Fish Habitat of the Tay River Watershed: Existing Conditions and Opportunities for Enhancement Completed by


Habitat Requirements for Selected Fish Species of the Tay River Watershed- Continued



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Habitat Requirements for Selected Fish Species of the Tay River Watershed- Continued

Species

General Habitat


habitat

Spawning

behavior



time

Feeding

Threats to Habitat


Walleye/ Yellow Pickerel

Turbid, large shallow lakes or rivers, that provide shelter from daylight; sunken trees, boulders, weed beds, or thick layers of ice and snow, prefers water temperatures of 20-23oC

Migrate to areas with cobble to coarse gravel substrate in white water or wind swept shoals of lakes, flows cannot exceed 2m/sec

Eggs randomly scattered over rock and fall into crevices, no parental care

At night during late spring, mid to end of April in Tay R.,

7-10oC



In low light conditions, mainly fish but crayfish, frogs, snails, insects, and leeches are consumed

Dams and weirs block migration to spawning habitat; siltation and sedimentation; algae growth on rocks; channelization (loss of flow and habitat diversity)

Yellow Perch


Open water of lakes with moderate vegetation, clear water with muck to sand and gravel bottoms, optimum temperature ranges from 18-22oC


Shallows of lakes and tributary streams, protected from winds and current


String of eggs adhere to plants, logs, and substrate, no parental care


Mid-April to early May,

6-12oC

Insect larvae, invertebrates, crustaceans, and fish


Increases in turbidity/ sedimentation may decrease feeding efficiency, loss of aquatic vegetation


Northern Pike


Weedy bays of lakes or warm/slow/heavily vegetated rivers, smaller pike prefer water temperatures of 18.3- 21.1oC, larger pike prefer 10-12.8oC


Shallow areas with grasses and sedges particularly with hummocks are preferred spawning habitat


Eggs randomly scattered and adhere to aquatic vegetation, no parental care


Early spring after ice-out (mid-March to April),

4.4-12oC

Solitary, territorial, and opportunistic predator,

Consumes fish, crayfish, frogs, mice, muskrats, and ducklings


Channelization (removes pools, backwaters, vegetation), dams and perched culverts may impede access to suitable areas, poorly timed water level fluctuations may hamper egg/fry development or access to suitable areas, filling of floodplains and wetlands

Habitat Requirements for Selected Fish Species of the Tay River Watershed- Continued

Species

General Habitat


habitat

Spawning

behavior



time

Feeding

Threats to Habitat


Lake Trout

Large, deep, thermally stratified, cold water lakes, prefer 9-11oC, DO >6.0 mg/L

Clean, large cobble or boulder shoals with interstitial space, in <30m of water

Eggs randomly scattered over rocky bottom, fall into rock crevices

At night during fall, late Oct.- early Nov.,

9-13oC, photoperiod critical



Predaceous, range of organisms: plankton, insects, crustaceans, fish: cisco, sculpins

Excessive nutrient inputs causing eutrophication and lowering dissolved oxygen levels; increased water temperature; sedimentation of spawning habitat

Splake (F1)


Great Lakes and smaller inland lakes that are only marginally suitable for brook or lake trout, prefer temperatures of 10-16oC, hypolimnetic DO >5.0 mg/L


Variety of substrate, gravel-broken rock rubble- boulders, maybe related to underwater up-wellings, depths of 0.5m to 4.0m


Eggs are deposited near cleaned substrate, no parental care


Day and/or night in mid-Oct. to mid-Nov., surface temp. of 6-14oC


Predaceous, zooplankton, aquatic insects, leeches, fish, fish eggs, amphibians


Sensitive preferred habitat, similar threats as lake trout


Lake Whitefish


Deep, cold, oligotrophic lakes, prefers 11.9- 19oC


Hard, stoney to sand bottom, usually in <7.6m of water, shoals similar to lake trout spawning


Eggs deposited randomly over substrate


Fall, late Oct. to early Nov., 6-8oC


A wide variety of food items, zooplankton, molluscs, fish, insects, leeches, and fish eggs


Alterations to thermal regimes; sedimentation of spawning habitat


Habitat Requirements for Selected Fish Species of the Tay River Watershed- Continued

Species

General Habitat


habitat

Spawning

behavior



Time

Feeding

Threats to Habitat


Lake Whitefish (con’t)




habitat but may migrate up rivers












Cisco (Lake Herring)


Deep, cold, oligotrophic lakes but can survive in mesotrophic lakes if sufficient oxygen supply exists at depth, pelagic, prefers temperatures of 13-18oC


Rock or gravel substrate, exhibit little preference,

1-3m deep

Eggs are broadcast over the substrate, fall into crevices


Fall, depends on temp. and lake conditions, 3-5oC


Plankton, fish eggs/fry, small fish, algae, crustaceans, insects


Alterations to thermal regimes


Ling (Burbot)


Deep waters of lakes, found in the hypolimnion in summer, preferred temperatures of 15.6- 18.3oC


Lakes and/or rivers, 1-4 feet deep over sand to gravel


10-12 inter-twined fish move in a writhing ball, no parental care


Only at night, mid-winter, January to March,

0.6-1.7oC

Voracious predator, night feeder, deepwater invertebrates, fish





Brown Bullhead


Occur near or on the bottom of shallow, warm water ponds, small lakes, shallow bays of larger lakes, and larger slow-moving streams with abundant aquatic vegetation, with mud to sand bottoms, very tolerant species


Mud-sand bottom with vegetation, stumps, rocks, or trees as protection


Male or female build nest, protect young


May and June,

21oC

Omnivorous, wide range of food items


Filling and dredging of wetlands



Habitat Requirements for Selected Fish Species of the Tay River Watershed- Continued

