We hadn't been aware of Hoople Creek before our visit on 5 Oct 2011. We discovered it on the inland side of the Highwy 2 causeway between Hoople Bay and the St Lawrence, 3.5 kilometres west-south-west of Long Sault. The creek bottom was covered with old Zebra Mussel shells, with no native Unionid mussels to be seen. Then on 29 Aug 2012 we searched where Highway 401 crosses it here, we found many Lampsilis radiata, fewer Pyganodon and Elliptio companata, and a single doubtful Lasmigonavalve on the rocky/cobble bottom. The lowest three kilometres of Hoople Creek, between these two sites, is the most likely place for a population of the Endangered mussel Ligumia nasuta - but that stretch remains to be explored.
After we found the abundant mussels at the 401 bridge, we checked the bridge where I'm standing now and the one upstream of it on County Road 18 without finding any mussels, and only very few snails. It seems that there may only be a pocket of vulnerable diversity at the 401 crossing and a little downstream.
Earlier on the afternoon of this painting, we located the pipeline on Morgan Road, 120 metres south-west of its crossing of Hoople Creek. We photographed the Enbridge/Transcanada pipeline warning signs, but couldn't see the creek. We look forward to spring when more can be seen, but since winter has still not loosened its grip, there was just a wide snowy right-of-way stretching south-west/north-east, with woods on either side. Fred noted a few stems of Phragmites reed by the road, and a thicket of American Beech saplings at the south-west corner of an Ash forest where a couple of ragged Hemlocks live.
Dear concerned citizens,
This 6 x 12 inch oil painting is for sale for $475 to support our independent survey of the Energy East Pipeline. If you would like to purchase it, please contact Aleta