2010 Environmental Monitoring Program

Regions: North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: physical sciences, environmental monitoring, environmental baseline, fisheries

Principal Investigator: Langhorne, Amy (4)
Licence Number: 14699
Organization: Golder Associates Ltd.
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Issued: Apr 14, 2010
Project Team: Nathan Schmidt (Water Resource Engineer, Golder Associates Ltd. ), John Faithful (Water Quality Scientist, Golder Associates Ltd. ), Kristine Mason (Fisheries Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd. ), Paul Vecsei (Fisheries Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd. ), Andrew Muir (Fisheries Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd. ), Chris Madland (Air Quality Specialist, Golder Associates Ltd. ), Teresa Drew (Noise Specialist), To Be Confirmed (Local Community Field Assistants)

Objective(s): The objective of the proposed studies is the collection of baseline hydrology, water and sediment quality, fisheries, and air and noise quality data at the Gahcho Kué Project exploration camp at Kennedy Lake.

Project Description: The objective of the proposed studies is the collection of baseline hydrology, water and sediment quality, fisheries, and air and noise quality data. These study programs are designed to extend the baseline knowledge of the Kennedy Lake, and adjacent, watersheds areas, which will be potentially affected by Project activities. The data will also provide a basis for assessing the impact of the Project to these biophysical environments.

The data derived from the baseline hydrology program will contribute to the water quality and aquatic ecology assessments. The work for this component includes the following tasks:
• characterize the hydrological regime of the watersheds of several established and supplementary monitoring sites;
• quantify annual and seasonal water yields and lake water level regimes;
• install equipment to continuously monitor water surface elevations upstream of the lake outlets during the open water season, which will be supplemented by manual stream discharge and water level surveys during field visits;
• derive continuous records of lake water levels and discharges for each key lake outlet over the monitoring period;
• characterize the geomorphology of lake outlet channels associated with lakes that were not included in the previous baseline assessment; and
• monitor air temperature, rainfall, wind speed and direction and relative humidity using the climate station at the Gahcho Kué Project exploration camp at Kennedy Lake.

The data derived from the baseline surface water and sediment quality program will contribute to the aquatic ecology assessments. The work for this component includes the following tasks:
• conduct a winter field survey in April 2010 to determine baseline water quality conditions in key lakes during under-ice conditions. Field measurements of physical water quality parameters will be collected throughout the water column of these lakes, and water samples will be collected for analysis of specific water quality indicators;
• conduct a summer field survey in July/August 2010 to determine baseline water quality conditions in key lakes and lake outlet streams during open-water conditions. Field measurements of physical water quality parameters will be collected throughout the water column of these lakes and outlet streams, and water samples will be collected for analysis of specific water quality indicators; and
• collect benthic sediment samples during the summer survey from key lakes to characterize baseline sediment quality conditions.

The data derived from the baseline fisheries program will contribute to the aquatic ecology assessments. The work for this component includes the following tasks:
• sampling for plankton, benthic invertebrates and fish in the Kennady Lake watersheds, and adjacent watersheds;
• sampling for fish in lakes using various sampling methods, which include small-mesh gill nets, angling, baited minnow traps and shoreline electrofishing;
• undertaking a hydroacoustic monitoring survey in Kennady Lake to more reliably estimate fish populations (i.e., fish number)
• sampling for fish in streams using backpack electrofishing, baited minnow traps and angling;
• record fish habitat information, where required, which will include substrate and bank/shoreline characteristics, depth/width measurements, in situ physico-chemical water quality measurements, and in-stream discharge/flow measurements.
• sampling for plankton from various depths and locations in specific lakes, and will include water sample collection for the analysis of key water quality parameters directly associated with plankton productivity, which includes chlorophyll and nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient parameters;
• sampling for benthic invertebrate from various locations in key lakes using sediment sampling and sorting techniques

The air quality monitoring program will include the following tasks:
• collection and processing of meteorological data from the onsite weather station at the Gahcho Kué Project exploration camp at Kennedy Lake;
• Collection and processing of data from local sampling stations for particulate matter and dust fall;

The noise or acoustics monitoring program will include the following tasks:
• Installation and retrieval of noise meters at two locations east and west of the proposed Project site; and
• Processing of collected data

Results of these studies will be reported in the Environmental Impact Statement provided to the Gahcho Kué Review Panel of the MacKenzie Valley Review Board.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from April 15, 2010 to December 31, 2010.