Abegweit First Nation
Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery
This project directly benefited wildlife by providing husbandry services to native PEI salmon and trout contained at the Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery for the purpose of stocking 4 of the most heavily fished streams in the province. It also provided the stock used as a backup for the repopulating of streams in which a fish kill, due to pesticide runoff, has occurred. This restocking can be done almost immediately depending on the time of year, instead of having to rely on the natural processes that can take years. Being able to restock quickly fills the population niche that the native salmonids occupy thus preventing non-native, and potentially invasive, species from establishing. The restocking also re-establishes the overall ecosystem niche/trophic level that the salmonids traditionally occupy therefore maintaining balance. The hatchery is open to the public every day of the week and provides hands on educational experiences for other institutions in the province.
The project goals revisited:
- 1. To work in collaboration with the Province to provide fish re-stocking and enhancement services across the island, in fulfillment of provincial contract.
- In total 120,000 Atlantic salmon were released into the Morell and West Rivers. Brook trout releases were: 20,000 each to the Morell and Brudenell Rivers; 25,000 to the Mill River, 10,000 to the Dunk/Wilmot system. Number and locations of releases after fish kills can be obtained by contacting Rosanne MacFarlane, the Provincial Freshwater Fisheries Biologist
- 2. To work in collaboration with local watershed groups, associations and communities in an effort to expand re-stocking/enhancement efforts and increase awareness regarding the importance of conservation efforts on biodiversity.
- In 2016 the ABEH worked directly with 7 provincial watershed groups in a variety of capacities. The partnering activities included broodstock collection, fry releases, Plamu Nitap Programing, educational experiences at the hatchery. Watershed groups we worked with are Souris & Area Wildlife Federation, Bedeque Bay Environmental, Morell River Management, Cascumpec Bay Watershed, Trout Unlimited Prince County, Central Queens Wildlife Federation
- 3. To provide a training environment for members of the Mi’kmaq community, provincial government employees, Atlantic Veterinary College students, UPEI and Holland College students, river management co-op groups and other interested parties.
- Educational institutions such as UPEI and Holland College either organize field trips or conduct hands on studies at the hatchery. We are very pleased to be able to accommodate these activities