Roads and Rivers: Reconciling Access to Land and Integrity of Riverine Ecosystems, Part 1

Wednesday, August 20, 2014: 10:40 AM-3:10 PM
2103 (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Roads, for better or worse, result from the human need to interact with the environment for commerce, resource management, or recreation. Historically, roads have often been located adjacent to rivers and may intersect them several times along their route, requiring the establishment of road crossings. These can alter the geomorphic processes of rivers and streams, and harm aquatic species.  Rivers are dynamic and need to erode, transport sediments and stay connected with their floodplains. These fluvial processes may run counter to the long term stability of static structures such as roads, resulting in risk management issues.  The adoption of river regulation and mitigation measures to address human concerns can alter aquatic habitats by increasing fine sediment load, modifying the thermal regime and reducing habitat diversity.  For biota, the loss of connectivity can harm migratory species that need extensive access to rivers to complete their life cycle.  Habitat homogenization and degradation resulting from human actions to mitigate risks from stream-road interactions affect not only migratory species, but those whose life cycles play out over smaller spatial scales.

The objective of the symposium is to bring together professionals from various disciplines in order to share ideas and science about the following issues:

-          Effects of roads on physical characteristics of rivers and impacts on riverine habitats.

-          Consequences of roads and road crossings on aquatic organisms and fish species.

-          The concept of a freedom space for rivers and its challenges.

-          Response of fish populations and communities to restored longitudinal connectivity

The symposium will bring an interdisciplinary perspective on the interactions between road and drainage networks in order to better understand the above processes, to develop an integrated approach to road and river management to minimize impacts on fish populations, and to understand  how aquatic biota respond to restored connectivity.

Elsa Goerig , Doug Peterson and Laura Wildman
Elsa Goerig

Doug Peterson

Laura Wildman

10:40 AM
Welcoming Remarks

10:50 AM
Links Between Channel Mobility and Habitats: On the Importance of Protecting a Mobility Space for Rivers
Guénolé Choné, Concordia University; Pascale Biron, Concordia University

11:10 AM
Assessing the Impact of Riprap Bank Stabilization on Fish Habitat
William Massey, Concordia University; Pascale Biron, Concordia University

11:50 AM
Road Sediment Models: Strengths and Necessary Improvements
Robert Danehy, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement

12:10 PM
Wednesday Lunch

1:30 PM
Stream Crossing Impacts on Freshwater Fish Communities and in-Stream Habitat in West-Central Alberta: Implications for Management and Conservation
Bryan Maitland, University of Alberta; Mark Poesch, University of Alberta; Axel Anderson, Foothills Research Institute

1:50 PM
Known Unknowns: Does Culvert Passability Relate to Landscape Characteristics?
Evan Collins, University of Georgia; Duncan Elkins, University of Georgia; Will Duncan, United States Fish and Wildlife; Nathan Nibbelink, University of Georgia

2:10 PM
Shifting from Theory to Practice: Analyzing the Efficacy of Local and Broad Scale Connectivity Metrics
Dave Cote, Parks Canada; Shad Mahlum, Memorial University; Yolanda Wiersma, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Dan Kehler, Parks Canada; Keith D. Clarke, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

2:30 PM
Modelling Functional Fish Habitat Connectivity in Rivers: A Case Study of Brown Trout Spawning Habitat Restoration in Ile-De-France Streams
Mathieu Roy, Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture (IRSTEA); Céline LePichon, Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l’environnement et l’agriculture

See more of: Symposium Proposals