25-May-2003 -- While conducting whooping crane research for the Canadian Wildlife Service in Wood Buffalo National Park we were searching a marsh complex adjacent to this confluence. It was not likely that anyone else would have a chance to visit this confluence, since it is in Wood Buffalo National Park, in an area that is designated as special preservation with no access during the whooping crane breeding season.
The nature of our work is monitoring this crane population, which allows us to obtain the necessary permits to enter the area for research purposes. In addition landing permits are required to land an aircraft anywhere in the park.
The site itself was over water near the western side of a large lake. We hovered over the site at an altitude of about 400 feet above the ground (1400 ft asl) and photographed the area. It was trying to rain at the time so there are a few rain drops on the windows of the helicopter that you can see in the photos.
I tried to get a photo of the onboard GPS indicating our position as Kim hovered us over the exact location. I did see the GPS 'zero out' at 60 00 00 North and 114 00 00 West, however the only photo that was not out of focus indicated that we were within metres of the confluence.
The area surrounding the confluence was open black spruce forest interspersed with boggy wetlands in all directions. Large marsh complexes exist to the east and northeast of the confluence, so we searched these marshes for cranes as we worked our way towards our fuel cache at Klewi Lake. Just south of Klewi Lake, about 22 kilometres from the confluence we found our 60th whooping crane nest of the year, a new record (since the 1800’s), surpassing the old record of 53 nests in 2001. It was a great day.
Coordinator's Note: As indicated in FAQ item 1.7, this aerial visit is being posted as an incomplete visit.