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Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: DFO-16-HQUE-00190

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. DFO-16-HQUE-00190 is issued.

Purpose:
Activity affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity

Description:
The repair work on the wall, the access road to the dam crest, as well as the installation of protection equipment with inflatable bladders involves lowering the water level of the St­François River upstream from the East Angus dam. The water level will be lowered to 177.05 metres, 1.25 metres below the normal operating level. This will affect roughly 850 metres upstream from the dam, mainly affecting the littoral zone. The dewatered area will total slightly more than 10,000 m². The water level will be lowered for approximately ten (10) days. The Channel Darter and other fish that were unable to reach the main channel upstream and downstream will be caught and moved to the part of the river where there is still running water. The fish will be caught in a seine and transported in pails. The water in the pails will come directly from the river.

Start Date: 2017-08-01   End Date: 2017-10-01

Issuing Authority: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Quebec

Affected Species:

Pre-Conditions:
a) Alternatives: The project that was initially submitted in 2016 proposed completing the work within two years. Following changes, the duration of the project was reduced to six weeks. To lower the water level upstream for an even shorter period, the chosen solution involves completing the work within approximately ten (10) working days. b) Measures to minimize impact: The period to complete the work was determined so as to avoid the Channel Darter’s spawning period, which starts on August 1. The water level will be lowered gradually, at a rate of 10 cm per hour, to enable fish to reach the main channel. A minimum flow of approximately 3 m³/s will be maintained to ensure that the base of the dam is wet and that the portion immediately downstream can be fed by water. The banks in the entire affected portion will be visited and fish cut off from the main channel will be caught and transported in pails before being returned to the river. The water in the pails will come directly from the river. With these methods, there should be no fish mortalities. c) Effects on survival and recovery: In the past, no Channel Darter were caught when the water level was lowered in this area (three times since 2014). Since the water level was lowered gradually, perhaps the fish were able to reach the river without any trouble. Moreover, this area may not provide preferential habitat. Given this information, work in the area upstream from the dam will likely not affect the survival or recovery of the species, since the habitat will be dewatered only temporarily.

Other Relevant Information:
Special attention must also be given to prevent the mortality of Northern Brook Lamprey (Ichthyomyzon fossor), even though it is not the subject of this permit. This species has special concern status under SARA and is present in large numbers in the project’s zone of influence.

Contact Person(s)
Jean-Yves Savaria
Manager
Fisheries Protection Division, Regulatory Reviews, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
850 route de la Mer, P.O. Box 1000
Mont-Joli , QC
G5H 3Z4
habitat-qc@dfo-mpo.gc.ca