Risk assessment and monitoring and evaluation
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Risk Assessment and   Monitoring and Evaluation. “Consideration of Design and Construction of Culverts for Fish Passage: A Risk Assessment Approach”.

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Risk Assessment and   Monitoring and Evaluation

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Risk Assessmentand  Monitoring and Evaluation


“Consideration of Design and Construction of Culverts for Fish Passage: A Risk Assessment Approach”


As previously mentioned, TRANS’ risk is assessed in relation to activities regarding linear development e.g. culverts, bridges and highways. Therefore a risk assessment approach is being taken for fish passage.Note: A separate risk assessment is being developed for habitat impacts.


In nearly all cases TRANS’ design parameters do not require mitigate or offsetting approaches since TRANS culverts are designed to pass fish. Only specific cases (e.g. steeper than average slopes etc.) are additional mitigative/offset measures required.


Table 1.What can be addressed by applying the correct culvert design criteria for streams <1% slope


Table 1. (First criteria)


Table 1 – expanded

Column 1


Column 2


Column 3


If these and other conditions are met (velocity criteria, slope etc.) then the culvert may be installed without referral to DFO. Remember, all conditions to protect the environment (e.g. erosion and sediment control) must be followed.

Let’s discuss this for a moment.


Regulatory Agencies

Provincial – Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

For Environment you must fit under the Code of Practice for Watercourse Crossing.

For Sustainable Resource Development (Fish and Wildlife) you can talk to them as to fisheries resource folks and as fisheries managers who set fisheries management objectives. SRD can not tell you what type of structure to build over watercourse crossing.


Regulatory Agencies

Provincial – Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

  • Prefer Stream Simulation Approach

  • Consider Hydraulic = Stream Simulation if:

    • Channel not constricted

    • Bed uninterrupted

    • V not increased

    • Minimize blockage potential


The federal Fisheries Act has changed (as of November 2013).

The new Fisheries Protection Program contains a new prohibition that combines the current section 32 (killing of fish by means other than fishing) and section 35 (harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat). 


The new prohibition will manage threats to fish that are part of or support commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fisheries with the goal of ensuring their productivity and ongoing sustainability.


The new prohibition is also supported by definitions of commercial, recreational and Aboriginal (CRA) fisheries in the Act, as well as a definition of “serious harm to fish”, which is the death of fish or any permanent alteration to, or destruction of, fish habitat.


In other words…..

Fisheries and Oceans, Canada (DFO) is promoting standards and regulations to be developed in partnership (already we`re on that track) so everybody is on the `same page` so to speak.

The new rules make it a proponent based system and promotes a risk assessment approach.


In the past (and we don`t want to dwell on it):

We were lead to believe we needed Authorizations – when we really didn`t. We could have used a risk based approach.

Again, although well intentioned, the measures we were ordered to do for compensation did nothing for the aquatic resource.


In this spirit of cooperation DFO and TRANS are working well together.


Monitoring(Performance Evaluation)


At this point there has been some monitoring completed at certain culvert sites. However, this has not been a standard approach and some of the information is anecdotal.


Fish consistently out perform previous expectations based on laboratory studies

Fish have senses adapted to aquatic environment

Dependent on species and motivation, fish move through a variety of flow conditions

We do know that:


  • Fish will move through culverts


Standards:

TRANS will be completing two ‘intensities’ of monitoring regarding fish passage.

For fairly similar projects (e.g. Northern Pike in the Red Deer fisheries management area) monitoring studies on a representative number (~10 to 15%) of culverts would be fairly simple.


‘Simple’ usually involves tagging or marking fish in such a manner to see if these fish move through the culverts.

Visible Implant Elastomer (VIE)


More intensive types of monitoring will occur only at specific sites (~ 5%). It will include monitoring parameters such as velocities, flows, and other data to obtain a more detailed ‘picture’ of the interacting dynamics.


Interpreting and explaining the similarities between culvert design and fish passage principles is required for an integrated approach that will result in culvert structures that are both cost effective and consistent with fisheries management objectives.


Forthcoming to address fish passage:

  • Standards and guidelines for fish and fish habitat assessments

  • Risk assessment framework

  • Guidelines for fish passage design

  • Guidelines for when to apply to DFO

  • Guidelines for regulatory applications


The End


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