A new way to climb the river

Canada’s Nipissis River is home to Atlantic salmon, whose migratory lifestyle involves being able to move easily upstream in rivers. Fish ladders are one way of helping them to bypass obstacles such as waterfalls. But unless they are designed correctly, the structures can interrupt the annual salmon migration. To improve the salmon habitat and counteract the losses associated with the tailings expansion project in Quebec, we’re repairing the fish ladder at the McDonald Falls on the Nipissis River. Developed in consultation with stakeholders including the Innu indigenous community, the repair will be carried out in 2020 and then monitored over 10 years for structural integrity and its use by the river’s salmon. The project is important to the Innu community, which owns 2 fish outfitters on the Nipissis river and will take advantage of the salmon’s increased presence


Replacement for lost fish habitat

When ArcelorMittal Mining Canada used a 7.57-hectare lake in the Mont-Wright tailings facility expansion as a tailings deposit site, we compensated for the loss of fish habitat by developing part of the Moiré Lake outfall. The work, carried out in 2014, involved developing fish ponds with different types of fish habitat including spawning beds, rearing and feeding areas. An environmental monitoring programme has been in place from 2015 and so far, shows that the habitat is functioning well and the integrity of the spawning ground is good, benefitting salmon reproduction.


Photo of Nipissis River fish ladder