Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: 20-PCAA-00007

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. 20-PCAA-00007 is issued.

Activity necessary or beneficial to the species

Under the guidance of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the activity involves: 1) establishing a network of permanent monitoring stations throughout historical and present ranges of the Sydenham River, to permit tracking of fish populations, analysis of trends and patterns, and permit the evaluation of recovery actions; 2) establishing and implementing a habitat monitoring program that includes water quality and substrate components. The monitoring program will provide insight into the significance of threat factors. Targeted species at risk fish sampling will be conducted in historically occupied habitat (river reaches in the vicinity of Florence and Alvinston), as well as other potentially suitable habitats, using sampling techniques proven to detect species at risk fishes; and, 3) starting in 2020 and following the guidance of DFO, conduct a spatial pattern study of mussel distribution by completing a systematic survey in a specific reach (or reaches) in order to better understand population abundance/density and species-to-habitat relationships in the Sydenham The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) will collect fishes using a backpack electrofishing unit, seine net, or minnow traps where necessary, using the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol. Mussel surveys will adhere to protocol found in Mackie et al. (2008). Fifteen sites will be monitored according to the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network Protocol. At each site, this protocol involves using the travelling kick and sweep method for three minutes, covering an area of about 10 m2 at three transects (optimally riffle-pool-riffle) within a stream meander wavelength. The sites are selected to represent the main watercourse. Each of the small watercourses has at least one sampling site.

Start Date: 2020-03-16   End Date: 2020-10-30

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: To reduce potential harm, SCRCA will record only fish species identification and numeration and will not measure or weigh fishes. The sampling for fishes will be conducted using seine nets or a backpack electrofishing unit. The unit will be calibrated to eliminate harm and mortality. Fish species will be returned to the water as quickly as possible. The sampling procedures for benthos and mussels are detailed in provincial and federal protocols and will be followed. The methods described are necessary to obtain the desired data. Alternative sampling locations were not possible 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. b) Measures to minimize impact: Documented sightings of species at risk have been researched, and sensitive locations are known. Fishes will be placed in bins or buckets filled with water for quick identification, and then released back into the watercourse. 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. Fishes and mussels will be closely observed for signs of stress during monitoring activities (processing and identification). Frequent water changes and the implementation of aerators to replenish oxygen and maintain cool temperatures will be used at every sampling event. c) Effects on survival and recovery: The survival of the species listed in the application should not be jeopardized. All rare mussels and fishes will be returned to their habitat unharmed, if encountered.

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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