Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. Shoal Habitat Monitoring Program

Regions: North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: mining impacts, fish habitat, hydroacoustic survey, shoal habitat

Principal Investigator: Morrison, Scott (4)
Licence Number: 14068
Organization: Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
Licenced Year(s): 2007 2006 2005 2004
Issued: Sep 06, 2006
Project Team: Colleen English (Senior Environmental Coordinator, Diavik), Karl Cox (Environmental Coordinator, Diavik), Seth Bohnet (Environmental Coordinator, Diavik), Justin Grandjambe (Environmental Technician, Diavik), Caroline Morissette (Environmental Technician, Diavik)

Project Description: Year 2 of this three-year project will entail monitoring sites in the vicinity of both the A154 and A418 mine areas, and investigating sites along the A154 dike (same as those studied in 2005). Hydroacoustic surveys will be conducted during the early morning or evening hours of the first week of September. The actual timing of the surveys can be adjusted depending upon spawning conditions.

The attempt to standardize a fish collection protocol at each shoal to ground-truth hydroacoustic surveys will be continued as per the 2005 program. This is to determine an appropriate fixed interval for angling that would yield about 6 fish per shoal. This angling effort would then be divided as half before and half after the acoustic survey. Each lake trout caught would be processed immediately for length, weight, species, and maturity, and tagged and released. The location of the catch will be recorded with GPS.

An underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) will be used to obtain visual proof of fish use of the shoals.There will continue to be a greater effort on fish capture and tagging to provide additional habitat use information. The target will be to tag 24 lake trout per year with a maximum effort of about 3 days (4 hours morning and 4 hours evening). Monitoring around A21 will be deferred pending a review of the results of the A418 and A154 area monitoring.

Results of the study will be published in a report which will be distributed to the appropriate Land and Water Boards as well as Diavik's Environmental Monitoring Advisory Board (EMAB), whose purpose is to disseminate information to each of the affected communities that are represented by the Board.
Program activities will be conducted from September 6 to October 6, 2006 at the following locations: Lac de Gras.