Underwater video shows Brewer Park pond restoration paying off

Researchers who have been working to revitalize the Brewer Park pond now have video proof that their hard work is paying off.

Carleton University researchers encouraged by variety of aquatic species using culvert

In 2014, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority used a culvert (marked above with a black line) to join Brewer Park pond with the Rideau River in order to better oxygenate the water and avoid annual fish die-offs. (Google )

If you've ever been down to Brewer Park you might have noticed the small pond next to the Rideau River, close to Bronson Avenue and the Dunbar Bridge.

The former swimming hole was mostly rehabilitated back in 2014. At the time, a culvert was installed by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to join the pond and the river. The idea was to allow fish to migrate between the pond and the river, and to keep the water in the pond oxygenated, especially during the winter months.

But monitoring just how well that plan was working turned out to be quite difficult. Until now.

Video footage from an underwater GoPro camera shows sunfish and big muskie — a large member of the pike family — using the culvert, as well as snapping turtles, painted turtles and even a beaver.

Watch the video here.

The camera was installed by Carleton University fish ecology researchers led by Dr. Steven Cooke. This footage was monitored and compiled by an undergraduate student over the summer.

Meanwhile volunteers continue to work on rejuvenating the pond, work that includes planting trees and removing invasive species.