Brook Trout
(Emydoidea blandingii)

Description: Brook Trout, also known as the speckled trout, is a fish species in the salmon family.  Adult fish are dark green to brown in colour with a distinctive marbled pattern (lighter reddish dots surrounded by bluish haloes) along its sides.

Range:  In early spring, summer, and late fall brook trout migrate to spawning grounds.  Also in spring, some trout known as salters migrate to oceans where they may remain for up to three months.

Habitat:  Brook Trout tend to be found in clean, cool, oxygen-rich waterways.

Threats: Water contamination, exotic species (like small mouth bass and chain pickerel) and dams that limit movement threaten this fish. 

Additional Information: Brook Trout are a popular sport fish in Nova Scotia and are associated with healthy freshwater systems.

Get Involved!

Migration Studies

Photos: D. Smith

What is it?
Using radio telemetry, brook trout are tracked in and around Kejimkujik to help identify seasonal habitats. This information is crucial for the long-term management of the species and will assist in the development of an aquatic health monitoring program for the Mersey watershed.

Why are we doing it?
Brook trout are important indicators of aquatic health because they require cool, clean and well-oxygenated water. They may, however, travel extensively to meet these needs.  Mark and recapture studies in Kejimkujik over the past two decades have shown that trout move in and out of the park and they appear to make seasonal migrations.  Identifying seasonal habitats such as feeding areas, summer refuges, fall spawning areas and overwintering sites in the Mersey watershed is critical for species management.  Given that trout have been noted to move upwards of 80km in a single year, quality management may be best achieved through extensive radio tracking. 

Making a difference
Volunteers continue to drive the mark and recapture study and track several fish with radio transmitters. These trout have been actively tracked by foot, car, boat and aircraft to monitor their movements. Most of the data collection has been volunteer-driven, coordinated by long-term advocate Reg Baird. Efforts to date have indicated that Brook trout feed in the rivers and larger brooks in May and June and then move to deeper spots of Kejimkujik Lake or the Mersey River for the summer where there is sufficient oxygen.  In the fall some trout re-enter the river to spawn while some spawn in the lake. Larger trout appear to overwinter in lakes, while many younger trout tend to overwinter in and the river waters.

Don't miss it this year!
Fish continue to be tracked year-round. Mark and recapture studies are conducted at various times in of the year. Contact us to get involved!

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Common Loon
(Emydoidea blandingii)

 

Description: The loon is a popular water bird that inhabits many lakes in Kejimkujik and the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve.  Its calls and appearance are virtually unmistakable.  Adults have a black head, white underside, and a black and white mottled back.  Loons are terrific divers, and they feed mainly on fish.

Range: Loons are found in waterways across the region. In Nova Scotia, this species winters offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.

Habitat: Loons prefer large freshwater lakes, as well as coastal waters.

Threats: Threats to loons in the region include: water contamination, predation, human disturbance, abrupt floods and habitat loss.

Additional Information: Loons are terrific divers, and they feed mainly on fish.  In early summer, females lay 1 to 3 eggs on a depressed mound of dirt and vegetation very near water.  Both parents build the nest, sit on the eggs, and feed the young.

Get Involved!

Kejimkujik Loon Watch

Photos: P. Hope

What is it?
Since 1995, loon watch surveys have been conducted on 16 lakes in Kejimkujik to determine the health and status of loons in the park. The program examines trends in loon abundance, including their use of lakes and reproductive potential and success.  Volunteers paddle the lakes throughout the park, and look for nesting pairs, nests, and young. Loon watch surveys are now being conducted throughout parts of southern Nova Scotia, an initiative being led by the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute.

Why are we doing it?
Concerns have been raised about the health of loons in the park after a study by the Canadian Wildlife Service found very high blood mercury concentrations in Kejimkujik loons. These unhealthy levels have been associated with impaired reproduction and altered breeding behavior in some areas. Monitoring loon abundance and reproductive success will help indicate the health of the loon population in Kejimkujik.

Making a difference
Twice a year, a dedicated group of volunteers simultaneously survey the lakes of Kejimkujik via canoe within a three-hour period to help gather this information. There is a core group of volunteers who continue to make this program possible.  In 2006, there were no chicks counted on the loon watch survey, however, researchers reported two healthy chicks in late August.  It is suspected that the extremely wet spring impacted nesting success this year. On the upside, volunteers did report a total of 62 adults during the loon watch survey – the most adults recorded since 2000. Many thanks to the many volunteers that contributed over 400 hours to achieve these results!

Don't miss it this year!
Loon watch occurs twice a year: a Sunday in June and a Sunday in August. Contact us to get involved!

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Friends of Keji Cooperating Association

Logo: Friends of Keji

What is it?
The Friends of Keji (FoK) are a group of volunteers who work to enhance Kejimkujik’s mandate, as well as the services, programs, and many other aspects of the park.

Why are we doing it?
FoK volunteers believe in environmental conservation; they love Kejimkujik!  They made a decision to give back to the park by enhancing programs, facilities, services & protection.

Making a difference
FoK provide services and host special events that directly benefit Kejimkujik and its visitors.  The friends run the “By The Mersey Gift Shop” located in the Visitor’s Centre, the Merrymakedge Canteen, and sell firewood in the campground.  Each year FoK hold a photos contest; they are responsible for the “Keji Kapers” program and they have developed the Campground Host program.

As well, they sponsor a variety of special events, including Canada Day celebrations, Keji’s Birthday festivities, and they co-host the popular pumpkin carving contest with New Grafton Variety on Thanksgiving weekend.  The group has also subsidized school groups, produced the “Keji Guide Book” and continue to support various programs and research projects in Kejimkujik, including the renowned Naturalist Club, Blanding’s Turtle Recovery and Campground Rehabilitation. For more information visit their web site.

Don’t miss it this year!
Everyone is welcome to join the Friends of Keji Cooperating Association at any time.  Membership applications are available at the Visitor’s Centre. Contact us for more information.

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Campground Host Program

Photo: J. McKinnon

What is it?
The campground hosts are volunteers who share their camping expertise and assist Kejimkujik with the operation of the campground.  Hosts camp in Jeremy’s Bay campground and answer questions, provide info, and promote interpretive programs.

Why are we doing it?
Campground hosts volunteer to help Kejimkujik provide a better experience for campers.  Volunteers have a passion for the outdoors, camping, working with and helping people and for Kejimkujik.  Individuals enjoy the social setting created by being a host in the campground and they enjoy assisting park staff in various tasks that enhance Kejimkujik.

Making a Difference
Campground hosts enhance the camping experience in the Jeremy's Bay Campground. Many of the hosts are long-term Kejimkujik campers who wanted to give back to Kejimkujik and help care for the campground; they do so each year by giving a week or two of their time to the program. Hosts often contribute to special events in Kejimkujik and act as role models with their camping ethics.

Don't miss it this year!
The campground host program recruits volunteers each year who have camping expertise, enjoy the outdoors, and are able to camp for a minimum of a week during the summer. Contact us to get involved!

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Campground Rehabilitation

What is it?
This program is aimed at actively managing the forest vegetation in the campground to make it more diverse and hardy, and to enhance camping experience in the campground.

Why are we doing it?
Jeremy’s Bay campground has been heavily used for more than 40 years.  This program is aimed at maintaining a more diverse and hardy forest in the campground.  Campsites will have more sun around them and young trees will become the forest of the future.

Don't miss it this year!
Volunteers will have the opportunity in 2007 to help kick-start this project, including planting and watering. Contact us for more information!

 

 

 

Kejimkujik Area Stewardship Programs


People, places, species, knowledge