Souris and Area Branch of the PEI Wildlife Federation is considered the leading watershed group in Prince Edward Island. We are pleased to have received funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) through a two year Improving Brook Trout and Atlantic Salmon in Eastern Prince Edward Island program.
HSP has previously funded SAB projects that include the identification of Brook Trout critical habitat especially groundwater upwelling areas (springs) and the documentation of Brook Trout spawning areas. This work was completed during the Fall of 2014 when staff and volunteers walked the streams identifying and counting Atlantic Salmon and Brook Trout redds. Also, development of a Brook Trout conservation plan highlighting future enhancement work including culvert mitigation projects, stream enhancement and critical priority areas for work. Public education and outreach activities that included a community nature walk that took place on February 28th, 2015, a newletter article in SAB's January 2015 edition of "Souris & Area Watershed News" on Brook Trout, tree planting near the Brook Trout Nursery in the Souris Line Road and interpretive signage placed at critical habitat sites for Brook Trout that outline the importance of this particular habitat to the survival of the species.
Components of this project include specific watersheds which include Naufrage, Priest Pond, North Lake, Cross and Bear Rivers:
1) On-the ground enhancements activities that include brush mattresses, removal of blockages, hanging culvert mitigations (Naufrage) and
upper headwater work for Brook Trout.
2) Specific monitoring activities that include fish weir installation, habitat and electro-fishing surveys and water quality monitoring that includes data logger installation and Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) which is an aquatic program used for assessing the health of fresh water ecosystems in Canada.
3) Outreach , landowner and community stewardships that include the Citizen Science Program, school field trips and presentations,
community meetings and workshops to specifically discuss
rehabilitation and monitoring and landowner stewardshi[ to provide
support for definitive rehabilitation projects.
Souris and Area Branch of the PEI Wildlife Federation is pleased to have received funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) through the newly created Prevention Stream.
Previously HSP funding was limited to projects focusing on species listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act , however starting in 2014, the Prevention Stream was expanded to include projects focusing on improving habitat, mitigating threats and engaging Canadians in the protection of non-listed species.
Our project focuses on the improvement of Brook Trout populations and habitat within the Souris area. Project goal of improvement of Brook Trout populations will be accomplished through the development of a conservation plan for the next few years identifying Brook Trout critical habitat, and completing on-the-ground enhancement projects to improve important habitat area. Involving the local community is important component of this project.
Components of this project include:
1) Identification of Brook Trout critical habitat especially groundwater upwelling areas (springs) and the documentation of Brook Trout spawning areas. This work was completed during the Fall of 2014 when staff and volunteers walked the streams identifying and counting Atlantic Salmon and Brook Trout redds.
2) Development of a Brook Trout conservation plan highlighting future enhancement work including culvert mitigation projects, stream enhancement and critical priority areas for work. Click here for this document
3) Public education and outreach activities including:
- Community nature walk that took place on February 28th. Click here
for pictures from this event
- Newsletter article on Brook Trout. Click here to see article
- Planting of trees near the Brook Trout Nursery in Souris Line Road.
- Interpretive signage to be placed at critical habitat of Brook Trout outlining the importance of such habitat to the survival of the species. Click here for a copy of the sign.
Atlantic salmon populations in our region (Gaspe-Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence) are considered to be of “special concern”. This status indicates they are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered for a variety of reasons, both natural and anthropogenic. It is estimated there are 102,263 adult Atlantic salmon in this population, representing at 28% decline in the total population.
Souris & Area Wildlife’s management area boasts some of the most productive annual Atlantic salmon runs on Prince Edward. Our Class 1 Wilderness Rivers, those capable of sustaining annual runs of Atlantic salmon barring catastrophic events, include North Lake Creek, Priest Pond, Cross River and Naufrage River. In 2011 these four rivers accounted for approximately 46.15% of all documented spawning activity in the 23 known salmon rivers on PEI. In addition, spawning activity has been recorded in both Cow River and Hay River, which has not been documented since 2002.
The Souris & Area Branch of the PEI Wildlife Federation is pleased to receive funding for an Atlantic salmon enhancement project through Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP). This program was established to “contribute to the recovery of endangered, threatened, and other species at risk, and to prevent other species from becoming a conservation concern...” Since 2000, between $9 and $13 million per year has been allocated to projects for the conservation and protection of species at risk and their habitats. The HSP has provided $30,000 to Souris & Area Wildlife to fund Atlantic salmon restoration activities. Activities funded through this project include Atlantic salmon redd surveys, habitat and riparian assessments, school presentations, trail cutting and maintenance, and the installation of a gabion. Click here to see pictures of the activities made possible by the Habitat Stewardship Program!