EN13 Biodiversity, Habitat and Species-at-Risk

BC Hydro continues to work on a variety of species, including federally and provincially listed species and their habitats under our Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) and Water Use Plans (WUP).

The FWCP directs its efforts to compensate for footprint issues (ecosystem losses resulting from facility construction) towards management goals set by the regulators and the key species or habitats identified by those goals. The WUP monitors ecosystem level and key species responses to ordered changes in operational parameters.

Where operational modifications to address environmental needs could not be established during WUP consultation because of a lack of information, the program focuses instead on collecting data to be used to make future operational decisions. The FWCP is an in-perpetuity program while the WUPs follow ordered timelines aligned with water licence duration.

Other programs which can touch on management of species and ecosystems at risk include the Entrainment Strategy, which is taking a long-term approach to determining risks associated with entrainment, and operation of facilities. When the risks associated with a facility are assessed, possible impacts on species at risk are considered along with mitigation and/or compensation options. BC Hydro's management of species at risk issues is informed and supported by an Ecological Data Sharing Agreement with the BC Conservation Data Centre, BC Ministry of Environment.

Potential Impacts Addressed Abbreviations
Habitat Loss/ Fragmentation HL
Species at Risk SR
Biodiversity Loss BD
Nutrient Loss/Gain NL/G
Fish Entrainment 2 FE
Supersaturation S
Cultural Loss CL


