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Recovery Strategy for Gravel Chub in Canada [Proposed] 2007


Species at Risk Act

Recovery Strategy Series

Recovery Strategy for Gravel Chub (Erimystax x-punctatus) in Canada

Gravel Chub

 Gravel Chub image

About the Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series

What is the Species at Risk Act (SARA)? 

SARA is the Act developed by the federal government as a key contribution to the common national effort to protect and conserve species at risk in Canada. SARA came into force in 2003 and one of its purposes is “to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity.” 

What is recovery?

In the context of species at risk conservation, recovery is the process by which the decline of an endangered, threatened or extirpated species is arrested or reversed, and threats are removed or reduced to improve the likelihood of the species’ persistence in the wild. A species will be considered recovered when its long-term persistence in the wild has been secured.

What is a recovery strategy?

A recovery strategy is a planning document that identifies what needs to be done to arrest or reverse the decline of a species. It sets goals and objectives and identifies the main areas of activities to be undertaken. Detailed planning is done at the action plan stage.

Recovery strategy development is a commitment of all provinces and territories and of three federal agencies -- Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency and Fisheries and Oceans Canada -- under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk.  Sections 37–46 of SARA (http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/the_act/default_e.cfm) spell out both the required content and the process for developing recovery strategies published in this series.

Depending on the status of the species and when it was assessed, a recovery strategy has to be developed within one to two years after the species is added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk.  Three to four years is allowed for those species that were automatically listed when SARA came into force.

What’s next?

In most cases, one or more action plans will be developed to define and guide implementation of the recovery strategy. Nevertheless, directions set in the recovery strategy are sufficient to begin involving communities, land users, and conservationists in recovery implementation. Cost-effective measures to prevent the reduction or loss of the species should not be postponed for lack of full scientific certainty.

The series

This series presents the recovery strategies prepared or adopted by the federal government under SARA. New documents will be added regularly as species get listed and as strategies are updated.

To learn more 

To learn more about the Species at Risk Act and recovery initiatives, please consult the SARA Public Registry (http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/) and the web site of the Recovery Secretariat    (http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/recovery/default_e.cfm).

Recovery Strategy for Gravel Chub (Erimystax x-punctatus) in Canada [Proposed]

June 2007

Recommended citation:

Edwards, A.L., S.M. Reid and B. Cudmore. 2007. Recovery strategy for gravel chub (Erimystax x-punctatus) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa. viii +19 pp.

Additional copies:

You can download additional copies from the SARA Public Registry (http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/)

Cover illustration: ©Joe Tomelleri

Également disponible en français sous le titre

« Programme de rétablissement du gravelier (Erimystax x-punctatus) au Canada [projet] »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, 2007. All rights reserved.

ISBN    To come

Cat. no.  To come

Content (excluding the cover illustration) may be used without permission, with appropriate credit to the source.


This recovery strategy for gravel chub has been prepared in cooperation with the jurisdictions described in the Preface.  Fisheries and Oceans Canada has reviewed and accepts this document as its gravel chub recovery strategy as required by the Species at Risk Act.  This recovery strategy also constitutes advice to other jurisdictions and organizations on the recovery goals, approaches and objectives that are recommended to protect and recover the species.

Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada or any other jurisdiction alone.  In the spirit of the National Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans invites all Canadians to join Fisheries and Oceans Canada in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the gravel chub and Canadian society as a whole.  Fisheries and Oceans Canada will support implementation of this strategy to the extent possible, given available resources and its overall responsibility for species at risk conservation.  Implementation of the strategy by other participating jurisdictions and organizations is subject to their respective policies, appropriations, priorities, and budgetary constraints.

The goals, objectives and recovery approaches identified in the strategy are based on the best existing knowledge and are subject to modifications resulting from new findings and revised objectives.  The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will report on progress within five years.

This strategy will be complemented by one or more action plans that will provide details on specific recovery measures to be taken to support conservation of these species.  The Minister will take steps to ensure that, to the extent possible Canadians interested in, or affected, by these measures will be consulted.


Under the Species at Risk Act, the responsible jurisdiction for gravel chub is Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  Gravel chub used to occur in Ontario, and the government of Ontario cooperated in the production of this recovery strategy.


This document was prepared by Amy Edwards, Scott Reid and Becky Cudmore. 

Gravel Chub Recovery Team:

Becky Cudmore (Chair) – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Science, Burlington ON

Amy Edwards (Coordinator) – DFO Contractor, Dundas ON

Scott Reid – Trent University (formerly Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)

Joe Delaronde – DFO, Fish Habitat Management, LondonON

Erling Holm – Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto ON

John Lyons – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison WI

John Schwindt – Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, London ON

Jerry Smith – University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology, Ann Arbor MI

Val Towsley – Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, Chatham ON


A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals.  The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support environmentally-sound decision making.

Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it is recognized that strategies may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the intended benefits.  The recovery planning process based on national guidelines directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts on non-target species or habitats.  The results of the SEA are incorporated directly in the strategy itself, but are also summarized below.

This recovery strategy will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the recovery of Gravel Chub.  The potential for the strategy to inadvertently lead to adverse effects on other species was considered.  The SEA concluded that this strategy will clearly benefit the environment and will not entail any significant adverse effects.


SARA defines residence as: “a dwelling-place, such as a den, nest or other similar area or place, that is occupied or habitually occupied by one or more individuals during all or part of their life cycles, including breeding, rearing, staging, wintering, feeding or

hibernating[SARA S2(1)].

Residence descriptions, or the rationale for why the residence concept does not apply to a given species, are posted on the SARA public registry: http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/plans/residence_e.cfm


The gravel chub is a freshwater fish and was listed as Extirpated under SARA when the Act came into force in June 2003.  The Species at Risk Act (SARA, Section 37) requires the competent minister to prepare recovery strategies for listed Extirpated, Endangered or Threatened species. Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Central and Arctic Region, led the development of this recovery strategy.  The proposed strategy meets SARA requirements in terms of content and process (Sections 39-41).  It was developed in cooperation or consultation with:

  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
  •  New York Department of Environmental Conservation