P.E.I. Wildlife Federation crews are working to clear streams and rivers in eastern P.E.I. before spawning season.
They usually do the work in June and July but this year they are having to clean some of their sites again after post-tropical storm Dorian knocked down trees and branches.
"You do get into a stream and there are lots of large woody debris there," said Keila Miller, project manager with the Souris and Area branch of the federation. "There are downed trees."
Miller said some downed trees are not uncommon and can create habitats for animals, but the amount of downed trees this year could cause a problem.
"If there is any instance where there is no movement or connectivity through the stream, or if the actual water flow is blocked off, that's not good," she said.
The streams and rivers affected by Dorian are "hit and miss." Miller said there were many trees down in Hay River but not so many in East Lake.
Many species of fish use the rivers and streams in the area, including brook trout and Atlantic salmon.
"In the next four-to-five weeks you are going to have spawning fish, you're going to have brook trout and you are going to have Atlantic salmon," Miller said. "They are going to want to get to their desired spawning areas to lay their eggs."
Crews will do what they can to clean the waterways before spawning season, she said.
"You want to make sure there are no issues with the stream, there are no blockages, no water building up where it is stagnant," Miller said.
Miller said there are seven rivers designated for Atlantic salmon in the Souris area watershed.
"We want to make sure that their numbers are sustained and they are thriving. They're used to be a whole lot more salmon in our area and on P.E.I. in general," she said.
Next week the group plans to do a fish density survey.
"That's when you are going in and you are able to block off a certain area like a habit assessment site," Miller said.
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