eDNA results for MacDonald, Nakusp and Wilson Creeks

MacDonald and Nakusp creeks were sampled in September 2019 by trained technicians from Living Lakes Canada. The samples were send to the University of Guelph for analysis. The work was done under the STREAM program supported by the World Wildlife Fund, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Living Lakes Canada. The full report can be downloaded from the Arrow Lakes Environment Stewardship Society’s website here or the image below.

eDNA analysis consists of identifying the DNA of invertebrates (“bugs”) found in the sediment of stream in specialized labs, such as the one at the University of Guelph. The number and types of invertebrates can be used to indicate the health of the stream. Because the technique is relatively new, we cannot comment on the results at this time but we will be working with experts in the field to interpret the results.

The report includes eDNA results for Wilson Creek in the Slocan watershed, which is adjacent to the Arrow Lakes watershed and has a similar topographic setting, i.e. streams draining mountain valleys. The MacDonald Creek sample was taken immediately upstream from where Highway 6 crosses it. The Nakusp Creek sample was taken beside the road into the Box Lake Campground and is where the stream enters the Box Lake Wetland. The samples were taken at the same locations that ALESS has been testing the water quality for several years. Wilson Creek was sampled downstream from the Highway 6 bridge at Rosebery.

One of the interesting results of the analysis is that the technique provides identification right down to the species level. Macdonald Creek had 55 species from 8 Orders, Nakusp Creek had 36 species from 7 Orders and Wilson Creek had 59 species from 9 Orders. The most common Orders were Caddis Flies, Stone Flies and Mayflies. The following graph shows the number of species recorded in each Order.

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