WATERSHED MONITORING PROJECTCategory: 2020, Community Grant, Current, Grant, Water
Ghost Watershed Alliance Society in partnership with the Bow River Basin Council
The Ghost Watershed Alliance Society (GWAS) is a Watershed Stewardship Group with a mission to protect the integrity of the Ghost Watershed. GWAS is actively working towards closing information and data gaps that exist within the watershed.
Elevated turbidity values have been observed in the Waiparous Creek sub-basin of the Ghost Watershed for many years. Much work has been done in the last few years to reduce sediments run-off, e.g., bio- engineering of stream banks, some of which GWAS organized or was involved in, bridges were installed on designated recreational trails and unsustainable trails have been closed. To evaluate the impact of sedimentation on the aquatic ecosystem, monitoring invertebrates is a valuable tool. Benthic invertebrates are an important indicator for the health of streams. Certain species can only persist in streams with low sedimentation rates, clean and cold water. Invertebrates are also an important food source for native fish species such as westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout, both of which exist in the Ghost Watershed. The Ghost River SOW Report (2018) recommended aquatic biomonitoring be undertaken in the Ghost Watershed following the CABiN (Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network) protocol.
In 2019, four members of GWAS participated in a 2-day training session organized by Living Lakes Canada (LLC) to become certified Field Technicians under the updated CABiN protocol, with one member proceeding to the CABiN Project Manager certification level. This year, GWAS will start to collect samples following the CABiN protocol as well as for the STREAM DNA project. STREAM is a collaboration between LLC, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the University of Guelph, which involves the collection of eDNA from rivers across Canada.