Receptor Species Stewardship and
Restorative Initiative Name
Activity Undertaken or Results Achieved Potential Impacts
Addressed
Columbia
Silky Lupin/Antelope Brush Rocky's Pasture Restoration Monitoring of restored Ecosystems to evaluate success of restoration measures. HL, SR
Northern Leopard Frog (Red, 1-E) Northern Leopard Frog Recovery Project Recovery Team participation. HL, SR
Monitor population status, and success of reintroduction efforts. Identify additional suitable reintroduction sites.
Evaluate role of disease in population declines. Establish captive population at Vancouver Aquarium.
Badger (Red, 1-E) Non-Game Enhancement Recovery Team participation. HL, SR
Habitat restoration and reduction in road mortality through installed crossing culverts.
Townsend's Big-eared Bat (Blue) Non-Game Enhancement Monitoring and maintenance of maternity roost. HL, SR, BD
Western Screech Owl (Red, 1-E) West Kootenay Inventory and Monitoring Located new nesting locations for this species and increased local stewardship to riparian cottonwood habitat. Nest boxes installed and Wildlife Habitat Areas proposed. HL, SR
Yellow Racer Snake (Blue, 1-SC) Species at Risk Stewardship Developed best management practices for Racer dens on Private land. Promoted stewardship of reptile habitat. HL, SR
Western Skink (Blue, 1-SC) Non-Game Enhancement Monitor skink occupancy and population response to Ecosystem Restoration. HL, SR
Wolverine species (Blue) Wolverine Management Publications and presentations on previous research to support improved habitat and population management. HL, SR
Western painted turtle (Blue, 1-SC) Non-Game Species Habitat Enhancement Monitor and maintain nesting sites near Cranbrook, Duncan River, and Revelstoke. HL, BD, SR
Mountain caribou (Red, 1-T) Mountain Caribou Recovery (40) Project to determine predator-prey relationships specifically with respect to cougars and wolves. HL, SR, BD
Population inventory: continued monitoring of radio-collared caribou in the South Selkirk population.
Great Blue Heron (Blue) Breeding Inventory & Habitat Assessment Monitor colony numbers, reproductive success. HL, BD, SR
Monitor bald eagle nest locations and productivity.
Identify stewardship locations on crown and private lands; implement covenants.
Sharp-tailed Grouse (Blue) Population Recovery Project, East Kootenays Report on recovery options and re-introduction drafted. Surveyed local interest and capacity to participate in recovery. HL, SR
Flammulated Owl (Blue, 1-SC) Nest Tree Protection Project Wildlife tree protection incorporated into habitat restoration prescriptions. Wildlife Tree creation targeting nesting sites for this species. HL, BD, SR
Western Toad (Blue, 1-SC) Headwaters Forest District Amphibian Inventory Located breeding sites for Western Toads and other amphibians. HL, SR, BD
Road Mortality Assessment and Mitigation Assessed mortality of toads at Summitt Lake breeding site. Monitored use of crossing structures. Held public event to relocate toadlets. HL, SR, BD
Grizzly Bear (Blue, COSEWIC-SC) South Selkirk Grizzly Bear Monitoring and Duncan Lardeau Bear/Human Interactions Monitoring of radio collared bears to determine critical habitats and landscape linkages for threatened population. Assisted community with grizzly bear interaction issues at Meadow Creek Spawning Channel. HL, SR, BD
Lewis' Woodpecker (Red, 1-SC) East Kootenay and West Kootenay Enhancement Wildlife tree creation and habitat restoration. Monitored nesting in Pend D'Orielle wildfire area. Assisted with managing habitat along Transmission Corridor. HL, SR
Kokanee Salmon; Bull trout (Blue); Arrow Lakes Reservoir Nutrient Restoration Program Continuation of nitrogen/ phosphorus addition to the reservoir has led to a documented increase in zooplankton populations and an associated increase in kokanee salmon abundance. Bull trout and rainbow trout have also benefited from an increased abundance of kokanee salmon. Juvenile sturgeon downstream of Keenleyside Dam are benefiting from Mysid entrainment to the lower river. HR, SR, BD, NL/G
White Sturgeon (Red, 1-E) Upper Columbia Sturgeon Conservation Aquaulture at Kootenay Sturgeon Hatchery Hatchery program continued to augment low survivability of juveniles in the Columbia River; over 100,000 juveniles have been tagged and released in the lower Columbia River since 2001, and are being monitored for growth, survival and movement. Additional juveniles have been released below Revelstoke to augment the Arrow Lakes Reservoir. HL, SR, BD
Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative – Research and Monitoring Programs Research continues to assess causal agents for recruitment declines, and plans have been initiated to select and test pilot responses. Habitat parameters are being mapped to assess habitat suitability and availability by life stage. Monitoring contnues to track trends in spawning incidence, larval and juvenile survival, movements, population genetic and age structure, growth and abundance
Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative – Research and Monitoring Programs Communications – FWCP supports and facilitates public outreach. FWCP also organizes sturgeon release events in Revelstoke, Trail and Castlegar.
Kokanee Salmon; Bull Trout (blue); and Gerrard Rainbow Trout Kootenay Lake Nutrient Restoration Program Continuation of nitrogen/ phosphorus addition to the Kootenay to boost zooplankton populations supporting Kokanee salmon. Increased Kokanee salmon abundance has benefited bull trout and Gerrard rainbow trout populations. Spawning escapement of Gerrard rainbow trout in 2010 is the highest ever recorded. HL, SR, BD, NL/G
Kokanee Salmon Meadow Creek Spawning Channel Continuation of funding for operation of Meadow Creek Spawning Channel. Production of 22.0 million fry (35% egg to fry survival) and return of 453,000 spawners. HL, NL/G
Hill Creek Spawning Channel Continuation of funding for operation of Hill Creek Spawning Channel. Production of 20.1 million fry (67% egg to fry survival) and return of 267,000 spawners. HL, NL/G
Kinbasket and Revelstoke reservoirs – kokanee hydro acoustics and escapement monitoring Annual monitoring to assess population level trends. HL, BD, FE
Bull Trout (Blue) Kalso River Bull Trout Monitoring Monitoring of critical bull trout spawning sites and abundance of fish in a key tributary of Kootenay Lake. BD, NL/G, SR
Arrow Lakes Reservoir Bull Trout Monitoring Arrow Lakes Reservoir life history – index monitoring of adult spawning locations. HL, BD. M:G
Dinosaur Reservoir
Lake Trout, Bull Trout (Blue), Rainbow Trout, all fish species Dinosaur Reservoir Habitat Improvement Development and implementation of a long term plan to address habitat limitations and improve recreational opportunities.On-going maintenance, evaluation of structures. HL, BD, N, LG, FE, SR
Peace River/Williston Reservoir area
Woodland caribou (Blue, 1-SC) Parsnip Caribou Project Conducting population inventories. HL, SR
Conducting predator-prey dynamics study. HL, SR
Monitoring survival and distribution of radio-collared caribou, moose, and wolves. HL, SR
Fisher (Blue) Fisher Habitat Use Project Contributing to development of improved management strategies. HL, SR
Cottonwood Enhancement Trial Completed report on experimental trial to hasten heartrot in live cottonwood trees to provide cavities for wildlife. HL, SR
Mountain goat Nabesche Goats and Licks Monitoring response of goat population to supplementing with artificial mineral licks (aim to increase numbers and distribution of goats in the drainage). BD, NL/G
