Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 9 > Page 9 - Wreck Cove Hydro-Electric Investigation

Page 9 - Wreck Cove Hydro-Electric Investigation

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1974/10/1 (1287 reads)

water or the Department of Environment could ask for maintanence flows for the sal? mon which is their big thing because it's the tourist fish, the commercial fish. Trout, in ray opinion, they don't concentrate on as heavily as they could. Because there's a lot of trout up there, which nobody seems to be worrying too much about. I feel they should be protected as well. That will be one of my recommendations, that we try to preserve those populations. Below the dam, they will be cut off due to lack of water • so you lose those. Ihe only thing you can do here is talk theoreti? cally <, 'en you build the dam, until she fills up, there's no overflow at all. They will be flooding the head-pond area. Your flow is cut off which automatically drops your oxygen levels above the dam • sort of stagnant water while she's filling up. Then your spawning grounds are lost. Eggs have got to have pretty good oxygen when they're wintering. If you've got stagnant water on the bottom of a pond they'll just suffocate. Then your spawning grounds are in gravel and now you're going to have Rege Sweeney & his Crew;Ian MacDonald. Burland Murphy. & John Campbell. Rock Poulin. siltation. Before you build your dam all your water is free-flowing • every big rain storm flushes it out. You build the dam your silt's got no way of flushing • it set? tles on the bottom and slowly builds up. On a mountain stream like these your silt load is naturally low, but it's still a factor. Certainly with trout. They lay their eggs in the gravel and any eggs that are laid there are just cut off, lack of oxy? gen. And the trout aren't goih' to dig down through a foot of silt to lay eggs. So there's no spawning ground available for them. Fluctuating levels are another thing. If your trout are spawning near the shore, when you've got a peak-time draw down, well your eggs are exposed to the air, freezing temperatures • this sort of thing is going to wipe them out. Then your insects with a yearly cycle • they spend 6 months to a year as invertebrates • living underwater. Most of these things are attached to rocks • caddis fly larvae and things like that • as soon as there's a draw-down you lose a good food source for the trout. Your trout populations • the way it's usually seen • they'll increase the first couple of years. Why, we don*t really know. But it's a known fact in most of these head-ponds. There's a dramatic increase in your population. Then it peaks and drops down lower than it was originally. So the first few years it looks pretty good for the dam builder • he can say the trout is in? creasing greatly • then a few years it's gone. Rock Poulin, Geologist: The biggest change on hydro pov'er is psychological. This is going to be their project. First of all we're like a bunch of foreigners, just come from all over the place. We come and we go like the wind. But there are people who will stay. The guys digging these pits there. These guys will start to talk in terms of not a bunch of foreigners coming here to do these things • in a little while you will hear the guys say My dam. My tunnel. My powerhouse. And then these guys will say. We're not so stupid after all. We can do these things. What we needed was a shove in the back somewhere and get some characters to get us to decide to do these things. If you had asked us before we would have said no, we can't make that. But now we can do anything. Bring on the work, we'll do it. That's the type of change Cape Breton's Magazine/9
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download