Recently I had the chance to participate in the Slave Watershed Environmental Effects Program (SWEEP) Community Based Monitoring Project.

water assessment Northwest Territories

Carefully processing samples.

As part of SWEEP, Lorne Doig (University of Saskatchewan) had deployed samplers designed to collect benthic invertebrates from the Slave River. The samplers were installed earlier in the season by motor boat when water levels were much higher. As the Slave River has dropped substantially below average (< 3000 m3/s) the project lead was unavailable to access the site by motor boat for fear of damaging the prop or engine.

As a solution I devised a plan to collect the samples by canoe, and over the period of two day I helped Lorne

Doig and his student assistant Jeremy Beamish in reaching the two difficult to reach sample locations.

In addition to accessing the sites I participated in the sample collection and processing of the benthic invertebrates. Four pairs of samplers were installed at each site to ensure adequate characterization of the benthic community for each site. This is the second field season of sampling for the project, which intends to track long-term changes in the aquatic ecosystem, as well as assess water quality.

If you are looking for more info on the SWEEP program you can find it here.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about the Slave River or the rapid corridor feel free to get in touch, those who know me know, I’m always excited in talking water.

water assessment Northwest Territories

Huge wolf tracks in the mud at the second site.

water assessment Northwest Territories

A picturesque waterfall at Rapids of the Drowned.

water assessment Northwest Territories

Getting ready to collect the samples at site number 2.