Canoeing the Slave Watershed Environmental Effects Program (SWEEP) Community Based Monitoring Project.

Canoeing the Slave Watershed Environmental Effects Program (SWEEP) Community Based Monitoring Project.

John Blyth | 2014-09-26 | Community Monitoring | Slave River | SWEEP | water quality | | Company News | 32

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 LorneDoig 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.

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About the Author

John Blyth



John grew up in national parks across the Northwest Territories and developed a lasting love of wild spaces and the people who live in them. His passion led him to study archaeology and anthropology, and he has spent the last decade living and working in the NWT as a multidisciplinary consultant in environmental science, anthropology, education, and wilderness safety. Notably, John has been involved in the Species Status Report for Barren-Ground Caribou in the NWT: Traditional and Community Knowledge Component, the 2014 Government of the Northwest Territories Wildfire Report Card, and the Enbridge Renewal study for Liidlii Kue First Nation, among other projects.

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