British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Lentic and lotic mapping of the Elk River watershed Polzin, Mary Louise; McPherson, Sherri; Hlushak, Darcy; Michel, David


The Elk Valley Selenium Task Force (EVSTF) through Teck Coal Ltd. (Teck Coal) retained Interior Reforestation Co. Ltd. (Interior) to determine the relative proportion of lentic (standing) and lotic (moving) waters in the Elk River Valley downstream of the mines. Data was gathered from a helicopter using Red Hen geo-spatial video technology in the fall of 2007. Following video analysis and field reconnaissance, lentic and lotic areas were delineated on orthophoto maps using GIS. Lotic areas were in the active channel where water had a short retention time (seconds to minutes), while Lentic areas had a longer retention time (hours to weeks). Lentic areas were distinguished as either: Lentic 1 areas - standing water apparent at base stream flow conditions; or Lentic 2 areas - not wetted at base flows, but likely wetted under mid to high flows and included standing water when it was not visible because of vegetation or the area was too small to delineate accurately. The study area was comprised of approximately 139 ha lentic and 976 ha lotic habitat, respectively representing 12% and 84% of the aquatic area assessed. The Elk River subbasin had the greatest extent of aquatic habitat assessed (838 ha) and the greatest extent of lentic area (94 ha). The Fording River had the second largest area assessed (180 ha) and lentic habitat (33 ha).

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