Drainage Contractor

How farm drains become fish habitat

August 14, 2019
By Strathroy Age Dispatch

A group of researchers with the Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Program within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (FDO) based in Burlington, ON, are catching fish and classifying farm drains in southwestern Ontario. The classification of drains is an ongoing effort by the DFO, with the aim of simplifying drain management and maintenance.

The team of six has been using electrofishing and seine nets to catch the fish in a dedicated section, in order to identify species and numbers. A farm drain is considered a fish habitat because a habitat is “any watercourse, natural or manmade, that directly or indirectly, supports fish life cycle.” A small drain may support schools of brook trout, while a large drain may have a few suckers.

Mitigation measures that can limit damage to fish habitat include drain maintenance during “low flow” of water, avoiding spawning season and cleaning half the drain. | READ MORE

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