Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, Canada

Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, Canada
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Hoemsen B.M.,University of Saskatchewan | Phillips I.D.,University of Saskatchewan | Phillips I.D.,Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan | Parker D.W.,AquaTax Consulting | And 5 more authors.
Canadian Entomologist | Year: 2015

Streams draining the Cypress Hills support unique and understudied macroinvertebrate communities in Saskatchewan, Canada. Here, we report the discovery of a species of caddisfly new to the Cypress Hills and Saskatchewan, Neophylax splendens Denning (Trichoptera: Thremmatidae). Larvae were collected early in May 2012, and are found to enter pre-pupal diapause in mid-June until mid-September. Larvae were identified as N. splendens by morphological characters and verified with genetic analysis. Its occurrence strengthens the biogeographical link between the montane regions in British Columbia, Canada and Utah, United States of America with the southwest corner of Saskatchewan. This study highlights the importance of seasonal sampling, resolute species level identifications in biological surveys and the use of genetic analyses to obtain this level of identification. © Entomological Society of Canada 2014.

Pollock M.S.,Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan | Carr M.,University of Saskatchewan | Kreitals N.M.,University of Saskatchewan | Phillips I.D.,Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan
Environmental Reviews | Year: 2015

Lake sturgeon are arguably the largest and most unique freshwater fish in North America. Unfortunately their uniqueness includes many characteristics that make them especially vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts including overfishing, habitat fragmentation, and degradation. For approximately 100 years lake sturgeon populations across North America have either been in decline and (or) have experienced a sluggish recovery. While this is partly due to lake sturgeon life history, most researchers agree that habitat fragmentation and degradation are currently the highest risk to the species. Though most lake sturgeon populations are depressed, there are a few exceptions that offer a glimpse into what a stable population or recovery may look like. The following review highlights such instances as well as what is known and more importantly what is not known about this unique species. Specifically, we highlight the need for improved and organized sharing of raw data given the fact that many researchers do not have access to the plethora of information available to others (e.g., otoliths for aging). We examine the varying life history and diet choices of this plastic species offering hypotheses for differences in migration routes and distances as well the differing recovery rates found across their range. We highlight myths about the species providing evidence that they may not be as long lived and fecund as previously thought. We examine the lake sturgeons current legal status across North America including the efforts of nonprofit groups that have had success in increasing population numbers. Most importantly, we highlight logistical problems faced by researchers and data gaps in the literature that must be filled to increase the odds of a successful recovery. Alongside the data gaps, the recovery of this species is fraught with political and industrial road blocks that are as varied as its current recovery. Subsequently, as is the case with many species, its survival will come down to solid scientific knowledge and the value placed on it by society. © 2015 Published by NRC Research Press.

Vandergucht D.M.,University of Saskatchewan | Sereda J.M.,University of Saskatchewan | Sereda J.M.,Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan | Davies J.-M.,Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan and 101 108 Research Drive | Hudson J.J.,University of Saskatchewan
Water Research | Year: 2013

A fundamental step in the management of nutrient impacted water bodies is the determination of the type and degree of nutrient limitation. However, nutrient deficiency indicators often provide inconsistent results. Recent advances in the measurement of phosphate concentrations may provide a better means to understand results from P deficiency indicators. With regards to phosphorus, deficiency indicators should predict P-limitation when phosphate concentrations are consistently low. We use this new understanding to examine the relationships between phosphate concentration and P deficiency. Patterns of steady state phosphate (ssPO43-) concentrations and P deficiency were evaluated in 109 lakes located across Canada. Lakes encompassed a broad range in TP concentration (1.79-139.7 μg L-1). The relationships between ssPO43- concentrations and simultaneously measured total P (TP), total dissolved P (TDP) and soluble reactive P (SRP) concentrations, particulate C:P and N:P ratios, alkaline phosphatase activities (APA) and phosphate turnover times (TT) were analyzed. ssPO43- was positively correlated with TP and TDP. The ssPO4 3- concentrations were 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than SRP concentrations. These two measures were only weakly correlated, suggesting that SRP is a major overestimate of PO43- The ssPO43- concentrations were negatively correlated with C:P and N:P ratios, and with APA, consistent with expectations. When only lakes with TT < 15 min were considered, TT was negatively correlated with TP, challenging the idea that nutrients become less limiting in more eutrophic systems. Overall, P deficiency indicators related to ssPO43- in the expected manner. However, variability in relationships with APA and particulate stoichiometry emphasize the need for cautious interpretation of P deficiency measurements. We recommend simultaneous use of multiple techniques to confidently assess P deficiency. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Hoover Z.,University of Saskatchewan | Weisgerber J.N.,University of Saskatchewan | Pollock M.S.,Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan | Chivers D.P.,University of Saskatchewan | Ferrari M.C.O.,WCVM
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2013

Salinization poses a threat to many inland aquatic ecosystems, especially in areas where natural processes are compounded by anthropogenic salinization. Though physiological survival can be a challenge for stenohaline freshwater fishes facing increasing salinity, it is important to note that essential and complex activities such as reproduction may be affected well below physiological tolerance limits. Here, we exposed fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) to four levels of salinity in order to assess any impacts on several egg production and behavioral endpoints. We found significant reductions in total eggs produced, percent fertilization, number of spawning days, clutch size, total time males spent in the nest, and duration of nest care events. Our data demonstrate that salinization can have negative effects on critical reproductive endpoints. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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