01 Sep Shorespawning Kokanee Habitat Restoration Project Update
The end of the summer is a busy time for most of us around the lake, this is especially true for us here at Friends of Kootenay Lake. Over the past month, our team has made significant progress on our Shore Spawning Kokanee Habitat Restoration Project.
Shore Spawning Kokanee are a genetically distinct population of Kokanee in Kootenay Lake, and their habitat has experienced degradation due to development and changing water levels on the lake. Fluctuating water levels, changes to the shoreline, and lack of the proper material for creating redds (nests) all contribute to the challenges Kokanee are facing in our region.
Through this project, Friends of Kootenay Lake has worked alongside the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Fish and Wildlife Biologists, community advocates and retired experts to develop and carry out a restoration pilot project that will tell us more about how habitat enhancement may benefit our shore spawning Kokanee.
We have now sifted through about 72 cubic meters of gravel in order to come up with a total of 60 cubic meters of rounded gravel which we expect will be favoured by shore spawning Kokanee to make their redds
Our next steps involve site logistics such as marking our site before the gravel gets deposited in the selected site. We will then install data temperature loggers, which will help us keep track of water temperature in the redds throughout the year. At the end of October, we are installing egg tubes and other equipment to measure at what rate eggs can develop in this enhanced habitat. After the initial restoration work the site will be monitored by our staff and local volunteers to determine if the site is being used by shore spawning Kokanee, their presence and the development of redds will be recorded.
Into 2021, once the water levels are low enough, our team will go back to check the data from temperature loggers, check on the egg tubes, and take care of any maintenance that the gravel may need.
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