The Effectiveness of a Diversion Channel in Providing Fish Habitat in NWT Barrenlands
Principal Investigator: Jones, Nicholas (3)
Licence Number: 13111
Organization: University of Alberta
Licenced Year(s): 2001 2000 1999
Issued: May 18, 2000
Project Team: William Tonn, Cris Katopodis, Garry Scrimgeour, Peter Steffler

Objective(s): Development in Canada's North continues to expand, potentially threatening the biotic resources of this environmentally challenged region. Recently BHP Diamonds Canada has "dewatered" a number of lakes and created a diversion channel to re-route water ar

Project Description: Recently BHP Diamonds Canada has "dewatered" a number of lakes and created a diversion channel to re-route water around two open pit mines. The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of the diversion canal as habitat before and after it is enhanced with fish habitat structures and also in relation to natural streams in the area. In early spring Arctic grayling will be captured in weirs placed at both ends of the diversion channel. Sixty fish of a variety sizes will be fitted with radio transmitters. These fish will be released and their movements and habitat use studied. Channel and natural stream habitats will be quantified by ground survey, aerial photography, and transects along the streams. Detailed hydrographic surveys will be made in the diversion channel and one natural stream for use in hydrodynamic and habitat modeling. Benthic invertebrates will be sampled using a surber sampler in each stream as well. Fish will be captured using, dip nets, electrofishing equipment and other fine mesh nets. No fish will be purposely killed. Details of fish collection strategies may be found in the fisheries research permit issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for this project.