West South Saskatchewan AEGP
The West South Saskatchewan AEGP continues to meet with producers to assess on-farm risks and develop projects to improve their operations. As of June 2012, 62 producers in the West South AEGP area have applied for 141 projects, with an estimated $401,888.06 in CSFSP funding. This includes: 41 fencing projects, 25 portable windbreaks, 24 remote watering projects, 6 seeding to protect marginal high risk soils, 6 well decommissioning projects, 2 water run modifications, 1 farm-yard run-off control, and 1 corral relocation. Several education initiatives are also underway including on-farm planning consultations focusing on watershed issues, Environmental Farm Plan Workshops, as well as participa-tion in RM and producer meetings.
Sask Valley AEGP
51 applications for projects were filled out with producers in the Sask Valley AEGP, which will result in an estimated total of $510,115.46 in CSFSP funding. This funding will help to provide for 2.75 miles of perimeter fence, 8.25 miles of cross fence, 119 portable windbreaks and shelters, 2 remote water systems, 1 farmyard runoff control project, 2 manure storage improvement projects, 3 manure application technology projects, 471 ac of marginal land conversion, 2.75 miles of shelterbelt establishment, and 7 well decommissioning projects.
Fish Habitat Project Update
We are currently wrapping up the final season of the South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards’ two- year Fish Habitat Study, following a successful season in 2011. Investigations were conducted at 5 creeks within the South Saskatchewan River Basin in 2011; Snakebite, Brightwater, Opimihaw, Fish and Red Deer Creeks. Field sampling of fish communities using seine nets, hoop nets and minnow traps resulted in the capture of 1074 fish from 9 different species: fathead minnows, brook sticklebacks, spottail shiners, emerald shiners, finescale dace, lake chub, shorthead redhorse, white sucker, and northern pike.
An in-depth examination of habitat suitability and fish populations was undertaken throughout July and August 2012, which included several creeks previously studied in 2011 as well as Coteau Creek, where we found a population of yellow perch.
Through this research we hope to provide crucial data in order to monitor fish populations and habitat related issues such as barriers to fish movement, loss of riparian vegetation and stream bank erosion as well as water quality concerns. This database will enable watershed residents and industries to make informed decisions on whether a proposed project or development has the potential to negatively impact key fish habitat in the South Saskatchewan River.
For more information on our current projects please visit: http://www.southsaskriverstewards.ca/programs.html or check out our latest newsletter.