Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: 19-PCAA-00038

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. 19-PCAA-00038 is issued.

Activity affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity

The objective of the activities covered by the permit is to sample municipal drains for the purpose of classifying unrated drains following the Classifying Ontario Municipal Drains Protocol (Fisheries and Oceans Canada). As fisheries assessments have not been previously conducted on many unrated municipal drains, the species listed on the permit may inhabit these drains and may be captured incidentally during the course of the work. The activities authorized by the permit include: 1. The incidental capture of species at risk (SAR) from the locations listed on the permit using seine nets and/or backpack electrofishing units. Within each sample site, approximately 40 m or 10x the wetted width of the watercourse will be sampled for fishes using either a backpack electrofisher, or a seine net depending on habitat suitability. Within the sample site, block nets will be set up and a minimum of three passes will be completed; 2. The handling of the listed SAR for the purposes of identification (count, measure, photograph, etc.). With the exception of vouchers that may be retained to confirm identification, all fishes will be released alive after processing. Vouchers will be collected using digital cameras for larger fishes and all mussels; however, some vouchers of smaller fishes may be retained in 10% formalin or 95% ethanol to confirm identification (if digital vouchers cannot be collected); and, 3. The possession and transport of any of the listed species that are killed incidentally or for vouchering purposes, preserved in 10% formalin or 95% ethanol.

Start Date: 2019-05-30   End Date: 2021-08-30

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: Other sites that may avoid species at risk were not chosen, as the purpose of the work is to classify unrated drains (that may contain species at risk), and sites are chosen based on this objective, in order to facilitate drain maintenance activities under a class authorization. Other gear types could be used to conduct the sampling (e.g., minnow traps, fyke nets); however, backpack electrofishing and seine netting are considered the standard sampling methods for small watercourses, and are considered a simple, effective, and safe method for sampling small fishes. b) Measures to minimize impact: All DFO staff involved with municipal drain sampling are trained in electrofishing, seining, and humane handling/processing of fishes to reduce stress, injury, or mortality to individuals. While electrofishing, conductivity and temperature will be monitored in the specific sample area in order to ensure that the backpack electrofisher settings are set to optimize capture efficiency and reduce power output to the lowest necessary level. When seining, the bag seine where fishes are captured will be left in the water and transferred to processing buckets immediately following each pass for quick processing in order to reduce stress, harm, or possible mortality. Captured fishes will be held in processing bins temporarily while being processed. Water quality and temperature will be monitored continually during processing. Aerators will be used in processing bins to keep oxygen levels optimal while fishes are being processed and handled. Water will be continually replenished throughout processing to ensure water quality remains as close to that of the sampling area as possible. Fish viewers will be used during identification and digital vouchering to ensure fishes remain in-water and require minimal handling during processing. All captured fishes will be released back into the watercourse immediately after processing each pass. c) Effects on survival and recovery: The effects of electrofishing and seining range from low to moderate significance for individuals. Effects include stress, injury, and possible death. The significance of possible effects on the population is likely very low. Stream substrates will be disturbed while wading; however, this will have little to no impact on populations as a whole. Few mortalities are anticipated. Provided the mitigation outlined in the measures to minimize impact 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. If SAR are caught, it is not likely that the capture, processing, and release of a small group of individuals of the species will have a significant impact on the survival or recovery of the species.

Contact Person(s)
Melanie Toyne
Regional Manager, Species at Risk Program
Freshwater Institute, Ontario and Prairie Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, MB
R3T 2N6

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