Biological studies of waters along the proposed Mackenzie Gas Pipeline route - Inuvialuit Settlement Region
Principal Investigator: Evans, Marlene S. (41)
Licence Number: 14032
Organization: Environment Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2009 2008 2007 2006
Issued: Jul 21, 2006
Project Team: Jonathan Keating (Environment Canada), Maggie Squires (Environment Canada), Doug Halliwell (Environment Canada), Anita Gue (Environment Canada), Tarik Dessouki (Environment Canada), Ryan Froess (Environment Canada), Ryan Scott (University of Waterloo)

Project Description: This study is designed to fill gaps in Environment Canada’s understanding of the aquatic environment potentially impacted by various aspects of the Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP). Potential stressors including: increased erosion, nutrient releases from sewage discharges, other chemical releases, water withdrawals, impacts of barge traffic, increased atmospheric emissions, etc. The focus will be on the small animals that live on lake bottoms and on small fish. The two areas of concern are the tributaries and the small lakes. In tributaries, disruptions such as increased bank erosion, will be easily visible upon pipeline construction and impacts will be assessed through comparisons of benthic and forage fish populations in areas of increased sediment loading with unperturbed areas. In small ponds and lakes along the pipeline route and near the drill pads the waters are more likely to be effected in smaller ways (e.g., increased chemical release in some lakes near development). Environment Canada is also concerned about other changes such as climate warming; therefore, these studies may also be used to estimate the effects of climate warming.

Approximately six tributaries affected by the proposed Mackenzie Gas Pipeline will be sampled. On each tributary, two locations (one upstream and one downstream) of each proposed crossing will be sampled. A quantitative investigation of the fish community will be done by electroshocking. Species, length and weight will be determined and the fish released. Any fish killed will be kept for further analyses. A quantitative investigation of the aquatic invertebrate community will be done using nets. Captured invertebrates will be preserved on site. Water samples will be collected at each location. Lake bathymetry for the ca. seven lakes which will be affected by the proposed Mackenzie Gas Pipeline will be mapped using a GPS/depth sounding system. At the deep site, water quality (temperature, DO, pH, conductivity, turbidity) measurements will be taken and plankton collected. Water and sediment samples will be collected. Near shore aquatic invertebrates and forage fish will be collected using nets, or by electroshocking (for fish). Transportation will be by helicopter, float plane, and/or portable boat.
The study will be conducted from July 24 to September 30, 2006 at the following locations: Unnamed Stream (69.29656 134.72427)Yaya River (69.22508, 134.58565), Zed Creek (68.94698, 133.54648),Unnamed Stream (68.82598, 133.78188), Hans Creek (68.77284, 133.77382), Unnamed Stream (68.62444, 133.58972), Unnamed Lake (69.29914, 135.23357), Unnamed Lake ( 69.30773, 135.24612),Unnamed Lake (69.31998, 135.32274),Unnamed Lake (69.31349, 135.30847), Kimialuk Lake (69.33944, 135.08810), Big Lake (69.38854, 134.94160), Parsons Lake (68.98556, 133.71893), Unnamed Lake (69.00763, 133.56226), Unnamed Lake (68.99792, 133.57771),Unnamed Lake (69.00497, 133.58612),Unnamed Lake (68.98922, 133.58328),Unnamed Lake (68.87215, 133.68921), Yaya Lake (69.21928, 134.58633),Jimmy Lake (68.63025, 133.59691), Noell Lake (68.52714, 133.56801), E. Hans Lake (68.83985, 133.65278), W. Hans Lake (68.86060, 133.76182), Old Trout Lake (69.28707, 135.14673), Denis Lake (69.33828, 134.55713), Grassy Lake (69.25024, 134.82416), Pullen Lake (69.24898, 134.69153).