Construction of the WAC Bennett dam in 1968 flooded the upper Peace River and formed the Williston Reservoir. To increase productivity in the Reservoir, over 3 million juvenile Kokanee were stocked into tributary streams from 1990 to 1998. A decade after stocking was ceased, the distribution and abundance of Kokanee poorly reflected the earlier stocking patterns. The effect of transfer of nutrients from post spawned Kokanee into regional stream systems in the Williston watershed is unknown and we have been investigating the impacts on a range of biota and ecosystem processes, both aquatic and terrestrial. Using stable isotope signatures, we found that stream resident fish collected in systems with high numbers of Kokanee spawners showed significant separation from signatures of fish collected from streams with no Kokanee. Our findings strongly suggest that Kokanee provide a significant source of nutrients to tributary streams where they spawn. We are now trying to assess whether nutrient input from Kokanee is affecting the diversity and abundance of aquatic insects and riparian lichen communities in streams where these fish spawn.
NRESi Annual Awards Ceremony to follow colloquium presentation.
The Natural Resources & Environmental Studies Institute (NRESi) at UNBC hosts a weekly lecture series at the Prince George campus. Anyone from the university or wider community with interest in the topic area is welcome to attend. Presentations are also made available to remote participants through Livestream and Blue Jeans. Go to http://www.unbc.ca/nres-institute/colloquium-webcasts to view the presentation remotely.
Past NRESi colloquium presentations and special lectures can be viewed on our video archive, available here.