Gahcho Kue Project - Fisheries Baseline Studies

Regions: South Slave Region

Tags: mining, biology, environmental baseline, fisheries assessment

Principal Investigator: Bradley, Kourtney (1)
Licence Number: 14194
Organization: AMEC Earth & Environmental
Licenced Year(s): 2007 2004 2001 2000
Issued: Jul 06, 2007
Project Team: Kourtney Bradley (Fisheries Biologist, AMEC Earth & Environmental ), Mark Van Doorn (Fisheries Biologist, AMEC Earth & Environmental ), Tammy Strauss (Fisheries Biologist, AMEC Earth & Environmental)

Objective(s): The overall objective of this project is to collect additional fisheries information from Kennady Lake, the surrounding watershed and from "Control Lake" in the adjacent watershed for use in the environmental assessment of the De Beers Canada Inc. proposed Gahcho KuT Project.

Project Description: The overall objective of this project is to collect additional fisheries information from Kennady Lake, the surrounding watershed and from “Control Lake” in the adjacent watershed for use in the environmental assessment of the De Beers Canada Inc. proposed Gahcho Kué Project.

The studies that have been planned for 2007 include sampling for peamouth to determine whether it is present in the area, summer and fall sampling of young-of-the-year Arctic grayling in streams to confirm the timing of their outmigration to overwintering habitat, collection of slimy sculpin for analysis of tissue metal burdens, and confirmation of species composition in lakes that may be affected due to the project. Plankton and benthic invertebrate sampling in Kennady Lake and the “Control Lake is also proposed in this application. This sampling is proposed to provide an additional year of data collection from fish communities that typically have a high degree of natural variability.

The 2007 field program will be conducted in two periods: a two week field trip in mid July and a one week field trip at the end of August/first week of September. Most program objectives will be met during the summer field trip. The fall field trip is necessary to determine the timing of young-of-year Arctic grayling outmigrations, to sample benthic invertebrate communities when they are most stable, and to provide an additional season for plankton sampling.

Sampling will be conducted by a three person team including two AMEC biologists and one local First Nation assistant. The field team will be accommodated at the existing Gahcho Kué Exploration Camp. Sampling on Kennady Lake will be conducted from boats based at the camp. Work in surrounding lakes and streams will be facilitated by helicopter.
The data will be summarized and included as part of the Gahcho Kué Environmental Impact Statement which will be submitted to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board by De Beers Canada Inc.

The results will be communicated during discussions with the communities, and a summary of the data will be prepared as part of the Aurora Research Institute Licensing Process which will be submitted following the field work.

Fieldwork will be conducted from July 6 to September 30, 2007 in the general area of Kennady Lake (63.4453 N, 109.2119 W).