Credit River, ON - Nawaz Cardoz

My name is Nawaz Cardoz and I love to be by the water with my friends and family to relax and take in the beauty of nature. One of my favourite memories by water took place in late October of last year. Thanksgiving was over and homes and front lawns were decorated for Halloween. The leaves on the trees had turned and started to fall, in their own autumnal rhythm. The squirrels and birds were busy preparing their storage larders for the imminent winter. The winds of change stirred the leaves and whistled them along the streets and narrow lanes. The temperature hovers in the single digits and overnight a bit of frost adorned the grass. It was time for a weekend get-away with family to enjoy these cool fresh days of Fall.

With the short days and long nights, we planned to stay closer to the city, but once again close to water. The Waterside Inn , at the mouth of the Port Credit River , in Mississauga, offered clean, comfortable suites, and all with great views of Lake Ontario and the Credit River.

The waterfront trail, twines south from Memorial park down to JJ Plaus Park to JC Saddington Park, and west to B Machree Park. These are all within easy walking distance, so we strolled along the river, enjoying the sounds of lapping water, sea gulls diving to catch a meal or two, and sunlight doing its own reflection-dance off the water. The air felt cooler as always when near a body of water.

At the confluence of the two water bodies, the mouth of the river was quite muddy, but at that particular time of year, it held within its depths a miracle of nature. The spawning salmon were legendary. Courageous and unconditionally determined in their death defying task of swimming up river to the place of their birth to spawn and pass on new life to the next generation, these powerful swimmers congregate here by the thousands.

A few hundred meters away from the mouth of the river, the water was crystal clear and with a decent pair of polarized shades, we could clearly observe these wonderful fish, swimming around, waiting for some celestial sign to trigger them to make that final push up the river.

From several vantage points high up above the water, fisherman with dreams of catching “the big one’, straddled the rocks that made up the shore-line. Patiently, they casted and reeled-in and re-casted, enjoying the motions of fishing, as well as absorbing the wealth of natural beauty that surrounded them. Just off shore, a few boats trolled back and forth, dragging lines behind them, leaving little or no wake. Tranquility and calm prevailed on the water.

My husband drove up along Mississauga road to Erin Dale Park, and we hiked a short ways to the waterfront. The waters of the river at this point were quite shallow and visibility was good. Here I encountered the mighty salmon again. These large fish slithered and swam their way up-stream, battling the water flow and rocky obstacles along the way. Then resting in small pools, they regained their strength for the next push. Tireless, single-minded and resilient, are a few more ways to describe these majestic swimmers. The water, though cold and swift, rippling and churning, would somehow leave calm spots and stagnant pools, making for ideal spawning grounds for the fish. Once their eggs are laid, they pass on from this life, their carcasses floating in the very same water as their eggs.

The salmon die to the water, but in the same token, are also resurrected by the very same water. I for one have had the great fortune of being a witness to this miracle.

Credit River, ON
Naomi Cardoz
Nawaz Cardoz

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