Canoe Canal Appreciation Week – CCAW 2020!

| September 4, 2020 | 0 Comments More

This week panned out to be a perfect one for getting some long awaited maintenance done. As you may know, the 2 1/2 mile waterway is a lot to cover, so we try to appreciate it a bit at a time.

Monday – Putting in at the D Street boat ramp in Springfield, I paddled upstream to the large eddy that is just above the Canoe Canal intake. It was full of garbage and driftwood. I spent an hour in the eddy breaking up the wood which freed up the trash to be able to pick it up. Additionally, I located a shopping cart in the middle of the river that will likely stay there until we can organize and get a group to remove it.

Eddy 50 yards above D. street ramp. Before

Tuesday – Paddling the Lower Waterway of the Canoe Canal to assess the needed attention. Now that we have moved our rental location above the Lower Waterway we have been focusing on the health and beauty of what’s above. It feels like our lack of attention to the lowest section of the waterway has come at a cost. I paddled the area for the first time this season and learned that it is in desperate need of help. There is a lot of trash, and a number of spots where unhealthy scum is collecting. The algae bloom is not helping because it collects these items and scum.

This photo is from a 2016 cleanup

Wednesday – Today was a hot one. So getting on the water early was the strategy. First off I filmed a video showing off some basic tools for cleaning up a waterway. Here’s the link

After 2 hours collecting small items I got back to shore and took inventory. It turns out that I collected 55 socks that were underwater! 15 tennis balls of various states of decay, broken glass, rusted tin, and other nasties.

55 socks and more on Sept. 2nd 2020

Thursday – One of the unique features of the canal is the dam. People portage boats around the dam quite often. I added the 7th, 8th and 9th bucket of gravel to the sink hole. This is to improve the footing while carrying boats. It’s right next to the water and now it is easier to launch a boat. Additionally, I spent time with the picky-uppy tool and collected a pellet bag worth of trash. Mostly styrofoam bait containers, broken glass, and a few lonely sandals.

The sinkhole with 9 buckets of gravel.

Friday – Focusing on the removal of Himalayan Blackberry plants on shore. At our new rental location there used to be an abundance of blackberry plants. Spending down time trimming and digging these out created this pretty large pile. It’s leather glove work that has some challenge involved. Now the native Ash and Willow trees and snowberry bushes are free of the invaders. We first noticed this spot as a potential rental location in 2016 when we cleaned up the trash pile left by a camper. Now the dream has become a reality. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Pile of blackberry trimmings today!
Photo from 2016 when we first thought of the idea of renting canoes from this location…

Category: Conservation

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