Baie-du-Febvre/Nicolet-south segment 8 2010-11

Goals and Objectives

The main objectives of this project aim to:
• Offer a quality habitat to waterfowl for migration, the distribution of duck pairs and the breeding of ducklings;
• Offer a habitat of optimal quality for the early spawners, especially the yellow perch;
• Offer a habitat of optimal quality for the food of the late spawners;
• Increase the current area of the shrubby marsh for birds and fish;
• Offer a quality habitat for the breeding of other birds nesting in the tall grass and scrubland;
• Offer a quality habitat for aquatic and semi-aquatic mammals, amphibians and reptiles.

Activities

The activities are summarized by the erection of a dike, the installation of a control allowing the management of the water level, and the installation of a pumping station creating a marsh of 46.1 hectares for the migration, reproduction and breeding of waterfowl broods. In addition, the marsh will constitute, in a harsh period, a fresh habitat for several fish species such as the yellow perch and the large pike, and a migratory stop for waterfowl. The circumference of the permanent marsh will be planted to form an herbaceous cover.

The main technical activities are:
1. Reshaping the main and collecting ditches;
2. Excavation of a network of ditches and fish ponds in connection with the collecting ditch;
3. Construction of a dike;
4. Construction of a control for the water level and a pumping station;
5. Installation of 4 rocky ripraps to improve the access of fish (in the development);
6. Excavation of a sedimentation basin to collect the sediments coming from the existing river.

The installation of the control for the water level, the reshaping of the ditches (main, collecting and drainage) and of the existing ditch will require the use of materials such as concrete, steel, geotextile membrane and stone. The completion of this work will require the use of machinery such as a crawler-mounted back-digging shovel, a crawler-mounted bulldozer, a 10-wheel truck, a service vehicle and a brush cutter. The schedule for completion of the work is anticipated to be from January to September 2010.

Specific Habitat Products/Results to be Supported by WHC’s Contributions
Wetlands and the easily flooded plain of the rivers have important ecological roles and are essential to the maintenance of the health of the aquatic ecosystems of the St. Lawrence River. However, these wetlands are constantly subjected to anthropic pressures (i.e. urbanization, agriculture, commercial navigation) and their area is continuously reduced. This project will aim to return optimal wildlife to the area being studied by respecting its role and the ancestral hydrological cycles.

The inventory of the impacts on wildlife and their habitats is positive. The planning of this segment of 58 hectares will offer the conditions essential to the development of aquatic and diversified vegetation (that are) indispensable to a multitude of wildlife species such as fish, waterfowl, water birds, amphibians, reptiles and aquatic mammals, in addition to increasing the area of habitat available for fish and waterfowl. The wildlife user of the marshes will have the availability of shelter, food and reproduction sites. In addition, the segment 8 planning work will make it possible to complete the diversification of Baie-du-Febvre/Nicolet-south wildlife planning.

The entire area affected by the project belongs to the Société d’aménagement récréatif pour la conservation de l’environnement du lac Saint-Pierre (SARCEL Inc.).

Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetlands-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife

The rich wildlife habitats of Lac Saint-Pierre located in the vicinity make the area a site with high potential with regard to its use by wildlife. Some 17,000 dabbling ducks, 600,000 large snow geese and 50,000 to 70,000 Canada geese stop there at the height of the migration. In the summer, the sector constitutes a potential site for the reproduction of ducks. In addition to waterfowl, the area is frequented by many other species of birds and constitutes rich habitats for avian wildlife.

One can find 21 fish species there, which include large pike, the yellow perch, the brown bullhead and several species of cyprinidae. In addition to small rodents, the most observed terrestrial mammals are the striped skunk, red squirrel and raccoon. The coyote, American mink, red fox, whitetail deer and moose are frequently observed there. However, the muskrat remains the species characteristic of this sector. According to an inventory carried out by the [Ministère du Loisir, de la Chasse et de la Pêche – MLCP] Quebec Department of Recreation, Fish and Game in 1991, six of the seven species of amphibians inventoried at Lac Saint-Pierre were present in the wildlife planning sector. The most observed species is the leopard frog followed by the American toad and green frog.

Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management

The Baie-du-Febvre sector is well known and in the spring, constitutes one of the most important migratory stops in Quebec for Canada geese, large snow geese and dabbling ducks. The area welcomes thousands of visitors each year and the economic consequences there are important. Management and enhancement of the site are assured by the group SARCEL Inc. Activities such as hunting waterfowl and whitetail deer, trapping of muskrat, and education for youth are organized in the project sector. As well, the group SARCEL set up infrastructures of interpretation and observation on the Baie-du-Febvre/Nicolet-south complex accessible to the community and visitors.

Project Location

The area targeted by the project is located close to the limit between the municipalities of Baie-du-Febvre and Nicolet, in the easily flooded plain of Lac Saint-Pierre, between highway 132 and the National Defense properties. This project corresponds to segment #8 of the wildlife planning of Baie-du-Febvre/Nicolet-south completed by Ducks Unlimited Canada at the beginning of the 1990’s. One reaches it directly starting from highway 132.

Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Sylvain Gaudreau, Engineer, Foreman, Restoration and planning of habitats, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Quebec, QC.