Instream Fisheries Research Ltd. (IFR: http://instream.net/site/ ) is closely associated with Limnotek, providing field support and fisheries science services. Technicians at IFR have worked with Limnotek for more than 10 years working collaboratively in development of sampling methods and meeting field capacity needs for many clients. The result has been synergistic excellence in limnology on one side (Limnotek) and unique fisheries science (IFR) on the other along with great combined experience in field logistics, sampling, and quality control. These capabilities from both organizations work in tandem to provide clients with exceptional breadth of capacity.
ESSA and Limnotek have partnered on several projects to achieve a holistic approach to ecological analysis that is a hallmark of both companies. Limnotek and ESSA with project management and field support from Golder Associates partnered to build the aquatic effects assessment for the large SiteC clean energy project. ESSA provided systems modeling and decision support and Limnotek provided field sampling design, empirical data collection, and statistical modeling based on the complex field sampling program. Both skill sets with support from Golder came together to produce one of the most comprehensive interpretations of reservoir and river response to change that has been produced in British Columbia. As part of the Kitimat Modernization Project for Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA), both companies again combined skills to successfully execute an effects assessment of change in SO2 emissions from a new smelter. ESSA was the lead company dealing with ecological modeling and liaison with First Nations, community groups, and regulatory authorities with RTA while Limnotek developed and implemented the field sampling and quality control program over many lakes in the Douglas Channel and Kitimat – Terrace corridor that is ongoing as part of Environmental Effects Monitoring by RTA. This synergy has been effective for ESSA, Limnotek, and clients not only in these recent projects but also during similar endeavours of the past 15 years.
Limnotek has a collaborative agreement with the University of British Columbia, Civil Engineering, for engagement of Greg Lawrence, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Fluid Mechanics; Roger Pieters, PhD, Research Associate, Earth and Ocean Sciences; and Dan Robb, PhD candidate in Earth and Ocean Sciences. The Limnotek/UBC group is developing an integrated physical – chemical model using the structure of CE-QUAL-W2 (http://www.ce.pdx.edu/w2/ ) (being developed by the UBC group) linked with a biological statistical model (being developed by Limnotek) using empirical data collected over multiple years to examine sensitivity of biological communities in Carpenter Reservoir to water management actions. This collaboration is an example of what Limnotek does in assembling the best and most highly skilled people to answer complex questions in water management, thus providing excellence and value to clients.
Ecofish Research and limnotek have a long-standing collaboration on projects mainly associated with analysis of reservoir limnology for power utilities in British Columbia. Ecofish brings tremendous capacity in field and technical support together with specialized limnology skills at Limnotek to provide a powerful integrated team in advanced limnological methods and water monitoring to answer questions associated with multiple uses of water reservoirs, particularly the interaction between fish populations and water management for power production. The most recent collaboration is to develop insight using empirical data and modeling of the role of periphyton in contributing to the trout food web in the Campbell Lake system on Vancouver Island. Limnotek conducted the periphyton assessment that showed sensitivity of periphyton over the whole littoral zone to change in water surface elevations and flows while Ecofish used stable isotope techniques to show that periphyton are not actually of great importance in supporting food production for resident trout. The combined work flow showed a stunning shift in ideas about what supports fish in ultra-oligotrophic reservoirs. Much energy actually comes from the surrounding forest, which has implications for water drawdown strategies in the storage reservoirs.
SER and Limnotek established a highly successful working relationship beginning in 2013 during planning stages for large monitoring projects on Seton Lake and Carpenter Reservoir that were required to fill data gaps in the water use planning process at BC Hydro. Those plans were implemented in 2014 in two large studies in the Bridge River watershed (see Projects: Hydrodynamic and ecological modeling, Turbid water and salmon in Seton Lake). SER is providing skills in project management while Limnotek adds the scientific strength. Those studies continue to the present. Other tasks are being added with similar activities examining the importance of flow manipulations on the salmon food web in the Lower Bridge River in which flow is controlled through an agreement between the St’at’imc First Nation and BC Hydro. Due to contentious issues in that agreement, robust science provided by Limnotek and other organizations looking at different aspects of the flow agreement is of utmost importance to support flow management decisions.
Limnotek has a collaborative agreement with Queens University, Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada for engagement of Brian Cumming PhD, Kate Laird PhD, Dan Selbie PhD, PhD candidate Cecilia Barouillet and support personnel. The Limnotek/Queens group is compiling 200 years of aquatic food web history in Seton and Anderson lakes, British Columbia, using a paleolimnological approach to assess the cumulative effects of a diversion of water from Carpenter Reservoir to Seton Lake that started in 1940-1960 and to assess effects of climate change on primary and secondary production in Seton Lake. These data are needed to fill data gaps in understanding time course change in biological production that supports valued sockeye salmon and the land locked variant kokanee salmon, known as Gwenish to St’at’imc people. These data are needed in water use planning negotiations between the power utility, BC Hydro, and other water users and stakeholders, including the St’at’imc First Nation. This collaboration is an example of Limnotek assembling the best and most highly skilled people to answer complex questions in water management, thus providing excellence and value to clients. The PEARL at Queens University is known worldwide as a centre of excellence in paleoecological science and it is truly an honour for Limnotek and Limnotek clients to be collaborating with scientists from that lab.
Limnotek and Golder have collaborated over the past 10 years on several projects associated with monitoring benthic assemblages and associated habitat attributes in large rivers, mainly two reaches of the Columbia River in Canada and the Peace River in northern British Columbia. Challenges were to develop samplers that could be deployed and repeatedly accessed safely and reliably for time course sampling in low to high water velocities exceeding 2 m/s. Furthermore, the resulting data had to support statistical models to examine the relative importance of several habitat attributes driving patterns in benthic assemblages. Results from these tasks will feed into a water use planning program in which the effect of flow decisions on river food webs supporting fish along with many other water uses are being explored in a multistakeholder decision process. The same approaches were applied by Limnotek and Golder to the large SiteC Clean Energy Project as part of site assessment procedures. The technology developed by Limnotek and Golder was successful and is now a standard that is being applied to other large river projects in British Columbia. This success resulted in Limnotek and Golder now being senior technical advisors to BC Hydro on complex large river monitoring activities.