Shoal Habitat Utilization Study
Principal Investigator: Morrison, Scott (4)
Licence Number: 13907
Organization: Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
Licenced Year(s): 2007 2006 2005 2004
Issued: Aug 19, 2005
Project Team: Scott Wytrychowski (DDMI)

Project Description: Consistent with the DFO authorization, the major objectives of the study are to provide annual documentation of shoal habitat use by Lake Trout in the vicinity of the mine site, and to ground truth hydroacoustic equipment.

Study locations for 2005 are as per 2004. Hydroacoustic surveys are to be conducted during the early morning or evening hours. The survey is conducted at the same time each year (first week of September) according to a standardized a fish collection protocol, although actual timing may be adjusted depending upon spawning conditions. A fixed interval for angling yielding about 6 fish per shoal will be determined. This angling effort would then be spent half before and half after the acoustic survey. Each lake trout caught would be processed immediately for length, weight, species, and maturity, tagged and released, and location recorded with GPS. There will continue to be a greater effort on fish capture and tagging to provide additional habitat use information. The target is to tag 24 lake trout per year. Dike A154 will be observed to determine the presence and abundance of small fish utilizing it as habitat. Monitoring around A21 will be deferred pending a review of the results of the A418 and A154 area monitoring.

Trained DDMI Environmental personnel will carry out this program. The environmental department currently includes aboriginal persons from the community of Yellowknife. A report will be submitted to the Aurora Research Institute.
The study will be conducted at Lac de Gras