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Project Details

Project dates
01/12/2023  – 04/02/2024
Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario 60, Ontario, Canada

Brett Studden

Project Lead

This project provides several novel insights into the behaviour of aquatic species in response to changing weather conditions and storms.

Project Description

In many parts of the world, extreme weather events like storms, wildfires, droughts, and floods are thought to be increasing in frequency and intensity. While these events are typically considered for their impacts on humans. However, they may also have detrimental consequences for the natural landscape.

In aquatic systems, rain and wind generated by storms may influence light, nutrients, temperature, and mixing of the water column. However, our understanding of how mobile organisms like freshwater fishes respond to these conditions remains remarkably limited.

To assess changes in freshwater fish activity and space use during storm events this project used an underwater tracking technology called “acoustic telemetry”. These events appear to have significant effects on the behavioural patterns of freshwater fishes. The strongest impact was found on shallow-living species.

This project provided several novel insights into the behaviour of aquatic species in response to changing weather conditions and storms. This knowledge was shared widely amongst stakeholders, industry professionals, and the general public.  To share their findings Brett presented at a conference hosted by the American Fisheries Society and at outreach events hosted in the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada as well as the Ontario Science Center.

What was your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge faced during this project was communicating the findings. Tailoring a science communication presentation to a given audience can be difficult, and in the case of this project, it was essential to alter how the findings were presented to communicate each in an effective manner so it could be understood by all. This project was delivered to both an informed audience and the general public so delivery methods had to be fluid and adaptable.

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