Baker Creek Fish Monitoring Plan
Principal Investigator: Mitchell, Bill (1)
Licence Number: 14158
Organization: INAC Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2007
Issued: May 24, 2007
Project Team: Paul Vecsei (On-site fisheries biologist, Golder Associates), Josef Carnogursky (Fisheries field technicien, Golder Associates), Alex Glowach (INAC Giant Mine Remediation Project, INAC), Paula Smith (Fisheries biologist, Golder Associates)

Objective(s): The objectives of this study are to: determine the number of adult Arctic grayling, suckers, and northern pike spawning in Baker Creek; describe spawning habitat throughout Baker Creek; provide evidence of successful spawning by observing and capturing recently emerged YOY (young-of-year); observe and describe habitat use by YOY while in Baker Creek prior to outbound migration; determine if the habitat construction/restoration efforts in Baker Creek were successful for creating suitable habitat for all life stages for endemic fishes.

Project Description: The objectives of this study are to:
- Determine the number of adult Arctic grayling, suckers, and northern pike spawning in Baker Creek;
- Describe spawning habitat throughout Baker Creek;
- Provide evidence of successful spawning by observing and capturing recently emerged YOY (young-of-year);
- Observe and describe habitat use by YOY while in Baker Creek prior to outbound migration;
- Determine if the habitat construction/restoration efforts in Baker Creek were successful for creating suitable habitat for all life stages for endemic fishes.

To compensate for habitat loss in Baker Creek during the Giant Mine Remediation work, fish habitat work relating to Fisheries Authorization 06-0063 was undertaken by INAC in the summer and fall of 2006. Baker Creek was rerouted and modified between the concrete weir at the old compressor building and the west side of C1 Pit. The changes were undertaken as to provide a more natural stream with a mix of habitats suitable for Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) spawning, rearing and overwintering habitats (Fisheries Authorization section 4.1). Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada has requested that Golder Associates provide a study design for assessing primarily Arctic grayling, but also other species habitat use in Baker Creek in 2007.

Work will begin prior to freshet and continue on a daily basis until late June. Follow-up surveys will be conducted throughout the summer. Adult fish will be captured by seine nets and juveniles will be captured by dip netting. A few dozen individuals of each species will likely be captured and all fish will be released. Abundance estimates will be made using relevant population estimators. Age determination will be made by taking scale samples from Arctic grayling, northern pike, longnose suckers and white suckers.
A plain language document will be supplied to the relevant communities by November 30, 2007.
Golder Associates would also send the on-site fisheries biologist to any local community school (in Yellowknife) to give a presentation on the importance of Baker Creek as a spawning site and nursery for fishes.

Fieldwork will be conducted from May 24 to September 06, 2007 at Baker Creek, tributary of Yellowknife Bay, Great Slave Lake, NT.