Under British Columbia’s Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), the B.C. Minister of Environment is authorised to designate a watershed as a Fisheries Sensitive Watershed (FSW) if it has either: 1) significant fish values; or 2) watershed sensitivity. FSW designation includes setting associated objectives aimed at directing forest and range management activities in a manner that maintains and protects habitat conditions essential to fish (e.g., hydrology, stream bed dynamics, channel integrity, water quality and quantity, and cumulative hydrological effects). Thirty-one FSWs have been designated to date by the Minister and, over the course of the next several years, there are plans to identify and designate additional watersheds in the province as FSWs.
ESSA was contracted to assist the Ministry of Environment (MOE), in conjunction with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) , with developing the framework for an effectiveness monitoring program that can be used to determine whether FSWs are meeting their intended goals. ESSA’s role in the project involved three phases of work:
- (FREP) Watershed-based Fish Values Monitoring protocol webpage, including downloads of monitoring protocol documents and other related resources.
- Tier I Watershed-Level Fish Values Monitoring Protocol
- Tier I Watershed-Level Fish Values Monitoring Protocol Rationale
- Tier II Watershed-Level Fish Values Monitoring Protocol
- Tier II Watershed-Level Fish Values Monitoring Protocol Rationale