Skip to Main Content

Environmental Monitoring News

Monitoring Matters! Through scientific data collection, TRCA's Environmental Monitoring and Data Management team tell the stories about the changes affecting the natural areas and watercourses within our regions.

For more information, please visit our website, subscribe to our Monitoring Matters e-newsletter, or visit our YouTube playlist. 


Monitoring Matters Graphic


Get a load of road salt: Rising chloride concentrations in GTA streams are a cause for concern.

Road salt is the main source of chloride in Toronto area streams. Chloride does not break down or settle out of water making it a persistent water quality issue. The March 2016 issue of Freshwater Science highlights the findings from Toronto and Region Conservation's (TRCA) Environmental Monitoring team, which suggest that chloride levels in streams above 80 mg/L were changing the composition of the aquatic bug community.


Fishing for fishers in Glen Major Forest

The Fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a remarkable North American mammal few get the privilege to see, especially in close proximity to a highly urbanized landscape such as the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). On February 2, 2016, Toronto and Region Conservation's (TRCA) Environmental Monitoring team managed to capture rare images of a male fisher investigating a constructed den box in Glen Major Forest.


Monitoring sensitive fish species on Seaton development lands

The Seaton development lands are home to important local populations of the provincially endangered Redside Dace (Clinostomus elongatus) as well as the sensitive Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). TRCA's environmental monitoring team is conducting baseline surveys of fish communities for this new development area.


Fish Tales - Toronto Harbour Acoustic Telemetry Study

TRCA and researchers from Carleton University partnered to study the habits and movements of aquatic species in the Toronto Harbour. In this informative video, viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at how fish were tracked, studied and how the information will be used by experts in the future.


In the face of urbanization, green frogs seem to be the most resilient in the Greater Toronto Area.

TRCA's recent Terrestrial Long-term Monitoring Report: Spatial and Temporal Trends 2008-2014 reveals that green frogs occupy 90% of urban wetland long-term monitoring sites and 100% of the rural ones. This occurrence differs from the other regional frog species, which occur in most rural wetlands but tend to occupy fewer urban sites.


Surveying Salmon in Duffins Creek: 2015 Update

2015 was a record year for Atlantic Salmon travelling upstream to spawn in Duffins Creek! Between August 14th and September 22nd, Toronto and Region Conservation?s environmental monitoring team recorded 8 Atlantic Salmon in the temporary Resistance Board Weir set-up near the mouth of Duffins Creek. This is the most Atlantics caught in one season at the Weir since operations began in 2013.


How do regional plants and wildlife rank? TRCA's unique scoring approach in natural heritage systems protection.

For over a decade Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) has been using a unique ranking and scoring approach in the protection of natural heritage systems within the regional watersheds.


What are the plant and animal communities telling us? Summary of TRCA's Terrestrial Long-term Monitoring Program (2008-2014)

TRCA's Environmental Monitoring and Data Management team has just released a report summarizing how TRCA's wetland, forest and meadow communities are changing over time at long-term terrestrial monitoring stations, as well as examining the differences in ecological health between urban and rural sites.


TRCA's involvement in the discovery of five invasive Asian Grass Carp this summer.

This past July, Toronto and Region Conservation's Environmental Monitoring team discovered Asian Grass Carp during a fish rescue in a confined wetland at Tommy Thompson Park. A month later a couple more Grass Carp were captured by the same team during night electrofishing activities near Toronto Islands marina. A coordinated search for more Grass Carp ensued on both occasions involving TRCA, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Through these combined efforts, five invasive Asian Grass Carp were captured in total.


Helping wildlife cross the road: TRCA's road ecology baseline studies.

In search of wildlife, TRCA monitoring crews have been out day and night this summer collecting data for two baseline road ecology studies.