The watercourse fish survey was done in August, in the midst of a drought and low water levels. Salmon, who prefer cold water, would have avoided entering the watercourses on the site at that time. Could the watercourse fish survey be done again during normal conditions- unless the survey was done in an unfavorable time on purpose to ensure no salmon would be present?

The watercourse survey at the site was conducted on August 29-30, 2018, and while water levels were seasonally low (as is typical at this time of year), there is no scientific indication of “a drought”.  The conditions of the scientific collection permit issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for conducting aquatic surveys allow such surveys to be conducted at any time between June 1 and September 30 when water temperatures are below 22°C.  The water temperature of the two watercourses that had flowing water within them at the time of the survey was 17°C for Watercourse 1 (WC1) and 18°C for Watercourse 3 (WC3) (Table 5.4.2 of the EIA Registration document), which is within the acceptable range for cold water species (13-18°C for salmon and below 20°C for brook trout).  As such, the sampling was conducted during normal conditions representative of the allowable timeframe. 

Please note, the survey was conducted by independent professional biologists with multiple years of experience in carrying out scientifically-defensible aquatic habitat surveys, the work was conducted under the supervision of an experienced project manager and the results will be heavily scrutinized by government scientists in their review of the EIA registration.