In this year’s kayaking its participants had an opportunity to learn about the charms and natural values of the Korytnica River – a tributary of the Drawa running through the buffer zone of the Drawieński National Park. The kayaking route, covering the Natura 2000 areas Uroczyska Puszczy Drawskiej PLH320046 and Lasy Puszczy nad Drawą PLB320016 was an opportunity, among others, to present the effects of several project activities.
The turnout was great, 40 people turned up at the start, not counting the organizers.
The kayaking trip began with a meeting at the campsite in Drawno, managed by this year’s organizer, Mr. Andrzej Górski, “Fajne Kajaki”, from where the participants were transported to the starting point – a campsite in Nowa Korytnica, the infrastructure of which was also made under the LIFEDrawaPL project, as part of activities aimed at increasing the interest of tourists in kayaking routes outside the borders of the National Park, to reduce the pressure on the most valuable natural habitats.
Covering the section from Nowa Korytnica to Jaźwiny took the participants about 5 hours, and its route, despite a few small baths at the very end, should be classified as one of the easiest that the team had the pleasure to carry out.
The river with a calm current and a small depth (which was also influenced by another year of hydrological drought in the region) did not surprise the canoeists with its sudden changes of face. The participants had a chance to observe the diversity and beauty of the landscape through which the Korytnica flows, from some open areas connected with the course of the river through Lake Nowa Korytnica, through the immediate neighbourhood of beautiful peat bogs and dense forest complexes. This natural richness of the surroundings of the Korytnica in this section created an opportunity to present to the participants the impact of the immediate surroundings of the river on its ecological condition and diversity. An important educational element was the section in the vicinity of a fish farm, giving the opportunity to observe the impact of this type of use on the ecological state of the watercourse.
In addition to the advantages of the river itself, the team presented the participants with a fish pass in Sówka made as part of the project, the purpose of which is to ensure the communication of the river in the place where it was interrupted by the weir serving the needs of the nearby farmed ponds.
At the final stage of the kayaking route, it was also possible to show to the participants the changed face of the river, the value of which was added by renaturation activities consisting of introducing gravel-stone heaps into the river, located at such distances to recreate the system of riffles and pools in the river, changing the water energy and eagerly used by migratory fish as spawning grounds. The final station of the trip was Jaźwiny, in which, as part of the project, a declogging in the form of a circulation canal was made for the ichthyofauna in order to bypass an obstacle in the form of a weir which functions for the needs of a small water plant.
After the trip, the participants were invited to eat together in the field. The meal was enriched with a nature lecture by the field coordinator, who was supported by this year’s participants – representatives of the Drawieński National Park and the Inland Fisheries Institute in Olsztyn. After replenishing energy and completing the educational part, the LIFEDrawaPL Team traditionally invited the participants to participate in “Hydrozagadki” competition, in which the three best teams were awarded with some small prizes.
Despite the “average” weather for this time of a year, this year’s kayaking trip was one of the most interesting because of the educational value showing the problems of rivers that still have to be faced.
The team of the LIFEDrawaPL project would like to thank all participants for a very successful event held this year in the shadow of the Covid pandemic. We hope for further meetings together in equally beautiful circumstances… we still have so much to do!
Stay healthy and see you!
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