Projects Directory

Designing, building and monitoring thermal refuges in an era of warming rivers

Recipient: Dalhousie University (Kurylyk)
Approved Amount: $43,312 for 2023 (2nd year of 3-year project; Total: $98,624)
Year Approved: 2023

Thermally stable patches in rivers, known as thermal refuges, are used by cold-water species like Atlantic salmon to alleviate thermal stress in the summer and winter through behavioural thermoregulation. Some rivers are characterized by thermal heterogeneity with available thermal refuges], while others are more thermally uniform or have thermal refuges that are crowded during heat waves. We propose an applied research study focused on thermal refuges through a combination of hydrological, thermal, and ecological data and knowledge. Specifically, we will refine, implement, and assess some of the theoretical recommendations previously made for creating and enhancing Atlantic salmon thermal refuges through in-stream or riparian zone alterations in the West River Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia, and potentially in the nearby Moser or St. Mary’s Rivers. These refuge designs will be based on thermo-hydrological and ecological principles and monitored using state-of-the-art thermal sensing technology and underwater cameras.

Project Contact:                Dr. Barret Kurylyk   902 989 4386