Ospika Goat Project Completed report on 6-year study evaluating the impacts of logging on goat use of mineral licks. HL, BD
Contributing to development of improved management strategies.
Stone's sheep Peace Arm Stone's Sheep Ecology Completed report on 6-year study of sheep ecology including effects of winter ticks and population dynamics. BD, HL
Contribution to development of improved management strategies.
Grizzly bear (Blue, COSEWIC-SC) McLeod Lake Grizzly Bear Behaviour Study Completed report on 3-year study of grizzly bear use of a landfill before and after closure. SR, HL, NL
Migratory bird species Mackenzie Migratory Bird Monitoring Monitoring and banding of migratory songbird). BD, HL, SR
Arctic grayling Population, habitat, and genetic studies Population monitoring, distribution, life history, genetic studies, and identifying critical habitat. Partnership with UNBC to determine water temperature preference and presence modelling. HL, CL
Assist in developing Provincial Management Plan.
Kokanee Classroom Kokanee Demonstration Project Project involves fish rearing from eggs to fingerlings, and release). Education and public outreach. HL, BD
Offspring of historic released hatchery Kokanee Kokanee Escapement Survey Project involves tracking returns from offspring of fish stocked from 1990 – 1998. BD
Bull Trout (Blue) Bull Trout indexing Population monitoring. HL, BD, SR
All fish Gravel Hill Creek Spawning Habitat Enhancement Preliminary surveys and pre-enhancement fish population assessments prior to enhancement. HL
All fish GMSMON#2 PCR Fish Index Fish index in Peace River between Peace Canyon Dam and the Pine River. Population impact of Water Use Planning physical works and minimum flow regime: HL, BD
Bridge River Coastal area
Wetland plant species, fish species, wildlife species Amphibians in the Cheakamus River Watershed Wetland mapping and restoration design and planning, intended to restore wetland habitats lost due to creation of dam and reservoir. HL, BD, SR
Amphibians in the Cheakamus River Watershed Planning exercise to determine enhancement objectives for wetlands. HL, BD, SR
Identification and Protection of Critical Breeding Habitat for Red-legged Frogs in the Stave River Watershed Wetland mapping and usage study to determine species locations and Wildlife Habitat Areas. HL, BD, SR
Identification and Protection of Critical Breeding Habitat for Red-legged Frogs in the Campbell River Watershed Wetland mapping and usage study to determine species locations and Wildlife Habitat Areas. HL, BD, SR
Salmon species ( NAR) Tracking of Alouette River Sockeye Spawners in the Alouette Reservoir, Year 2 Tracking of sockeye to determine spawning areas of re-introduced sockeye to Alouette Reservoir. HL, BD, CL
Smolt parental lineage assessment to establish successful spawn of returned Alouette sockeye Genetic analyses of salmonid populations in the Alouette River. BD, CL
Settlement of Mining Rights on the Horseshoe Bend, Bridge River Facilitate the release of a mining claim on a highly desirable piece of potential restoration land. HL, BD
Salmon River Diversion Bypass Fishway Design Modification of the existing fishway to facilitate better fish passage through the site and a fish passage efficiency assessment using hydroacoutics and radio telemetry. HL
Salmon River Nutrient Review Review of the 20+ years of nutrient enrichment in the Salmon River. NG/L
Campbell River Tributary Restoration and Enhancement (Ocean Blue Site) Restoration and creation of salt marsh habitat in the Campbell River Estuary. HL, BD
Squamish River Estuary Tidal Maintenance and Upkeep and Sediment Sampling Monitoring Plan Maintenance of BCRP structures that were installed in previous years to facilitate water and fish passage in the estuary. HL, BD
Assessment of Kokanee Abundance and Biomass in Coquitlam Reservoir, 2010 Research on fish abundance, species, and size in the Coquitlam Reservoir. NL/G, BD
Puntledge River Chinook and Coho Smolt/fry Migration Assessment in the Upper Watershed Assess the chinook/coho movement in the upper watershed and the efficiency of the eicher screen. BD, HL
Holding Puntledge Summer Chinook Broodstock at Big Qualicum Hatchery - A Cost Effective and Low Risk Strategy to Improve Productivity Improvements to equipment for holding/cooling fish to reduce mortality due to high water temperatures. HL
Improving Summer Chinook Broodstock Survival - Lower Puntledge Hatchery Chiller Design and Detailed Cost Estimate Improvements to equipment for holding/cooling fish to reduce mortality due to high water temperatures. HL
Assessment of Imprinting Puntledge River Summer Chinook in Comox Lake Feasibility Study of holding summer chinook in Comox Lake for imprinting. BD, HL
Courtenay River Estuary Salt Marsh Habitat Restoration Study Development a plan for fish and wildlife habitat restoration. HL, BD
Investigation of Restoration and Protection Options for Juvenile Salmonids in the Courtenay Estuary Development a plan for fish habitat restoration. HL, BD
Stave River Right Bank Channel Project Creation of spawning habitat to mitigate water diversion and development impacts. HL
Stave River Steelhead Smolt Imprinting Project - Year 3 Study of the movement of Steelhead smolts that have been imprinted in the Stave River system. BD
Habitat Complexing (Pool Creation) in Bessette Creek Creation of spawning and rearing habitat to mitigate impacts from water diversion. HL
Rehabilitation of Gates Creek Sockeye Spawning Gravel Channel - Year 3 Improvement of fish spawning habitat to mitigate for water and diversion impacts. HL
Wildlife Species Sekw'el'was Seton Corridor Restoration Feasibility Study Monitoring of the lower rearing channel and completion of a feasibility study to conduct fish and wildlife restoration work in the area. HL, BD
Powerhouse Foreshore Restoration Project – Phase 3 Restoration of riparian zone habitat and upslope (from river) wildlife habitats originally impacted by the Seton townsite during original facility construction. HL, BD, CL
Fisher (Blue) Inventory of Fisher Populations and Reproductive Dens in the Bridge Seton Watershed Population study to determine habitat use in the Bridge and Seton Watersheds. HL, BD, SR
Marbled Murrelets (Red, 1-T) Low-level Aerial Reconnaissance and the establishment of Wildlife Habitat Areas for Marbled Murrelets Marbled murrelet habitat usage and determination of potential Wildlife Habitat Areas. HL, SR
Prairie and Peregrine Falcon (Red; Red, 1-T) Assessment of Falcon Productivity within the Bridge River Restoration Area Prairie and Peregrine falcon habitat usage and territory mapping. HL, SR
Western Screech Owl (Blue, 1-SC) Western Screech Owl Conservation and Management Proposal for the Bridge River Restoration Area Owl habitat usage and territory mapping on BC Hydro and privately owned, riparian land. HL, SR
Bats (Red, Blue and SARA listed) Bat Enhancement Planning and Inventory at Buntzen, Alouette, and Lower Stave/Hayward Lakes Bat habitat usage and territory mapping on BC Hydro and privately owned land. HL, SR
Bridge Coastal Bat Fauna Assessment and Management Project 2010 Bat habitat usage and territory mapping on BC Hydro and privately owned land. HL, SR
Vancouver Island Marmot (Red, 1-E) Strathcona Park VI Marmot Release - Phase 4 Re-introduction of captive-bred animals into historical ranges of Strathcona Park. HL, SR, BD


