Science Advisory Report 2011/086
Long-term monitoring protocols for new and upgraded hydropower projects in British Columbia and Yukon Territory
- The primary objectives of the protocols are to evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation and compensation activities, and the effects of the project on fish and fish habitat.
- Some of the potential impacts of these types of projects are not well understood and more focused research may be needed in order to develop additional protocols to monitor specific effects. Examples include the effects of rapid flow fluctuations (and ramping rates) and changes to winter flows and ice conditions.
- The components of the protocols were found to be generally acceptable for smaller projects on streams, but limitations were identified for those associated with larger rivers and reservoirs.
- The protocols are only intended to monitor the effects of the project itself, and not cumulative effects associated with the project and other activities or projects.
- The protocols suggest the use of a Before-After Control-Impact design, but there can be difficulties and shortcomings to this approach and alternative designs may need to be considered.
- The need to collect baseline data for as long as possible prior to construction is emphasized, in order to accurately represent pre-development conditions.
- The protocols may not have sufficient statistical power to detect small changes to the ecosystem.
- Monitoring results based on these protocols should be reviewed in 5-10 years so that the protocols can be modified as appropriate.
This Science Advisory Report has resulted from a Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Science Advisory Pacific workshop, June 20-21, 2011 on long-term monitoring protocols for new and upgraded hydropower projects in British Columbia and Yukon Territory. Additional publications from this process will be posted as they become available on the DFO Science Advisory Schedule.
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