Con Mine Phase 4 EEM - Periodic Monitoring
Principal Investigator: Machtans, Hilary (5)
Licence Number: 15127
Organization: Golder Associates Ltd.
Licenced Year(s): 2015 2012 2009 2007
Issued: Jul 19, 2012
Project Team: Hilary Machtans (Project Manager, Fisheries Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd. ), Rainie Sharpe (Field Crew, Techincal Lead, Golder Associates Ltd. ), Justine Crowe (Field crew, Golder Associates Ltd. ), Tiffany Hynatiuk (Field Crew, Golder Associates Ltd. ), Jamison Romano (Field Crew, Golder Associates Ltd. ), Kevin Mindus (Field Crew, Golder Associates Ltd. )

Objective(s): To determine if mine effluent is affecting fish and fish habitat.

Project Description: Year one of Periodic Monitoring under the Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) to determine if mine effluent is affecting fish and fish habitat.

A small-bodied fish survey will be conducted within one exposure area (Jackfish Bay, Great Slave Lake) and one reference area (Horseshoe Island Bay). For consistency between phases, ninespine stickleback (NNST) will be targeted as one of the small bodied species to be sampled.

The non-lethal young-of-the-year field survey will consist of seven consecutive days of fishing effort, at 12 hours per day in mid to late August, in both the exposure area and reference area with the goal of reaching the following end points from each area: capturing 100 young-of-the-year (and possible juvenile) of one small-bodied species (NNST).

The following parameters will be measured on non-lethally sampled young-of-the-year fish prior to live release: length, weight, external condition, and abundance/catch per unit effort (CPUE).

The lethal adult field survey will consist of seven consecutive days of fishing effort, at 12 hours per day in late August to early September, in both the exposure area and reference area with the goal of reaching the following endpoints from each area: capturing 80 adult fish and 20 juvenile fish of one small bodied species (NNST).

Lethally sampled adult fish will be measured for the following parameters: length, weight, age (otolith removal), external condition, abundance/CPUE, maturity, sex, internal condition, gonad weight, liver weight, and liver assays (glycogen and lipid).

The collection of NNST samples is not anticipated to have a negligible impact on the environment and fisheries resources in both Jackfish Bay and Horseshoe Island Bay.

Benthic invertebrate samples will be collected at ten stations in Jackfish Bay and at five stations in a reference area (Kam Bay, Great Slave Lake). Samples will be collected by deploying Hester-Dendy plates during the open water season from July to September and allowing invertebrates to colonize the plates. Samples will be used for taxonomic identification and enumeration of the benthic invertebrate community. The collection of benthic invertebrate samples is not anticipated to have a negligible impact on the benthic invertebrate community, environment and fisheries resources in both Jackfish Bay and Kam Bay.

A final Report will be submitted to Environment Canada in June 2013. Reports and community presentation available if desired.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 18, 2012 to September 9, 2012.