On Ishkibbible Creek, there is a sloping bedrock fall approximately 300 m upstream from Lake Superior. Electro-fishing done in 2002 confirmed that the fall is a barrier to migrating rainbow trout. A high density of young-of-the-year, and a few yearling rainbow trout were found downstream, and none upstream of the fall. We also found that habitat for larger (yearling and older) brook and rainbow trout was very limited as there was very little deep-water habitat up or downstream of the fall.
In November 2002, a two-day project was completed to facilitate fish movement over the fall. Work entailed using a rock hammer mounted on an excavator to channelize flow over the fall and create resting pockets near the top. The water level at the base of the fall was raised by building a low riffle 10 m downstream. This created a pool that effectively reduced the height of the fall and provided a much needed resting pool and deep water habitat for larger juvenile fish.
For 2003, we are planning to monitor the site during the spring to determine if fish are passing successfully and whether the riffle and resting pockets are functioning as desired. We also plan to do some vegetation plantings and install cover logs in the pool with the help of a Westgate Secondary School science class. Improvements to habitat on other reaches of the stream may also be considered. MNR would like to thank the Township of Shuniah and local residents for their support of this project.
- Stephen Scholten