Species

General Habitat


habitat

Spawning

behavior



Time

Feeding

Threats to Habitat


White Sucker

Warmer, shallow lakes or warm shallow bays and tributary rivers of larger lakes

Tributary streams with gravel bottoms, near white- water

Migrate and home to streams, eggs scatter and adhere to substrate

Early spring to early June

Bottom feeders, invertebrates- molluscs, insect larvae

Barriers such as dams block and/or fragment migration to spawning habitat



Appendix 2- UTM Coordinates for Selected Enhancement Projects

T1- Long Lake- Cattle access sites, UTM E-036080 N-494915 and UTM E-036050 N-494820

T1- Long Lake- walleye spawning enhancement site, UTM E-036130 N- 494920

T1- Elbow Lake- walleye spawning enhancement site, UTM E-036295 N-494370

T3- Bobs Lake- lake trout spawning sites, UTM E-0373577 N-4946137, UTM E-0373223 N-4945628, UTM E-0373423 N-4945056, UTM E- 0373256 N- 4943204

T3- Bobs Lake- lake trout spawning sites UTM E-0374153 N-4946709 and UTM E-0373150 N-4943810

T3- Bobs Lake Fish Creek- walleye spawning site, UTM E-0374153 N-4946709 and UTM E-0373150 N-4943810

T3- Bobs Lake Bobs/Crow channel- walleye spawning site, UTM E-037180 N-494840

T3- Bobs Lake Portage Cut- walleye spawning site, UTM E-037270 N-494780

T3- Bobs Lake Thompson’s Creek- walleye/pike, UTM E-037845 N-495200

T3- Bobs Lake- Cattle access site, UTM E-037580 N-495350 UTM E-037950 N-495730


T3- Crow Lake- Green Is. lake trout spawning site, UMT E-037250 N-495245

T3- Crow Lake- Snake Is. lake trout spawning site, UTM E-037195 N-495180


T3- Crow Lake- lake trout spawning sites, Bobs/Crow Channel UTM E-037180 N-494840) and Gull shoal UTM E-037220 N-495290

T3- Crow Lake- Scott’s Creek walleye spawning site, UTM E-037140 N-495070

T4- Tay River- cattle access site, UTM E-0379902 N-4957373, UTM E-0382181 N-4959875, UTM E-0382064 N-4959457

T4- Tay River shoreline enhancements, UTM E-0380754 N-4958120, UTM E-0381237 N-4958891, UTM E-0381798 N-4959390

T5- Christie Lake- Jordan’s bridge walleye spawning enhancement, UTM E-0388519 N-4963536

T5- Christie Lake Alan/Greers Is walleye spawning enhancement site, UTM E-0387833 N-4963536

T6- Tay River- cattle access site, UTM E-0389556 N-4963760

T6- Tay River- shoreline rehabilitation sites, UTM E- 0389556 N- 4963760, UTM E- 0390973 N- 4964192, UTM E- 0391501 N- 4964281

T7- Tay River- cattle access site, UTM E- 0398007 N-4971272

Appendix 3

Glossary of Selected Acronyms and Terms




Acronyms




ANSI- Area of Natural and Scientific Interest

DFO- Fisheries and Oceans Canada

HADD- Harmful Alteration, Disruption, or Destruction (commonly utilized by DFO in reference to fish habitat)

NGO- Non Government Organization

OMNR- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources


PCRC- Parks Canada Rideau Canal

RVCA- Rideau Valley Conservation Authority




Terms




Benthic invertebrates- aquatic organisms associated with the substrate of the waterbody

Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)- a measure of the oxygen needed in a specific volume of water to decompose organic materials; the greater the amount of organic matter in the water, the greater the BOD



Cold water- summer water temperatures usually less than 22oC; capable of supporting fish species that cannot withstand temperatures exceeding 20oC for prolonged periods; if other habitat characteristics (ie. substrate conditions) are favourable these waters should support cold water fish (ie. lake trout, splake, brook trout)


Dissolved oxygen- the concentration of oxygen gas dissolved in water

Fish community- the assemblage of interacting fish species occupying a given area, type of fish community may also be used to define cold, cool, or warm water fish habitat




Habitat - generally defined as the place where a plant or animal lives

Hypereutrophication- the rapid eutrophication (weed growth) within the aquatic environment, commonly caused through human additions of nutrients

Interstitial space- the spacing or pores between adjacent rocks or substrates

Nitrogen (N)- an element that stimulates the growth of aquatic vegetation




Nursery habitat- areas within a waterbody that offer protection and enable YOY fish to develop

Phosphorus (P)- an element that stimulates the growth of aquatic vegetation


Plankton- the floating or weakly swimming organisms at the mercy of waves or current, zooplankton are the animals of this group, phytoplankton are algae

Riparian- the area bordering a lake or stream




Spawning habitat- specific areas within a waterbody appropriate for fish reproduction


Substrate- refers to the type of material on the bottom of a waterbody
Turbidity (TDS)- Total Dissolved Solids, a measure of light penetration through water

Warm water- summer water temperatures that usually exceed 22oC; capable of supporting fish species tolerant of temperatures exceeding 20oC for prolonged periods

Watershed- entire region drained by a waterway that drains into a lake or reservoir; total area above a given point on a stream that contributes water to the flow at that point; the topographic dividing line from which surface streams flow in two different directions


Wetlands- lands that are seasonally or permanently flooded by shallow water as well as lands where the water table is close to the surface; in either case the presence of abundant water has caused the formation of hydric soils and has favoured the dominance of either hydrophytic or water tolerant plants




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