Aquatic Connectivity Assessment Project (ACA) – DFO

Aquatic Conservation Iniative is currently working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on the Aquatic Connectivity Assessment project. The goal of this project is to assess connectivity in fish-bearing watercourses, with a focus on salmonid species.

Connectivity assessments are focused on points along waterways that have potentially impacted aquatic connectivity by culverts, bridges, and physical barriers on fish bearing watercourses. Connectivity Assessments were completed along provincial roads, municipal roads, resource roads, transmission lines, and along the NL T’Railway.

Connectivity assessments were completed across 73 sites across the Baie de Verde Peninsula.

Habitat Stewardship Program for Aquatic Species at Risk (HSP) – SEM Ltd. & DFO & Fluvarium

The Habitat Stewardship Prohram for Aquatic Species at Risk is a partnered project with The Fluvarium and SEM Ltd. a multidisciplinary consulting firm based in Newfoundland and Labrador. This project aims to address knowledge gaps in North American Eel populations in Newfoundland and better understand habitat use and life phase assessments of urban populations of American eel.

American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) is currently listed as a threatened species by the Commitee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC, 2012). The habitat use of the american eels is exceptionally complex as the species resides in oceanic, coastal, estuarine, and freshwater environments during different life stages of the species. The American Eel plays an important ecological role in aquatic ecosystems as a major predatory fish in both freshwaters and marine systems and thus a vector for nutrient transport between these different ecosystems.

In 2023, we researched elver recruitment, yellow-phase resident eel population estimates, and silver eel migration in the St. John’s region along Rennies River and Quidi Vidi Lake for the first time ever. In 2024, our team will work continue this work through radio tagging eels, tracking eels, and completing habitat assessments in the St. John’s region.