Arctic Grayling Monitoring Framework

Arctic Grayling or Thymallus arcticus underwater. Credit: iStock, Pi-Lens

Update: 4 Arctic Grayling projects happening now

New projects to research and understand Arctic Grayling abundance and presence in our Peace Region are starting in 2018.

Our Peace Region Board approved more than $353,000 for four Arctic Grayling research projects in 2018-2019. These projects are filling information gaps, and are an essential first step before hands-on conservation and enhancement projects can be implemented to address this once-plentiful fish. Since completion of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam in 1968, self-sustaining Arctic Grayling populations are limited, and in many flooded reaches they are not present at all.

“Our 2017 monitoring framework spelled out high priority information and monitoring needs for Arctic Grayling,” says Peace Region Manager Chelsea Coady. “We will continue to fund projects for this important species of interest that align with this framework.”

Using eDNA in Tributaries (PEA-F19-F-2659)

Using emerging environmental DNA (eDNA) technology, the research team will study small tributaries that flow into Williston Reservoir to detect Arctic Grayling presence.

Snorkeling in the Ingenika River (PEA-F19-F-2647)

This research focuses on reaches of the Ingenika River to establish Arctic Grayling presence and abundance.

Snorkeling in the Anzac, Table, and Missinka Rivers (PEA-F19-F-2625)

This project will assess trends and abundance in the Anzac and Table rivers, and will also determine Arctic Grayling presence and identify suitable habitat in the under-studied Missinka River.

Arctic Grayling and Bull Trout (PEA-F19-F-2593)

This project will focus on the Parsnip, Anzac, and Table rivers, in order to study Arctic Grayling interactions with Bull Trout, as well as migration, distribution, and habitat use.

FWCP identifies Arctic Grayling monitoring needs

Prior to construction of the 1967 W.A.C. Bennett Dam and creation of the Williston Reservoir, Arctic Grayling were widespread and abundant. Today, self-sustaining populations are limited, and in many flooded lower reaches, they are not present at all.

Our Streams Action Plan identifies a high-priority action to:

  1. review existing information;
  2. summarize status and trends of Arctic Grayling and its habitats;
  3. undertake actions that are within the FWCP scope and lead directly to the development of conservation and enhancement actions; and
  4. develop a cost-effective monitoring program to assess status and trends.

To fulfill this action, we have compiled a synthesis report and prepared a monitoring framework that identifies high priority information gaps and monitoring needs related to Arctic Grayling. Projects that align with these monitoring needs are eligible for an FWCP grant.

Arctic Grayling Synthesis Report: a compilation and analysis of extensive background information which was used to identify and prioritize information gaps and monitoring needs on a watershed basis to facilitate a quicker transition to on-the ground actions for Arctic Grayling.

Arctic Grayling Monitoring Framework: a consolidated summary of recommended monitoring needs to fill information gaps as soon as possible, based on the synthesis report.

These monitoring needs must be undertaken prior to funding on-the-ground conservation and enhancement projects and include:

  1. Acquiring population data;
  2. Identifying critical habitats; and
  3. Assessing potential limiting factors.

Grant applications for projects to conserve and enhance Arctic Grayling in our Peace Region must align with our Streams Action Plan (Actions 1b-3 and 1b-4) and the monitoring needs in the synthesis report and monitoring framework.

Contact Chelsea Coady, our Peace Region Manager, at Chelsea.coady@bchydro.com or 250-561-4884.


 

Peace Region News