Aquatic Biology and Ecology »
Aquatic biota are a product of the habitat in which they live, and alterations to this habitat will generally result in changes in the presence and abundance of particular organisms. NSC has conducted aquatic habitat assessments in waterbodies ranging in size from small streams to large lakes and rivers, and even the marine environment, to describe baseline conditions and to measure change (through long-term monitoring). NSC maintains a large inventory of specialized sampling and surveying equipment, including kinematic global positioning systems, vertical and sidescan sonar for bathymetric mapping and bottom typing of substrate, and a DIDSON acoustic underwater camera for imaging habitat, structures, and their utilization by fish. NSC also uses Acoustic Doppler Profiling to examine sediment boundary dynamics and to inform predictive substrate modelling in large rivers and reservoirs, particularly for mapping habitat suitable for Lake Sturgeon spawning and the juvenile life stages. In addition, for studies focused on large areas of habitat or habitats that are difficult to access, NSC frequently employs remote sensing tools such as ground-based light detection, ranging (LiDAR) system surveys, and geocoded aerial video.