2020 Baker Creek Arctic Grayling Tissue Sampling
Principal Investigator: Coombs, Matthew (1)
Licence Number: 16729
Organization: Government of the Northwest Territories, Environment & Natural Resources, Giant Mine Remediation Project
Licensed Year(s): 2020
Issued: Jun 03, 2020
Project Team: Paul Betsina, Claire Tincombe, Paul Vecsei

Objective(s): To conduct tissue sampling for chemistry analysis of Arctic grayling in Baker Creek.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.4806.

The objective is to fish for adult Arctic grayling in Lower Reach 1 of Baker Creek. Baker Creek is a seasonal creek that flows through the Giant Mine site into Yellowknife Bay of Great Slave Lake. Giant Mine is currently in care and maintenance and will be undergoing closure and reclamation activities, which include reclamation activities in Baker Creek and Yellowknife Bay.

Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) has requested Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) to do the lethal sampling of Arctic grayling and tissue chemistry analysis due to concerns related to human consumption. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) and the GNWT are in consultation with rights holders and other community members about the closure and reclamation of Giant Mine and of Baker Creek. Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) fish tissue chemistry from Baker Creek will be analysed as part of the 2020 Giant Mine Large Bodied Fish Tissue Program, which will update the dataset for large-bodied fish tissue chemistry in the area. The fish survey will focus on fish species that are thought to be most frequently consumed by people in the area.

A maximum of 10 adult Artic grayling will be collected to update information on the fish tissue quality of edible fish in the area of the Giant Mine. This will include up to 5 males and 5 females. Fish will be caught by angling or dip netting and lethally sampled immediately. Tissues will be sampled and submitted to GNWT for analysis. Tissues will include muscle with and without skin, gonads (ovaries or testis), fins, scales, otoliths, liver, and eyes. Community involvement is expected in the form of Yelloknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) staff from Det’on Cho Environmental.

The Giant Mine Remediation Project (GMRP) Team, which includes GNWT, and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) will report the results of this study to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board and its public registry. Data and discussions about the interpretation of data are planned between the GNWT and YKDFN.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from June 5, 2020 to August 24, 2020.