Souris and Area Branch of the PEI Wildlife Federation
Diadromous Fish Monitoring in North East PEI
This project aimed to monitor the return of diadromous fish in North Lake Creek, with particular focus on Atlantic salmon and Brook trout.
The streams in our management area are amongst the most pristine on PEI and support generally stable, and even in some cases increasing, populations of fish. We monitored the return of Atlantic salmon and Brook trout through redd surveys and a fish trap recording time of return, condition of the fish and preferred breeding locations.
We installed a fish trap in North Lake Creek to record returning fish. We collaborated with UPEI on this project to aid in a research project into the “genetically distinct, potentially ancestral” population of Atlantic salmon found in our northside rivers. Between 10th Oct and 10th Dec we caught 18 Atlantic salmon and 190 Brook trout.
We also conducted redd surveys in 9 streams – North Lake Creek, Priest Pond Creek, Cross River, Bear River, Hay River, Cow River, Naufrage River, Fortune River and Souris River. We counted 164 Atlantic salmon redds and 86 Brook trout redds altogether in the streams. Redd count surveys weren’t as successful this year as previous years, potentially due to very unfavourable weather, winter coming early, and high and very dark water conditions in our watersheds. Atlantic salmon redd counts overall in our rivers are down 77% from last year.