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Recovery Strategy for the Atlantic Whitefish

Appendix B: Schedule of Studies to Identify Critical Habitat

 In the absence of sufficient, long-term studies on habitat use to identify the critical habitat of Atlantic whitefish within this recovery strategy, SARA requires under section 41 (1c.1) that a ‘Schedule of Studies’ be prepared. The following research activities in Table 2 target key knowledge gaps on the habitat requirements of this species.  Accompanying each activity is an assessment of the overall priority (recovery or survival), potential partners, and estimated timing.  It is hoped the implementation of the following schedule will yield information that will allow for the description of critical habitat for this species.  It is important to note that activities outlined in this schedule are subject to priorities and budgetary constraints of the participating jurisdictions and organizations. Consequently, these activities may not necessarily be completed within the timelines established below.  It should also be noted that it may be possible to designate critical habitat under Section 58 of SARA before the end of the timeline indicated in Table 2.

Table 2. Schedule of studies to identify critical habitat for Atlantic whitefish, including research activities, level of priority, possible partners, start date and estimated timing.
Research ActivitiesPriorityStart dateEstimated Timing
 survival or recovery(fiscal year)

05/

06

06/

07

07/

08

08/

09

09/

10

Re-evaluate the spatial and temporal distribution of Atlantic whitefish in the Petite Rivière watershed for all life history stages:

  • the population within the 3 lakes (Minamkeak, Hebb and Milipsigate)
  • the anadromous component contingent on the provision for fish passage

Bathymetrically map the 3 lakes to identify and delineate potential critical habitat

Survival

Recovery

1999

ongoing

xxxxx

Conduct radio telemetry studies to identify:

  • seasonal foraging areas
  • thermal refugia
  • spawning habitat
  • rearing habitat
  • seasonal migration (both landlocked and anadromous forms)

Survival

Survival

Survival

Survival

Survival/ Recovery

2005xxxxx

Conduct biological collection of prey species in the Petite Rivière watershed to:

  • assess spatial and temporal distribution within the 3 lakes
  • evaluate relative contribution to Atlantic whitefish life history stages

Survival

Survival

2005

ongoing

xxx  

Evaluate the factors inhibiting / limiting anadromy in the Petite Rivière watershed which include:

  • physical barriers to fish passage
  • physiological constraints on anadromy

Recovery

Recovery

2003

ongoing

xxxxx

Potential partners could include: Atlantic Whitefish Conservation and Recovery Team, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation, Bridgewater Public Service Commission,  Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History