Kara Cox HBESc thesis abstract

Thesis Title: 
Kama Creek Monitoring: Examining Water Loss and Sediment Transport in a Remediated Stream

The coaster brook trout populations in Lake Superior have supported a thriving fishery operation since early European settlement in the area.  The pressures from sport and commercial fishing combined with the habitat destruction and fragmentation associated with railroad, highway and industrial growth led to a sharp decline in coaster brook trout populations along the north shore of Lake Superior.  In an effort to restore lost habitat and aid failing fish stocks, tributary streams known to have historically provided habitat are being remediated.  The Kama Creek coaster brook trout realignment project is one such stream.

Historically, Kama Creek recorded high numbers of brook trout and provided important spawning, rearing and overwintering habitat.  The construction of the railroad in 1962 led to a loss of 600 metres of habitat when the stream was straightened, and the culvert became perched.  The realignment of the creek to its original configuration remedied both problems within the stream.

In order to determine the success of the remediation efforts and to determine what, if any work will be required in the future, water loss and sediment transport were examined during the months of April to August 2014.  The data collected during this period indicates little to no water loss to the old channel or groundwater table and a significant amount of sediment transport within the stream which has damaged the intended design of the stream.  Future work should aim to remedy the construction of the stream to better reflect the environmental and physical conditions of Kama Creek and ensure a stable structure can be maintained.