Notes:

  1. Compliance with the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) is required and there are provincially listed species that are protected under the B.C. Wildlife Act and the Forest and Range Practices Act (Identified Wildlife). This means BC Hydro must comply with these federal and provincial pieces of legislation by avoiding, mitigating and compensating for impacts to listed species and being involved in recovery strategies and action plans as appropriate. Red and Blue Listings is an inventory process used by the B.C. Conservation Data Centre. It does not have any regulatory force. In the interest of reducing its regulatory risk BC Hydro has been proactive in seeking to identify and reduce its impacts on listed species and undertaking a number of stewardship initiatives.
  2. Federally listed species under SARA are either Endangered (ENd), Threatened (THr) or of Special Concern (SC). We are currently tallying which of these species and populations occur in lands owned or managed by BC Hydro while proceeding with programs to enhance, restore or maintain known endangered or threatened species and their habitats. This listing does not include stewardship initiatives undertaken solely as part of Water Use Planning and other programs.
  3. Stewardship means preventative, restorative, enhancement or maintenance initiatives over the long-term time scale required to protect and maintain, restore, or enhance populations and their habitats.
  4. These programs are largely undertaken with partners as part of our Compensation Programs and were funded in full or in part by BC Hydro and are shown in italics.
  5. Mortality may result from fish passage through hydraulic turbines or over spillways during their downstream migration.
  6. Supersaturation occurs when water falls turbulently from reservoir elevation to discharge elevation, usually via spillways. Air is forced into solution increasing the concentration of nitrogen and oxygen, as measured by Total Gas Pressure, which can interfere with normal gill function of aquatic species.