November 30, 2020. Prepared by Slocan River Streamkeepers
Prepared for Columbia Basin Trust
Slocan River Community Water Monitoring 2019-2020 is a community-based monitoring program conducted by the Slocan River Streamkeepers. It is a continuation of a program that has been happening intermittently since the 1990’s. The program aims to monitor the effects of climate change and human activities on aquatic and floodplain ecosystems that provide habitat for many species and provide drinking sources and agricultural irrigation to local communities. Additionally, the project involves an environmental education program that aims to connect students to the rich and diverse web of life that contributes to a healthy watershed.
This report documents the ecological assessment and educational outreach program in the Slocan Valley for the 2019-2020 year. Previous assessments occurred between 2008 and 2013. Activities resumed in August 2019 and will continue into 2021. Four important issues threatening the integrity of the Slocan Valley watershed were chosen to be addressed:
- Effects of turbidity caused by stream bank erosion on water quality and aquatic species downstream of the landslide on Little Slocan River,
- Changes of water levels on community waters sources,
- The recovery of aquatic life in Lemon Creek.
- Rising water temperatures in Slocan River and its effect on aquatic ecosystems.
February, 2, 2020 Prepared by Dominique Monnier in collaboration with Jennifer Yeow & Joel Russ. Published by Slocan River Streamkeepers
In 2018 Slocan River Streamkeepers Society received a grant from the RDCK to create a document to inform (and provide recommendations) on ecosystem based management strategies to maintain the ecological and hydrological integrity of the watershed. Ecosystem-based conservation planning is a management strategy that as the first priority “maintains or restores natural ecological integrity — including biodiversity across the full range of spatial (from very large to very small areas) and temporal (from short to long periods of time) scales.”
For the purpose of the analysis, the study area includes the Slocan River from its outlet at Slocan Lake to the confluence with the Kootenay River. This gap analysis was based on two key steps: 1) a literature review, and 2) Interviews with the local scientists, members of Streamkeepers and local residents who have been involved with studies of, and conservation efforts for, the Slocan River.
Darcie Quamme, MSc., R.P.Bio., Integrated Ecological Research
Rhia MacKenzie, BArch., BIT, Slocan River Streamkeepers
Gregoire Lamoureux, Slocan River Streamkeepers Society
Ryan Durand, R.P.Bio., Durand Ecological Ltd., Crescent Valley
And Richard Johnson, P.Eng., Opus Petroleum Engineering.
May 31, 2018
(Prepared July 2018) Mainstreams Environmental Society partnered with the Slocan River Streamkeepers to conduct baseline water quality monitoring in Lemon Creek during two years (2016 & 2017). Lemon Creek was identified as a priority for monitoring, since it had high fisheries values, and is in an area with the potential for increased development pressures. In addition, there was concern about effects from a fuel spill that occurred up the creek in 2013.
Monitoring was conducted at a site near the confluence with the Slocan River. Three components were monitored: benthic macro-invertebrate community using the reference model provided by CABIN, water/sediment quality, and hydrologic characteristics (i.e., velocity and stream flow). Only one parameter, pH, exceeded guidelines for the protection of aquatic life, and only in one sample. All others met the aquatic and drinking water guidelines. No indications from the water/sediment quality or the hydrometric results of the habitat being impaired.
Through this project 47 species-at-risk were confirmed in the Slocan Watershed in 154 locations. An additional 11 species that have a high potential to be at-risk were identified, as well. The species include vertebrates, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, vascular plants and non-vascular plants. This represents a considerable increase in the number of species-at-risk known to exist in the watershed, although several species on the list are well documented but are not tracked, or do not show up, on CDC data.
Lotic Environmental Ltd. completed a review of data collected by the Slocan River Streamkeeper Society at Lemon Creek Site 3, through the Columbia Basin Water Quality Monitoring Project. This review included analysis of data collected in 2016 for the four components of the project: 1) water quality data, 2) continual temperature data, 3) hydrometric data, and 4) Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network data. Lotic Environmental’s objective was to conduct a quality assurance/quality control review of data, compare water quality results to applicable guidelines, interpret results, and make recommendations.
Kat McGlynn and former Slocan River Streamkeepers chair Rhia Mackenzie undertook a project to learn about the dietary habits of the river otter. Here are some results of their project, provided in poster form. (Use the “zoom” or + function to enlarge the display.)
Preliminary Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory (SEI) mapping of the Slocan Valley was completed during the summer of 2012. The main purpose of SEI mapping is to describe the ecological diversity of a given area, and determine the type and extent of vulnerable and rare elements. This preliminary report describes the type and extent of ecosystems occurring in the Slocan Valley. The mapping was used to develop regionally specific sensitive ecosystem classes and subclasses which will
be refined in consultation with the BC Conservation Data Centre.
This report – chiefly involved with the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) project – presents research, analysis, and discussion concerning 11 sample sites on Slocan River and tributary creeks. Water-quality and aquatic ecology: benthic community composition, water-quality testing, sediment-guideline acceptability assessment (guideline review), etc.
