Marie Veillard, former M.Sc. Student
B.Sc. in Environment and Conservation Studies (University of Alberta)
Fisheries Biologist, Govenment of Alberta, Environment and Parks
Assessing dispersal patterns and swimming ability of Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Cottus sp.) in three lotic systems located in the eastern slopes region of Alberta, Canada. (Link)
My research addresses the dispersal capabilities and swimming potential of Rocky Mountain Sculpin in response to hydrologic alteration. Rocky Mountain Sculpin are a small-bodied fish listed as threatened both federally and provincially, due to waterway alteration throughout their restricted range. The St. Mary Canal was constructed in 1917 to annually divert approximately 200 million cubic meters of water from the St. Mary River to the North Milk River. Each year, this diversion drastically changes the flow regime in the North Milk River from April to September. To examine the impact of this diversion on eastslope populations of Rocky Mountain Sculpin, I conducted a field study to determine their natural dispersal potential in response to abiotic and biotic factors in Lee Creek. I also conducted a laboratory experiment to compare the swimming ability and exercise recovery potential of individual sculpins from Lee Creek, St. Mary River and North Milk River. This research seeks to answer questions regarding stimuli to dispersal, dispersal capability and physiological swimming ability of the species.