AAE Tech Services Inc.

Fish Passage Design/Monitoring


Fish Passage Design/Monitoring

Assessing creeks, streams and rivers for adequate fish passage is a top priority of our company.  Assessing fish passage is an important component to any fisheries survey.  Barriers including those anthropogenic in nature such as perched culverts, undersized culverts (resulting in high water velocities), bridges, concrete structures, earthen dams, dikes, ford crossings, rock weirs, and commercial fishing nets or natural barriers such as beaver dams, debris, log jams, or rapids can segment and reduce the amount of fish habitat available for spawning, rearing, nursery, feeding and/or refuge. 

At AAE Tech Services we are experienced at identifying barriers impeding fish movements and are capable of recommending innovative strategies to remove barriers or provide fish passage (i.e. construct fishway) at the impediment.




Fox Bridge Hydrology

AAE Tech Services Inc. was contracted to assess the hydrology of the river under a newly constructed bridge, which replaced an inadequate ford crossing.  Due to narrowing of the river at this site, concerns were raised regarding fish passage by local government agencies.  AAE Tech Services was contracted to assess flow to determine whether the structure was fish friendly and the river bank was stable at this site.   


Hatchery Drain Fish Passage

An assessment was conducted on Hatchery Drain to determine and identify whether velocites at culvert crossings along the drain impeded fish movement during the spring of 2007.  Hoop nets and visual observations were used to capture and identify fish within the various reaches of the drain to determine upstream migration.


Monitoring of Fish Passage at Kenbro Park Dam

AAE Tech Services Inc. was contracted to assess the effectiveness of a newly constructed fishway on the Brokenhead River.  The fishway was built to allow passage of fish over the ford crossing at low water levels.  Assessment involved examining the flow through the fishway along numerous cross sections and determine how effective the fishway was at providing passage.


Culvert Assessment in Swan Creek, Dog Lake, and Lake Francis Watersheds.

Water velocity and discharge was assessed at numerous stream crossings within all watersheds to identify those culverts likely impeding fish movement under a variety of flow conditions.  A description of each stream crossing was included in the assessment along with information about the condition of the crossing and whether barriers were noted (e.g. were culverts perched or damaged, etc.).

Design and Construction Supervision of the Honoway Fishway 

A bypass fishway was constructed on Swan River to provide fish with the opportunity to reach upstream spawning and nursery habitats.  The fishway was constructed around a ford crossing that was impeding fish movement under a variety of flow conditions.  Because the ford crossing was located near Swan Lake, and near the mouth of the river, it likely had a significant impact on fish populations within the river.  


Monitoring of Fish Passage at Ryz Crossing on The Vermillion River

In 2009, a fishway was constructed on the Vermillion River outside of Dauphin, MB to provide fish passage at a ford crossing.  AAE Tech Services was contracted to assess and determine the effectiveness of the fishway when the ford crossing created a barrier to fish movement (i.e. high velocities within the culverts) during spring runnoff.  Due to extremely low flows in 2010 and 2012 and extremely high flows in 2011, the study is ongoing.


St. Malo Fishway Feasibility Assessment

AAE Tech Services is currently working with the St Malo and District Fish and Wildlife Association to improve fish habitat conditions within the Rat River.  One of our main goals is to provide passage at the dam located at St. Malo to restore connectivity to the system and allow fish to reach upstream spawning and rearing habitats.  The project was also designed to help rekindle the publics interest in restoring fish populations within the Rat River.  


Whitefish Lake Tributary Beaver Dam Removal 

AAE Tech Services worked with the Swan Valley Sport Fishing Enhancement Group to remove numerous beaver dams along North and Lagoon Creeks, tributaries of Whitefish Lake, to increase connectivity and improve spawning habitat for fish populations within the lake.  Due to limited access, dynamite was used to dislodge and remove dams located along the creeks.


La Riviere Dam Fish Passage Feasibility Assessment

A desktop study was completed to summarize potential impacts, both positive and negative, of 1) a complete dam removal, 2) a partial dam removal or 3) constructing a fishway around a dam at La Riviere on the Pembina River to improve connectivity between lower and upper reaches of the river and to restore natural habitat conditions within.  Meetings were held with stakeholders to discuss the social and economic values of maintaining water levels upstream of the La Riviere Dam.








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Aquatic Restoration and Rehabilitation Planning


Assessment of waterbodies for rehabilitation needs due to agricultural

changes and construction as well as for alterations that are deemed to harmfully

alter, disrupt or destroy (HADD) fish habitat as determined by the Department of

Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  Application of culverts, fish ladders and spawning

structure to enhance fish habitat or return to a near natural state.