SNC Fishery in Good Shape this Summer

23-Aug-2013 18-Oct-2013

One of the surprising things to many people about the 4,000 square-km South Nation River watershed is the number of fish species calling it home.

In recent years, more than 50 species have been identified in the South Nation and its tributaries extending from the St. Lawrence Seaway at Prescott to the Ottawa River at Plantagenet.

“People are fooled because many of the streams within the watershed are shallow and murky,” said South Nation Conservation Resource Technician Ryan Robson. “But that doesn’t mean they don’t support aquatic life and they do in abundance.”

Lately, with the assistance of summer students, Robson has been implementing SNC’s seasonal electro-fishing program designed to update the authority on the state of the regional fishery. The shock technique allows fish temporarily stunned to be examined and data recorded; fish do not suffer permanent damage.

To date this year, 26 species have been observed across the watershed, most notably northern pike and smallmouth bass. Some 21 different sites have been sampled, with a high concentration this season on the Bearbrook sub-watershed.

“The presence of game fish such as pike and bass is particularly gratifying because conditions must be ideal to support them.”

Fish temporarily netted are counted and bulk weight is taken to provide information on biomass. Larger fish are measured individually with length and weight recorded.

“Along the way, we gain information about general health of the various species, propagation, predators and habitat,” Robson observed. “The results continue to indicate the South Nation fishery is alive and well.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Ryan Robson, 877-984-2948, ext. 224.