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Report: Results of 2011 West Kettle River, Kettle River and Granby River Flow, Temperature, Useable Fish Habitat & Snorkel Enumeration Survey For Kettle River Fish Protection Planning

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The Kettle River Watershed supports several wild fish stocks, including rainbow trout, whitefish and 2 identified Species at Risk. It has a history of severe low flows and high water temperatures, ranging in the sub-lethal to lethal limits for salmonids (19-26 C) More than 6 fish kills involving trout and whitefish have been recorded in the watershed over the past 2 decades. These kills occurred during summer conditions when flows were very low and water temperatures exceeded 20 C.

Author:  Phil Epp; Trout Creek Hydrology & Soils; Greg Andrusak; Redfish Consulting Ltd.

Date Published:  Feb 2012

Report ID:  32179

Audience:  Government and Public

During the last two decades the quality of the Kettle River rainbow trout fishery has deteriorated due to low abundance and small size. A number of fisheries assessments have identified issues such as water and land practices, available habitat, recruitment, over-fishing, low seasonal flows and high seasonal temperatures as having severely limited rainbow trout abundance. .Consequently, today this population appears depressed. The Kettle River watershed is considered to be a high priority for fish protection planning given the deteriorating fishery. This 2011 flow and habitat monitoring program continues and expands the existing information sources for fish protection planning as follows: eight continuous seasonal flow measurements sites have been established in the Kettle River watershed to supplement the information available through Water Survey of Canada (WSC) and the US Geological Service (USGS) to determine if there are changes in flow patterns along the rivers that could be attributed to localized water use. The flow measurement sites incorporate temperature monitoring to determine how river temperature varies with flow and air temperature. Useable fish habitat width at varying flows was also determined for each new site to demonstrate how useable fish habitat varies as flows generally diminish during the summer and fall months. Lastly, additional information from annual fish index monitoring and habitat suitability information collected on target species is provided. The report summarizes results of the annual snorkel surveys for rainbow trout and whitefish conducted on the Kettle and West Kettle Rivers since 2001, providing an overview of trends from index sites. In addition, habitat use and preference criteria for speckled dace were used to provide habitat-flow information for this SARA listed species.

Report Type
  Fish and Aquatic Habitat Information
  Fish and Fish Habitat - Impact Assessment
  Fish Species - Rainbow Trout - Oncorhynchus mykiss
  Fish Species - Speckled Dace - Rhinichthys osculus
  Fish Species - Whitefish (General)
  Region - Okanagan
  Watershed Groups - 320 - Kettle
  Water Information - Water Management
  Water Information - Water Supply

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