Rainbow trout habitat throughout the Slocan River was assessed using aerial photography, contributing to the development of a database of relevant biological and physical. This study is intended to enable the identification of sites with the greatest potential for the return of rainbow trout productivity.
In 2010, benthic invertebrate specimens were collected in the fall, at the Nixon Island side channel (adjacent to the Island) below Lemon Creek. The report summarizes methods, and findings for the 2010 collection at the Nixon Island Side Channel. This study was intended to establish a benchmark of the numbers and types of insects present in this side channel of the Slocan River. As such, the data represents a baseline that can be related to fish numbers, species, size, age class and overall fish health.
An initial inventory identified over 80 side channels, major and minor, throughout the Slocan River, with side channels being a critical component to rainbow trout ecology. Some channels were fully functioning, some not. Out of a total of 45 “significant” channels, 10 were selected for further investigations (3 fully functioning to act as benchmarks, 7 having potential for restoration).
This report documents the sixth year of a multi-year ecological assessment and educational outreach in the Slocan Valley conducted by the Slocan River Streamkeepers. Activities occurred from April 2008 through January 2009, which the report organizes as being under three areas: 1) monitoring and assessments; 2) outreach and education; 3) restoration. Report includes discussion, tables, and graphs.
This reports on a study undertaken in an effort to better understand fish population dynamics and links between numbers, age class and species of fish in relation to food source, a study of benthic macroinvertebrates, the fishes’ main food source.
This reports on the monitoring of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) population in the Slocan River. A spike in population in 2006 was indicated, driven by the production of trout in the Lemon Creek index site. By 2007, trout from the Lemon site had redistributed throughout the river, causing a reduction in the number of trout in the Lemon site, while other sites in the river experienced an increase in numbers. By 2008 reduction in the overall number of trout was indicated, returning to population levels experienced pre 2006.
Continuing the work begun in 2003, this report informs about four years of monitoring. The majority of rainbow trout in the Slocan River spawn in the mainstem of the river below the outlet of Slocan Lake. Spawning is reasonably concentrated both in timing and geographic position with a bridge crossing over primary spawning habitat — conditions that offer an efficient opportunity to enumerate spawning fish and redds in the Slocan River. The number of redds in 2006 was the highest total count observed in the four years of monitoring.
The report is from the beginning of Slocan River Streamkeepers’ long-term monitoring of a variety of environmental and biological variables in the river, to serve as a baseline from which to monitor ecological change. Spawning productivity of rainbow trout were identified as a reasonable measurement of ecosystem health and a valuable biological variable to monitor over time. The intent of this survey was to collect data for comparison from year to year.
Concerned with the Slocan River fishery, this final report published in June 2000, at the end of extensive research by the Fish in the River Working Group, became the impetus for the formation of the Slocan River Streamkeepers Society. The report was developed in conjunction with Selkirk College and funded by Fisheries Renewal BC.
Slocan River Bull Trout Spawning Assessment 2018 – prepared by Robyn L. Irvine and Jeremy T. A. Baxter – February 2019
Lemon Creek Spill: Biological Monitoring Program Final – Report – prepared by SNC-Lavalin Inc. for Executive Flight Centre Fuel Services Ltd – August 2016
Reconnaissance (1:20,000) Fish and Fish Habitat Inventory of Several Slocan River Tributaries and Falls and Bird Creeks – prepared by Mirkwood Ecological Consultants Ltd. – March, 2006
Slocan River Rainbow Trout Population Assessment: 2005 -prepared by Mirkwood Ecological Consultants Ltd. – June, 2006
Slocan River Rainbow Trout Population Assessment- 2000 – prepared by G.G. Oliver- January 2001
1999 Slocan River Watershed: Benthic Macroinvertebrate Assessment. – prepared by Aquatic Resources Limited – April 2000
Slocan River Summer Temperature in 1997 &1998: Implications for Rainbow Trout Distribution and Production – prepared by Steve Arndt, M.Sc.
for Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program – September 1999
Slocan and Salmo Rivers Temperature Monitoring Summer 1997 – Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program – 1998
Migratory, Overwintering and Spawning Behaviour of Rainbow Trout in the Slocan River – prepared by James Baxter and Robyn Roome – 1998
Slocan River Rainbow Trout Capture and Telemetry Implant Project: 1997 – prepared by Mirkwood Ecological Consultants Ltd. – 1997
Fish Inventory and Stream Classification of Selected Streams in SBFEP, Arrow Lake Forest District Operating Area – prepared by Wild Stone Resources Ltd.- 1996
Report on the Slocan Valley Water Monitoring Program 1994-1995 prepared for Slocan Valley Watershed Alliance by Passmore Laboratory Ltd
Floodplain Mapping Study Slocan River, British Columbia Design Brief – prepared for Water management Branch Ministry of Environment BC prepared by Northwest Hydraulic Consultant Ltd North Vancouver, BC – February 1989
Biophysical Resources of the Slocan Valley 1982 – Terrestrial Studies Branch. Ministry of Environment. Victoria, BC