Integrating fish passage considerations into cultural and ecological connectivity in the Red River watershed
Aquatic Ecosystem Health
Ongoing water management efforts that mitigate extreme flows to reduce flooding impacts on infrastructure throughout the Red River watershed have led to concerns about fish passage over existing dams as well as through or around current and pending water diversion projects. Many of these species are both ecologically and culturally significant. Lake Sturgeon recovery and reintroduction efforts accentuate the linkage between ecology and culture as this species is viewed as a sentinel indicator of a properly functioning ecosystem because they typically need long reaches of river to complete their life cycle. Lake Sturgeon are regarded as spiritual keepers of the fishery in the Ojibwe culture. Here we propose to assess movement of Lake Sturgeon and several other native species of concern (e.g., Bigmouth Buffalo, Channel Catfish, etc.) to evaluate whether there is sufficient connectivity in the Red River Watershed to allow completed life-cycles.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, State of Minnesota, White Earth Nation, Rainy River First Nations, Province of Manitoba, State of North Dakota