Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: 19-PCAA-00011

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. 19-PCAA-00011 is issued.

Activity necessary or beneficial to the species

The objectives of the activities covered by this permit are to conduct fish and mussel surveys in the St. Clair River watershed and the Lake St. Clair watershed. Collected baseline data will be used to assist in future project proposals and inquiries. The activities authorized by this permit consist of the capture of any of the species listed on this permit from the St. Clair River watershed and the Lake St. Clair watershed, which will require the handling of any of the species listed on this permit for the purposes of identification and processing (count, photograph, etc.). Fishes will be released alive with the exception of some smaller fishes that may be retained to confirm identification. All mussels will be returned alive to the locations they were found. Sampling will be completed through the use of a backpack electrofishing unit, seine net, or minnow traps where necessary, using the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP). Mussel surveys will adhere to Mackie et al. (2008).

Start Date: 2019-04-29   End Date: 2019-11-30

Issuing Authority: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Ontario

Affected Species:

a) Alternatives: Alternative sampling locations were not an option because the point of the surveys are to understand the distributions of species at risk at the specified locations. However, every effort will be made to reduce any harm to species at risk through the protocols employed (e.g., process species at risk first). The sampling procedures for benthos and mussels are laid out in provincial and federal protocols and will be followed. The methods described are necessary to obtain the desired data. b) Measures to minimize impact: Documented sightings of species at risk have been researched and sensitive locations are known. The backpack electrofishing unit will be set to the proper settings to eliminate harm and impacts to the fish species. Fishes will be placed in bins/buckets of water for quick identification and then released back into the watercourse. Water will be constantly added to buckets to ensure sufficient oxygen is present and temperatures remain cool. Fish species will be returned to the water as quickly as possible. In order to reduce the potential for harm, the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority has changed to recording only fish species lists/counts and not measuring/weighing fishes. Mussels will be placed back where they were found once identified. During benthic sampling, if a mussel bed or sensitive area is found, sampling will be moved downstream. c) Effects on survival and recovery: Backpack electrofishing is widely used by government and scientific researchers because it is ideally suited for sampling small stream environments in terms of efficiency and for achieving minimal fish mortality. Few mortalities are anticipated. Provided the mitigation contained in the description of activities and the permit issued under section 73 of the Species at Risk Act, the project will pose a low risk to the survival and recovery of the species. The survival of the species listed should not be jeopardized. All rare mussels and fishes will be returned to their habitat unharmed, if encountered.

Contact Person(s)
Ms. Becky Cudmore
A/Regional Manager, Species at Risk Program
Canada Centre for Inland Waters
867 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON
L7S 1A1

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