This project, funded by the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, enabled us to make an inventory of habitats (for a total of 42 sites) on two sections to determine various environmental aspects; one of the sections begins approximately 5 KM downstream of the covered bridge at Cameron's Mill and ends at the cement bridge located at St-Ignace (Gérasmine Road) and the other section is located from the covered bridge going upstream for a distance of about 1.2 KM.
Results from the habitat inventory of the section located approximately 5 KM downstream of the covered bridge located at Cameron's Mill to the cement bridge in St-Ignace show: an estimated average wetted width of 22.7 meters, an average full width watercourse edge estimated at 26.2 meters, bank full water depth estimated at 40.9 centimeters, and average depth of wet stream was estimated at 30.7 centimeters. The averages of the habitat types (visually estimated) of the total inventoried section were calculated as follows: riffle 19%, run 63%, pool 16.5%, and other 1.5%.
Wood turtle found during 2015 habitat survey on the Kouchibouguacis River
The following results come from the inventory section of Covered Bridge at Cameron's Mill upstream. The average wetted width was estimated to be 18.95 meters, the average bank full width of the watercourse was estimated at 24.57 meters, the average depth at bank full was estimated at 53.64 centimeters, and average depth of wet stream was estimated at 51.54 centimeters. The averages of the habitat types (visually estimated) of the total inventoried section were calculated as follows: threshold 9.29%, flat 51.79%, pit 38.21%, and other 0.71%.
Through this inventory, it was possible to determine the presence of different potential sources of pollution by conducting an inventory of point and diffuse sources of pollution in the buffer zone (within 30 meters perpendicular to the banks). Observations targeting potential environmental problems identified as attributes of watercourse crossings (ex. cattle access, off-road vehicle), point sources (ex. erosion, waste, ditches leading to watercourse, Water), non-point sources (ex. agricultural, forestry, residential practices), attributes that make up changes to the watercourse (ex. bridge with abutments, culvert, artificial dam, removal of trees in the buffer zone) Indicators of a possible deterioration in water quality (abundance of aquatic plants, odor, built-in substrate), water clarity and water color. Relevant observations were also made: the presence of unusual plants or animals (bird, mammal and plant), cultural use (ex. aesthetic place, cemetery), recreational uses (angling, Launching ramp), various geomorphologies and other characteristics in a natural watercourse (ex. beaver dam, groundwater source, wood debris).
The education component included in this project allowed us to offer masterful presentations and educational field trips with the students of the Mgr. Marcel-François Richard school of Saint-Louis-de-Kent and with the students of the École Secondaire Assomption in Rogersville. These school activities provided students with the opportunity to use various horticultural tools and techniques to produce shrubs (indigenous to the region) that will eventually be used to restore riverbanks and riparian areas. Students also had the opportunity to make their own aquatic habitat inventory while learning their role and importance. This project also allowed us to offer kiosk sessions in order to inform the local inhabitants how to use their environment in a responsible way in order to preserve it for future generations. Visit the Aquatic Habitat Enhancement, Let's Talk Streams page to learn more about the importance of aquatic habitats!