has focused on predicting changes in fish populations and in sharing these insights to promote protection of the aquatic environment and adaptation to environmental change. Casselman is currently an adjunct Professor at Queen’s University, science advisor to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and is the most recent recipient, in 2008, of the prestigious American Fisheries Society Award of Excellence.

In 2007 Casselman took part in the ‘Weathering the Change’ climate change workshops in Almonte. “How will we respond and adapt to take advantage of increasingly valuable fish resources, which can sustain body and soul” asked Casselman. “First, let’s make fisheries and fish an important part of our 100-mile diet!”

In his 2006 MVFN lecture, Casselman explained that subtle changes in water temperature may lead to gradual or even relatively rapid population changes in a particular fish species depending on whether it is a warm-water species such as smallmouth bass, a cool-water one such as walleye or a cold-water species such as lake trout. Using tools of environmental physiology and ecology to examine fish age, growth rate, survival of fry, and the impacts of subtle changes in the aquatic environment, predictions can be made of likely changes in fish populations in a given lake or river. The next step is to transfer this science-based information to groups who may need to adapt. Since his presentation two years ago, Dr. Casselman and members of Mississippi Valley Conservation completed a study for Natural Resources Canada looking at the sensitivity to and impacts of a changing climate. The results give us an in depth look at the past, present and future status of fish populations, with particular focus on the Mississippi River watershed.

In Thursday’s presentation Professor Casselman will guide an exploratory journey with insights and side-trips into familiar and unfamiliar waters and climate change. The presentation takes place 7:30 PM, November 20 at the Almonte United Church Social Hall, 106 Elgin St., Almonte. All are welcome ($5 fee for non-members). For further information, please contact MVFN’s Program Chair Cathy Keddy at 613-257-3089 or visit


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Climate Change Awareness: Lake and River Water Temperature Monitoring

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
December 2006 
Cliff Bennet Project Co-ordinator

Report on results of Lake and River Water-Temperature Monitoring in the Mississippi Watershed:

Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists carried out a lake and river temperature monitoring program over the August 2006 long weekend as an `Open Doors to Nature Project’in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Ontario Nature (Federation of Ontario Naturalists). A short report outlining the objectives and results was prepared by Paul Egginton, MVFN.

At the end of December 2006, all of the raw data plus copies of the report were deposited at the offices of Mississippi Valley Conservation in Lanark, and are available for viewing there. The report is also posted here. A final report with additional peripheral data important for putting the survey findings into perspective, will also be posted.

By all counts this project was a great success. We measured our patient’s temperature (the Mississippi Watershed) and found it to be, on the basis of nearly 675 surface-readings (and nearly 1400 readings in all), on average, about 26.4 C. Many scientists are warning that air temperatures will continue to rise. Lake and river temperatures will surely follow and there may be significant impacts on the Mississippi Watershed.

To help us adapt to such change it will be very useful to know whether mid-summer water temperatures do increase in future and at what rate. Our report suggests that there is more work to be done. However, MVFN wishes to sincerely thank all those who encouraged, supported and took part in this water-temperature monitoring effort. Special thanks to Susan Lee of Mississippi Valley Conservation who contributed greatly by providing logistical support for this project.

PDF Icon2007 Report on results of Mississippi Watershed water-temperature monitoring (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required)

PDF IconGraphs and Figures (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required)


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