Gahcho Kue (Kennady Lake) Baseline Environmental Studies - Fisheries Program 2001

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: mining, habitat assessment, fish population, aquatic biology, kimberlite

Principal Investigator: Couture, Richard (9)
Licence Number: 13186
Organization: EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd and Jacques Whitford Environment Limited
Licenced Year(s): 2007 2004 2001 2000
Issued: May 22, 2001
Project Team: Hagen Hohndorf, R.P. Bio.; Chris Zamora, R.P.Bio; Darryl Arsenault,, R.P.Bio. and Ward Prystay, R.P. Bio. (Jacques Whitford).

Objective(s): Aquatic biological investigations in the Kennady Lake project area were conducted by Canamera Geological Ltd during the spring, summer and fall months of 1996 in the following areas: Limnology, Phytoplankton, Zooplankton, Periphyton, Benthic Invertebrates, Fish Populations, Fish Tissues and Fish Habitat. Fisheries investigations have since been conducted in the Gahcho KuÚ project area by EBA and Jacques Whitford in 1999 and 2000 in order to maximize the amount of information that could be gathered to augment the data previously collected. In the event that the Gahcho KuÚ project proceeds to development of a mine, there still is a need to further address data deficiencies regarding the fisheries and aquatic resources. As such, the proposed Summer 2001 Program is intended to address some of the remaining data gaps that have been identified. The proposed program will consist of a fish population assessment of key species in Gahcho KuÚ and a habitat characterization study within the lake.

Project Description: If future feasibility studies determine that a mine should be developed for access to the diamondiferous kimberlite underlying Gahcho KuÚ, the lake will be dyked and partially drained as has been the case at other diamond properties in the NWT. As such, the Fisheries Act requires compensation for lost fish productivity and lost habitat. To determine the amount of compensation DeBeers Canada Exploration would be responsible for, an assessment of the losses would have to be undertaken. It is therefore imperative that fish population and habitat studies be undertaken for Gahcho KuÚ. Habitat studies of the tributary streams were conducted in previous studies. The Summer 2001 Fisheries Program will focus on two objectives. These are: (1) To recapture previously tagged fish and to tag new fish (target species are lake trout, arctic grayling, lake whitefish and northern pike) to obtain a population estimate for these species; and (2) To conduct a fish habitat and utilization survey of Gahcho KuÚ employing regulatory approved and standardized methodology.