Fish Monitoring and Habitat Assessment

Trained and experienced Biotactic staff use a wide range of electronic monitoring equipment as well as standard sampling gear to conduct our fish monitoring projects, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the populations and communities we study. We use underwater video cameras, boat and backpack electrofishing surveys, seining, fyke and trammel nets, electronic tagging, land, drone and small aircraft surveys to conduct standard aquatic species inventories, mark-recapture studies, develop population size estimates, compute measures of site fish biomass, track fish migration and general movement and conduct redd counts. Habitat mapping and assessments are generally conducted along with these surveys to determine fish habitat preferences and the areas important to these communities (critical habitat). Staff are Electrofishing Class I and II, OBBN and OSAP certified and have completed the ROM fish identification and DFO freshwater mussel identification courses.

Example projects include:

  • Inter-annual and seasonal Rainbow Trout migration and dam passage patterns in the Saugeen River watershed
  • Northern Pikeminnow telemetry to identify spawning locations in Lake Koocanusa tributaries
  • Endangered Blue Sucker tracking to understand critical habitat utilization patterns and impact of flow regulation and water diversion in the Colorado River
  • Survey of Brook Trout population size and health within coldwater urban waterway, Strasburg Creek, Kitchener
  • Before-After Control-Impact study of the effects of a dam removal on fish community biomass across 66 sampling sites throughout the Saugeen River watershed
  • Seasonal changes in the movement and habitat use of Largemouth Bass in Lake Eugenia
  • Spotted Gar telemetry in Rondeau Bay, Lake Erie, to examine habitat utilization and identify and protect spawning and post-spawning habitat
  • Monitoring of species distribution, diversity and abundance in the Welland River and in several additional waterbodies throughout the Niagara region
backpack electrofishing
netting grand river
stream habitat assessment measurements
Rainbow Trout radiotag implantation
fyke net set
aerial radiotracking Saugeen River