Aquatic Environmental Effects Monitoring - Flat River at Cantung Mine

Regions: Dehcho Region

Tags: physical sciences, mining impacts, fish

Principal Investigator: Hoos, M.Sc. R.P.Bio, Rick (1)
Licence Number: 14504
Organization: EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd. (EBA)
Licenced Year(s): 2012 2009 2002
Issued: Apr 09, 2009
Project Team: David Morantz (Senior Fisheries Biologist, EBA), Catherine Galbrand (Intermediate Fisheries Biologist, EBA), Cameron Kulak (Junior Fisheries Biologist, EBA)

Objective(s): The objectives of this research are to:
(a) determine length, weight, and general condition of 100 Slimy Sculpin (Cottus cognatus) per site at three site locations in the Flat River: one location upstream of the CanTung mine site and at two locations downstream of the mine site. The research will also determine length, weight, and general condition of any other incidental fish catches.
(b) determine sediment and water quality (nutrients and metals) as well as benthic invertebrate (10 samples per site) abundance and taxonomic composition at the same sites. Statistical methods will be used to determine whether differences between sample sites (exposure and control) are of statistical significance.

Project Description: The objectives of this research are to:
(a) determine length, weight, and general condition of 100 Slimy Sculpin (Cottus cognatus) per site at three site locations in the Flat River: one location upstream of the CanTung mine site and at two locations downstream of the mine site. The research will also determine length, weight, and general condition of any other incidental fish catches.
(b) determine sediment and water quality (nutrients and metals) as well as benthic invertebrate (10 samples per site) abundance and taxonomic composition at the same sites. Statistical methods will be used to determine whether differences between sample sites (exposure and control) are of statistical significance.

This EEM program is required by NATCL under the terms of the MMER. The interpretative report for the second and subsequent biological monitoring must be submitted within 36 months of the first interpretative report. The first interpretative report was submitted in June, 2007. Sampling in 2006 showed no significant adverse effects on downstream biota. However, periodic sampling is still required.

Fish collection will be via electrofishing (backpack), minnow trapping, and kick seining. The researchers will measure length, weight, and observe general condition. Non-lethal fish sampling only. Catch and release. They will also conduct water quality sampling and sediment sampling (Hess sampler and/or "U" sampler) at each location. Crew will stay in Tungsten during field sampling.

Local residents will possibly be hired as field assistants.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 01 to September 12, 2009, on the Flat River close to the CanTung Mine (Lat: 61.99112 N, Long: 128.40223 W).

Specific location of the 3 sampling locations:

-Reference site: 61.9930 N -128.2677 W
-Nearfield Exposure Site: 61.9611 N -128.2059 W
-Farfield Exposure: 61.9516 N -128.1882 W