Desperation Pond and Carrie Pond Fish Transfer Program
Principal Investigator: Armstrong, Allison (4)
Licence Number: 13261
Organization: BHP Diamonds Inc.
Licenced Year(s): 2001
Issued: Sep 18, 2001
Project Team: Peter Moore

Objective(s): The object of the Fish Transfer Program is to provide scientifically defensible data which will be used to: (1) Maximize the number of fish transferred live from the Desperation and Carrie complex and released downstream into aquatic systems draining to Lac de Gras; (2) Quantify fish production, fish habitat, and productivity of the primary and secondary producers; (3) Establish linkages between fish habitat and fish productivity in the Desperation and Carrie complex; (4) Establish a reference database through which comparisons among lakes can be conducted; and (5) Verify preliminary sampling program data on fish abundance and community structure with a complete fish census. These data will provide an understanding of the structure and distribution of habitat in lakes, the relationships of fishes to habitat, and will be invaluable in developing models for predicting the productivity of compensation initiatives.

Project Description: The capture and processing of fishes, including biological data collection, sample analysis, and recording of field data are the responsibility of BHP based on DFO approved methods described herein. The Project Biologist will be at site during crew training, to participate in the collection of data and to ensure the quality of data. The Project Biologist will also be responsible for collating and checking data, and producing the project report and electronic database.The Fish Transfer Program is broken into three general components based on level of ecosystem organization. These components are:(1) Fish Community; (2) Aquatic Biology/Physical Limnology; and (3) Habitat Inventory. The Fish Community component of the Fish Transfer Program has two phases: Transfer Phase and Total Removal Phase. The Transfer Phase consists of short duration fishing of small-mesh nets. These results will be used to derive population estimates from catch per unit effort. The final or Total Removal Phase will be initiated after the termination criteria for the Transfer Phase have been met. This final phase will consist of overnight net-sets as well as every effort to capture all remaining fish in each waterbody. The Total Removal Phase will provide data on total fish production which will be used for examining habitat-production relationships.With one of the principle goals of the Fish-transfer Program being that of determining the link between habitat and fish production (i.e. community-environment relationships), information about the various links within a lakes ecosystem must be collected. These data will provide the linkages between available habitat and observed fish stocks. The following ecosystem components will be characterized: (1) Physical Limnology; (2) Water Quality/Nutrients; (3) Chlorophyll a; (4) Zooplankton; and (5) Benthos. The objective of this component is to develop a detailed Geographic Information System (GIS) and physical habitat database, which augments the data collected in the other components of the Fish Transfer Program.