Nooksack Dace in Canada: Critical Habitat Protection Statement

 

This is a statement of how the critical habitat of Nooksack dace (Rhinichthys cataractae ssp.)is legally protected. This statement is pursuant to, and in compliance with, Section 58 (5) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), S. C. 2002, c. 29. Critical habitat for the Nooksack dace was identified in the Final Recovery Strategy for this species, posted in June 2008 on the SARA Public Registry. Please refer to the Recovery Strategy for details about the identified critical habitat.

Human activities which could potentially destroy critical habitat for this species, as identified in the Final Recovery Strategy, and the federal legislation which would be used to provide protection against such destruction, are:

ThreatsFederal Legislation
Water extraction from surface and groundwater sources can lead to dewatering of riffles during periods of the year.Where water withdrawals result in dewatering of riffles to the extent that there is a harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat Section 35 of the Fisheries Act offers protection.
High flows from urban storm water systems entering streams can cause scouring of gravel from riffles.Where the volume of stormwater is serious enough to result in destruction of a riffle, Section 35 of the Fisheries Act offers protection.
Agricultural grazing where livestock have unimpeded access to streams can damage gravel by compression impacting its structure.Section 35 of the Fisheries Act offers protection where such works or undertakings result in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat.
Gravel mining, land development, and agricultural activities can remove riparian vegetation that provides protection from invasive species, nutrients and runoff.Section 35 of the Fisheries Act offers protection where such works or undertakings result in the harmful alteration, disruption and destruction of fish habitat through the removal of riparian vegetation.
Gravel mining, land development, and agricultural activities can result in nutrients entering the water causing low oxygen levels or lead to the runoff of waters or the generation of sediment that can clog riffles or be toxic to Nooksack dace.Section 35 of the Fisheries Act offers protection where such works or undertakings result in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat and Section 36 prohibits the release of a deleterious substance into waters frequented by fish.
Instream works such as stream crossings, dredging and ditch maintenance, man-made dams and weirs that can destroy riffles and riparian habitat.Section 35 of the Fisheries Act offers protection where such works or undertakings result in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat.

 

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will continue to support and implement activities directed towards informing and sensitising Canadians on the threats to Nooksack dace critical habitat, and to individuals and populations to aid in the protection and recovery of the species. As additional knowledge is gained regarding potential threats and effectiveness of protection measures, additional management and mitigation measures will be developed and implemented as appropriate.

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