Funded Projects under the Canada Nature Fund for aquatic species at risk


Funded Projects

The Government of Canada is taking action under this initiative. In this first year of the Fund (2018-19), DFO is supporting six projects totalling over $790,000. Projects will help the recovery of such species as native trout in Alberta, Redside Dace in Ontario, and Lake Sturgeon in Manitoba. Recipients include Indigenous and provincial partners, conservation organizations, and universities.

DFO recognizes the importance of taking prompt action in helping these aquatic species at risk recover. These initial one-year projects will help address immediate needs and threats in areas across the country, and provide a real benefit to species at risk.

The following projects have received funding as part of the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk

  1. The University of Windsor in Ontario received $50,000 for experimental trials for multiple at risk fish to determine thresholds for threats, such as siltation/turbidity, anoxia and temperature.
  2. The Institute for Watershed Science, Trent University received $50,000 to use environmental DNA to address knowledge gaps relating to distribution, abundance, biology, and threats which have been identified for Redside Dace and at risk freshwater mussels.
  3. The University of Guelph in Ontario received $50,000 to determine critical thresholds and physiological responses of juvenile freshwater mussels to variable temperatures, flows and turbidity, via controlled laboratory experiments
  4. WWF Canada received $43,400 for a pilot project on Threat Management Prioritization methodology with the aim to apply this approach to the Saint John River watershed.
  5. The Tataskweyak Cree Nation received $100,000 to build a hydrodynamic and water temperature model for a remnant population of Lake Sturgeon (Western Hudson Bay population) in the lower Churchill River, Manitoba. 
  6. Alberta Environment and Parks received $500,000 to implement multiple activities for native trout in Alberta, including assessing the genetic composition and distribution of Threatened Westslope Cutthroat Trout, managing roadway stream crossings to improve fish habitat, and planning other habitat restoration projects.

Next Steps

  • While the first six projects are underway, we are now seeking to partner on projects by focusing on seven priority freshwater places and two priority marine threats. The priority places are:
    • Fraser and Columbia Watersheds Priority Area (BC)
    • Rocky Mountains’ Eastern Slopes Priority Area (AB)
    • Southern Prairies Priority Area (AB, SK, MB)
    • Lower Great Lakes Watershed Priority Area (ON)
    • St. Lawrence Lowlands Priority Area / Zone prioritaire des basses-terres du Saint-Laurent (QC)
    • Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Rivers Priority Area (NB, NS, PEI)
    • Bay of Fundy and Southern Uplands Watersheds Priority Area (NS, NB)
  • The priority marine priority threats are:
    • Fishing interactions such as entanglements and bycatch of aquatic species at risk;
    • Physical and acoustic disturbance, including ship strikes and marine noise.
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