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Nipissing in a minute

Bernard Weil, Chief Photographer/Multimedia

Earlier this summer, I had an opportunity to fly with Harley Lang, 77, a 30 year retired veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force, in his 1961 deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver, one of 1692 that were built. 

Excluding the Great Lakes, Lake Nipissing, which means "big water", is the fifth largest lake in Ontario and drains into Georgian Bay. The lake is dotted with hundreds of islands, many of which are privately owned.



Viewed from beneath the wing on the port side over the West Arm of Lake Nipissing, Harley Lang flies over tiny islands that dot the lake. A GoPro Hero camera was mounted under the wing and programmed to take a picture every two seconds. A total of 1858 images were taken. See below for a time lapse video I created from the stills.



While the wing mounted camera did its job, I managed to capture a few interesting images from the cockpit. Above, hundreds of double crested cormorants desecrate island H7 in Louden Township, Nipissing District. In recent years, the birds have been blamed for the negative impact on fish stocks. The Ministry of Natural Resources states there are five nesting colonies located on various islands on the lake and they continue to monitor the population.



A boat meanders its way through a maze of islands. 



Barely visible at far right, longtime Nipissing summer resident Elaine Drobeck waves to Harley as we fly over her summer retreat. Elaine and her husband Rip bought the island more than fourty years ago. Together with their two dogs, they make the car drive up each summer from their residence in Fredricksburg Texas.



Harley makes a smooth landing.

Video: Here's a link to a time lapse video I created from 1858 still images using a GoPro camera mounted under the wing during the flight:  Click here



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please explain how these cormorants are desecrating (Verb: Treat (a sacred place or thing) with violent disrespect; violate) an island made completely of rock.

I think this is West Nipissing, Nipissing is a different Township

Mark: The Cormorant guano is what desecrates the islands, it is so acidic it kills all vegetation on the islands they colonize.

Incredible. Nature "desecrating" our playground. It's our job to desecrate nature. Surely if those cormorants had a mining permit they'd be more respectable.

The island in the photo was once covered with greenery, foliage and sustainable material that has now been violently desecrated (it was once a sacred place)....

There is a place for everything, but the comorants have "desecrated" their own living space....and the fishery and other birds. Although they are not indigent to this area we have to live with them. Wordsmithing is not the issue here, but the comorants are.

I love Time lapse videos...I do them for weddings!

beautiful pictures!

I liked this til he said such hateful things about cormorants. HUMANS deplete fish stocks. Cormorants are not eating the species that fisherman love to deplete and that humans generally love to deplete to extinction. AND they aren't desecrating anything. They are part of a natural cycle with a purpose in the cycle of vegetation. HUMANS desecrate everything. Family oriented, highly intelligent birds. Too bad he took what could have been a piece with a bit of beauty into the usual blind human nonsense. "Monitoring their populations" means shooting them off their nests and leaving them to spend days dying.

Nice pictures and good mounting idea :)

Um, animals can wreck ecosystems just like humans too (we are animals and we've wiped out species for tens of thousands of years). Cormorants wiping out an entire island of vegetation with their acidic droppings is the same as if humans killed off a small lake with human waste (now or prehistoric). An argument that they are family oriented and highly intelligent applies to humans too, so I don't see how that should factor in in trying to remove an invasive species from the lake...

If the skies above Toronto were blackened by those terrible cormorants, then people down there would be allowed to shoot the birds. Up here, we can't because someone from Toronto decided to protect them. I have seen the skies blackened by those birds, and they drop down and eat the salmon right out of the water. An area that I used to go fishing now has no fish, and it's not because of the humans.

The spring bear hunt...cancelled by people in Toronto. Rattlesnakes...sent to us by people from Toronto. Cormorants...protected by people in Toronto. Those damn orange ladybugs that bite...you guessed it...Toronto. Maybe those of us in the north should ban people from Toronto from doing things that affect us.

Colleen, you must be from T.O. and don't realize what you're talking about. Yes, humans eat fish. thay also operate hatcheries to stock these lakes, however cormrants do nothing but eat fish in large quanities. Consequently they desecrate the foliage on these islands. Not pretty.

I did a little math. There are about 490 Cormorants on that single rock island. Average daily fish consumption per bird is 320g (Weseloh, D. V., P. J. Ewins, and J. Neuman. 1992.) That equates to about 4,480 Kg/Month. Multiply that by the number of Cormorants in the West Arm ecosystem and one would be led to conclude they making a negative ecological impact. Competition with native Eagles, Osprey, Herons and predatory fish would also occur

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