Community Monitoring of the Big Fish River
Principal Investigator: Hoyt, Andrea J. (4)
Licence Number: 13922
Organization: Fisheries Joint Management Committee
Licenced Year(s): 2006 2005
Issued: Nov 01, 2005
Project Team: Donald Aviugana (Advisor, West Side Working Group), Kevin Bill (Instructor, Fisheries Joint Management Committee), Erin Hiebert (DFO), Working Group Members (Instructors, Advisors, and Students, West Side Working Group), Students (Students, Moose Kerr School), HTC Members (Instructors, Advisors, and Students, Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee)

Project Description: Community Monitoring of the Big Fish River is a new project being led by the Fisheries Joint Management Committee and the West Side Working Group. The project at the Big Fish River will include habitat and water quality surveys, traditional knowledge research and integration, discussions of the implications of changing environmental conditions, and Inuvialuit health and culture, including diet and country foods. Above all, the Big Fish Community Monitoring project will provide an opportunity for Aklavik youth to see the opportunities for progressing to a career in the sciences while integrating scientific research with community values and traditional knowledge.

The field portion of the Big Fish Community Monitoring project will take place in late October/early November, the traditional harvesting season for char from the Big Fish River. The field crew, including Elders, Hunters and Trappers Committee members, high school students from Moose Kerr School, DFO personnel and FJMC resource biologists. The crew will travel by snowmobile to the Big Fish River, set up camp, and stay there for approximately one week. The field crew will complete portions of a stream habitat survey, water quality survey, and fish survey of the “Fish Hole”, based on The Streamkeepers Handbook, developed by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia (Taccogna and Munro, 1995). The crew will conduct the introductory and advanced stream habitat survey, water quality survey, stream invertebrate survey, juvenile fish trapping and identification, and spawner survey. Students will learn how to make observations, record data, and report results. At the same time, Elders and HTC members will tell stories, teach traditional skills, and discuss how the environment has changed over the years, using traditional knowledge to help the students develop an understanding of how the environmental changes impact the life of the community and the culture of the people.

Members of the research team will present their results in a community meeting in Aklavik after the field and classroom portions of the program are completed.
The study will be conducted from November to December, 2005 at Big Fish River, Cache Creek and Fish Hole (sites are approximately 70 km WNW of Aklavik).