2005 Summer and Fall Aquatic Surveys in the Gwich’in Settlement Area
Principal Investigator: Povey, Andrew (93)
Licence Number: 13846
Organization: Mackenzie Project Enviroment Group
Licenced Year(s): 2005 2004 2003 2002
Issued: Jun 10, 2005
Project Team: Gary Ash (Fisheries, IMG Golder Inc.), Anil Beersing (Hydrology, IMG Golder Inc.), Zsolt Kovats (Water quality, IMG Golder Inc.), Nancy Grainger (Hydrogeology, AMEC Earth & Environmental Ltd)

Project Description: As part of the Mackenzie Valley Gas Project, baseline aquatic studies in the Gwich’in Settlement Area (GSA) will continue in 2005. The work will include additional investigations into fish, hydrology and water quality in rivers and lakes previously visited, as well as summer and fall aquatics studies of waterbodies near the infrastructure sites, access roads, and borrow pits.

All of the aquatic studies will be conducted by three- or four-person crews supported by helicopter. Each crew will include a local assistant. If a boat is required to access any of the waterbodies, the boat and a guide will be hired locally. ATVs may also be used to access selected sampling locations, however, this is expected to be very rare, and only where quads can travel without damaging the ground, they will be hired locally.

At barge landings the primary emphasis will be collection of hydrology, water quality and sediment quality information, although additional fish and fish habitat data may also be collected. Additional potable water lakes may be identified in 2005, as well as lakes or streams that may be directly or indirectly be affected by effluent. In lakes, fish and fish habitat studies will predominantly focus on determining depths and contours, shoreline development, nearshore habitat features and dissolved oxygen concentrations of lakes influenced by water withdrawal. Investigations of permanently flowing watercourses near access roads and perennial streams adjacent to locations of proposed borrow pits will involve measurements of width, depth and flow, characterization of bed material, mapping of habitat features, and collection of thorough photographic records. Habitat data collection will be supplemented by fish sampling to determine habitat use by fish populations.

The research team will notify communities in advance of arriving in the community. Researchers will provide information from the various surveys to the communities in the form of a non-technical summary and regular reporting to the RRCs. When the final report is completed, a copy of the document will be provided to the communities.

The study will be conducted at survey sites along the proposed pipeline survey corridor within the GSA. Where ground water discharge is significant and may have impacts to water bodies within the pipeline corridor, there may be a requirement to go outside of the study area to inspect areas of ground water discharge. This will only be done with the permission of the local assistant.