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Tagging and telemetry research begins to shed light on Red River catfish travels

March 3, 2019 – Grand Forks Herald

Learning what fish do in their natural environment long has been a focus of fisheries biologists and science-minded anglers alike, and the findings from an ongoing tagging and telemetry study involving U.S. and Canadian research partners are beginning to shed light on the movements of channel catfish in the Red River Basin.

Oddly enough, the two research techniques tell very different stories—at least to this point, said Henry Hansen, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student researcher who recently published his master’s thesis, “Implications of Channel Catfish Movement in an Internationally Managed System.”

Bottom line, channel catfish fitted with special tags inserted near their dorsal fins as part of what’s known as a “mark and recapture” study have shown a knack for moving upstream. In Grand Forks alone, local catfish guide Brad Durick has reported clients catching and releasing more than 60 catfish tagged near Selkirk, Man., more than 250 river miles away.

Based on tag returns, or “recaptures,” about 30 percent of the tagged, or “marked,” catfish reported caught in the U.S. initially were tagged in Canada, Hansen said.

By comparison, catfish surgically implanted with acoustic transmitters seem to favor moving downstream or staying close to where they were fitted with the transmitters, early findings show. READ MORE.

Peace camp set up in Hollow Water First Nation to oppose sand mine project

February 21 – APTN News

A proposed silica sand mine project in Manitoba has one First Nations community divided.

Members of Hollow Water First Nation, 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg, set up Camp Morningstar, a peace camp opposing the project, after exploration began on the project.

“The teepees were erected not so much as a protest or not so much as a blockade as it is for us to come together in ceremony,” said band member Lisa Raven.

The camp was started as a way to create a safe space to share concerns over the project, said Raven. READ MORE.

Winnipeg holds off on water and sewer rate hike in bid to gain more dollars from Ottawa, Manitoba

February 19, 2019 – CBC

Winnipeg is holding off on a proposed water-and-sewer rate hike this year as a gambit to pry more sewage-treatment money out of the provincial and federal governments.

On Tuesday, city council’s executive policy committee voted to hold off on a 4.7-per-cent rate hike that would have added $61 to the average annual household water-and-sewer bill.

The move was aimed at socking away more money for billions of dollars worth of sewage-treatment upgrades, including $1.8 billion worth of projects at the North End Water Pollution Control Centre, the largest of the city’s three sewage-treatment plants. READ MORE.

New map will help source Lake Winnipeg algae

February 15, 2019 – The Winnipeg Free Press

OTTAWA — Conservation groups are asking Canadians to be part of a new effort to pinpoint the source of Lake Winnipeg’s algae blooms, and to make that data public.

“Each of us as individuals can be part of a larger, collective solution,” said Alexis Kanu, executive director of the Lake Winnipeg Foundation.

Kanu’s group has partnered with Toronto-based Gordon Foundation to assemble and publish data about phosphorus that flows into the lake north of Winnipeg.

“There really is a cultural shift taking place,” said Carolyn DuBois, program director of the Gordon Foundation. “There’s this opportunity for every data point that ever gets collected to have a much bigger impact.”

Lake Winnipeg is at the bottom of a basin spanning the Rockies to near the Great Lakes, meaning it receives phosphorus from wetlands, rivers and lakes across a huge swath of the continent; only about half comes from Manitoba. READ MORE.

Kanu’s group in Winnipeg will test samples collected from multiple provinces and possibly the U.S., and share an updated map of their results through the foundation’s website.

“It’s designed to help us target funding, and target action, in the areas where those resources will have the most impact,” said Kanu.