Kudos to you and Randy for having the balls to do a series of articles on the lowly Thames River, la Tranche or Askunessippi,
My earliest memories of the Thames is dip netting for pickerel with my Dad in the early 60”s. It was a wonderful day with huge dip net set up and camp fire with hot dog roast to end a perfect family day. I don’t know if it was legal or not back then but at 8 who cared. I was fishing with my Dad.
At 12 it was a different scenario….skinny dipping with a hand full of my favorite girl friends. We had traversed the “bush” one hot July day from one farm to another and ended up having a skinny dip in the cool waters of the Thames. To our horror, one of our Dads had a Piper Cub and buzzed by us 50 feet off the river surface “hollering” out the plane window to “get home”. Thank God we had already climbed out of the muddy river and put our clothes back on. There would have been hell to pay.
In later years, the lure of the Thames River waned but in 1989 I ended up living again very close to its muddy banks. In one of those hot sweltering summer days. I thought I would take my kids for a dip in those familiar waters – a nostalgic attempt at showing “the kids” what mom used to do. We wore shoes, for the Thames River bottom has a lot of clay and silt and it’s not that great a feeling with that mud squishing between your toes. My 6 and 8 year old were in awe that we went for a swim. It was great fun….until the dead pig floated by.
I have had many other fishing episodes with my husband in later years. But had trouble eating the pickerel out of the water. All I could envision was the amount of effluent that ends up in the water. I guess you might be able to guess that I live down stream from London and thousands of acres of farm land.
So why am I writing you? This isn’t a trip down nostalgia lane. No, I don’t think so.
I give you a challenge…every time we have a really big rainfall in Southwestern Ontario, look into how much untreated effluent is discharged into the Thames River.
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