Abegweit Conservation Society
Moving Toward Ecosystem-Based Management in the Midgell Watershed
The main goal of the "Moving Toward Ecosystem-Based Management in the Midgell Watershed" Project focused on applying ecosystem-based management concepts by attempting to link past and existing monitoring and rehabilitation activities in the Midgell watershed on PEI to the principles outlined in "Principles for Ensuring Healthy and Productive Freshwater Ecosystems" (Laponte et al 2013).
Existing data of fish populations gathered through electrofishing, PIT tagging and redd survey was increased in 2019 and will be utilized to identify trends and gaps to be applied toward the protection of salmonid species populations and their habitat. In 2019 the fish trap at Pius MacDonald's Pond was active from September 25th to November 6th. Fourteen adult salmon (grilse) were tagged, as were 4 salmon parr, and 25 adult brook trout. One more antenna was installed. The two established population index sites were electrofished and redd counts were carried out from Elm Road to head of tide on the main branch. Monitoring of stream habitat in 2019 included Macroinvertebrate sampling and habitat assessments at 3 sites along with water temperature monitoring via Hobo loggers at 12 long-term locations within the watershed.
Habitat rehabilitation activities in the main branch resulted in the establishment of connectivity in 1 km south of the Elm Road to the McCarrick's tributary. Enhancement work was started on the tributary south of the Church Road (225 m U/S, 250m D/S) by clearing alder encroachment and inactive beaver dams. Improved water flow can enhance natural fluvial processes responsible for creating and maintaining habitat such as pools and riffles, which can result in increased spawning success, holding habitat and juvenile rearing areas as well as improve water quality. In 2019, 1,000 native trees and shrubs were planted in the riparian zone of Midgell at 3 locations. Native tree and shrub planting will speed up regeneration of woody plant material within the riparian zone that will eventually contribute natural, on-site large wood entering the stream channels.