Hydro grants help habitat studies

Over $1.4 million approved for nine fish and 16 wildlife projects  

Chu Cho Environmental, Wildlife Infometrics, McLeod Lake Indian Band, and Mackenzie Nature Observatory were four of several regional organizations to receive grants from BC Hydro’s Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program for 2022/23.

The projects will conserve and enhance aquatic and terrestrial habitat, improve fish passage, and fill important data gaps about fish and wildlife populations, an important step to implementing future conservation actions. Together, they will support many species, including moose, Arctic grayling, bull trout, caribou, lake trout, Stone’s sheep, bats, at-risk birds, and more.

Some projects will result in immediate benefits to species, while others build on work and results year over year. For example, the FWCP has been funding bird monitoring at the Mugaha Marsh Bird-Banding Station for over two decades, leading to a 20-plus year data set on breeding bird population trends, distribution, and health.

A multi-year project to avoid the extirpation of the Klinse-Za caribou herd through maternity penning has helped numbers triple in size. Another project will be delivered in partnership with the Province of B.C. and the McLeod Lake Indian Band addresses information gaps about Arctic grayling abundance and critical habitat in the Parsnip River Watershed.

“The nine fish and 16 wildlife projects approved for funding this year reflect our forward-looking approach to addressing the impacts of BC Hydro dams,” says Jen Walker-Larsen, acting Peace Region manager. “By responding to priorities identified in our actions plans, the projects will help contribute to resilient watersheds and ecosystems.”

Project examples

Arctic grayling: filling data gaps in our Peace Region (John Hagen & Associates)

Supporting cold-water fish in the face of climate change (Chu Cho Environmental)

Examining bull trout spawner abundance and critical habitats (Chu Cho Environmental)

Understanding lake trout abundance (Chu Cho Environmental)

Threatened olive-sided flycatchers: filling important data gaps (Chu Cho Environmental)

Conserving ecologically and culturally significant plants (Chu Cho Environmental)

Enhancing winter range for moose (McLeod Lake Indian Band)

Building ecological awareness in our Peace Region (Wildlife Infometrics Inc.)

Gathering breeding bird data at Mugaha Marsh Bird Banding Station (Mackenzie Nature Observatory)

Complete project list: https://fwcp.ca/app/uploads/2022/05/Project-List-Peace-Region-F23-May-5-2022.pdf

Arctic grayling. Photo: John Hagen

The FWCP is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province of B.C., Fisheries & Oceans Canada, First Nations, and public stakeholders to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams. BC Hydro funds the FWCP annually to fulfill its applicable water-licence obligations in its Peace Region related to construction impacts from the Peace Canyon and WAC Bennett dams.

The FWCP has approved approximately $9.8 million for 95 projects across its Coastal, Columbia, and Peace regions. Learn more about FWCP projects, results, and how you can apply for a grant. Visit fwcp.ca and subscribe to the FWCP’s e-letter and newsletter at fwcp.ca/subscribe.

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