Masse Environmental Consultants -Fisheries assessment Featured Projects

Kootenay Canal Fish Salvage

The Kootenay Canal is a 5 km long canal that diverts water from Kootenay Lake to the 580 MW Kootenay Canal Generating Station (KCL). In September 2014, BC Hydro began a two month project to install a geomembrane on the walls and floor of the forebay of the generating station. As part of this project, the head gates of the Kootenay Canal were closed and the canal was drained. To reduce impacts to fish, Masse Environmental coordinated acrew of 25 environmental technicians and completed a fish salvage over a five day period as the water in the canal receded. Over 7,000 fish were salvaged and relocated to Kootenay Lake.

Masse Environmental Consultants Ltd. Fisheries Assessment photo

Bull Trout Redd Surveys

Bull trout are an apex predator in the Kootenay Region, and can reach sizes up to 90 cm and 10 kg. They are indicators of ecosystem health, as they require specific habitats for their various lifestages, and are sensitive to habitat degradation.Bull trout migrate into tributaries in the fall to spawn, and counting the number of redds (nests) is a reliable way of monitoring bull trout populations. Masse Environmental has completed bull trout redd surveysin tributaries to the Duncan Reservoir, Trout Lake, and Kootenay Lake.

Bull Trout Photo courtesy of Stefan Himmer

Masse Environmental bull trout Fisheries assessments

West Arm Kootenay Lake Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout are indicators of ecosystem health due to their specific habitat requirements and preference for cold, clear water. They are also a popular sportfish species, and the West Arm of Kootenay Lake was once considered one of the premier fly fisheries in British Columbia. In a project funded by the Columbia Region Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and BC Hydro, Masse Environmental conducted the first census of spawning rainbow trout in the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. The crystal clear waters of Kootenay Lake allowed the rainbow trout and their redds (spawning nests)to be counted from a helicopter, which provides an efficient way to survey the 45 km long West Arm.

masseEnvironmental-fisheries assessment photo

Duncan Reservoir Fish Habitat Use Monitoring

As part of the BC Hydro Duncan Dam Water Use Plan the impact of dam operations on fish habitat and lake productivity is being investigated with a team of local biologists. The project targets three fish species of interest: bull trout, kokanee and rainbow trout, and was initiated to address identified data gaps regarding the life history of these species, their available habitat within the reservoir and their habitat needs. The results will allow future planning to better integrate fisheries requirements into the managementof reservoir drawdown elevations.

masseEnvironmental-fisheries assessment photo

1:20,000 Fish and Fish Habitat Inventories

Numerous fisheries inventory projects have been completed for the forestry sector. These projects included data collection using electrofishing, minnow traps, netting and angling, reporting, fish habitat mapping and QA/QC work for other projects. Masse Environmental continues to conduct fish presence/absence and stream classification surveys to support forest planning and management activities throughout the Kootenay and Boundary regions.

Masse Environmental Consultants Ltd. Masse Environmental Consultants Ltd. Fisheries assessments photo

Fish Passage Assessments

Fish passage assessments at culverted crossings were completed according to the provincial fish passage assessment protocol within  the Arrow Boundary, Kootenay Lake and Rocky Mountain Forest Districts for BCTS and Tembec. Several culverts identified as barriers to fish passage were recently replaced with ‘fish-friendly’ structures.

Masse Environmental Consultants Ltd. Masse Environmental Consultants Ltd. Fisheries assessments photo

Glacier/Howser Fisheries Assessment

Biological baseline data was collected for a 90 MW independent power project. Data collection included in-stream flow transects, fish inventory and fish habitat assessments, snorkel surveys, spawning assessments of the tributary reaches accessible from the Duncan Reservoir, benthic macro-invertebrate and periphyton sampling and water quality sampling.

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