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(see also Current Conditions)

    A number of peculiar things have been observed in the Saskatchwan River over the years.  For example, heavy growths of algae and macrophytes have recently been observed at Lemsford Ferry, where the river enters Saskatchewan from Alberta (A, map below),  and these growths have been excessive to the extent that according to ferry operators, damage has been caused to ferry cables because of the heavy weight.   Possibly nutrients from intensive livestock operations along the Old Man River have something to do with the new situation.

     Another change is that  Ametropus seems to have recently disappeard or has at least has  become very uncommon , whereas large populations were  present at many sites in the past- from about 1970 until 2000 or so. Efforts will be made to get more information on this situation

       One of the most striking situations that we unexpectedly happened to  measure quantitatively was the almost complete elimination of the aquatic community between May samples and July samples in 2006 at St. Louis  on the South Saskatchewan River, between F and G on the map below..  Summary data are given in the graphs below- a drop to near zero between May and July at St. Louis, but no drop was seen at Cecil Ferry and other sites .  Details  at the species level are given in the tables below. 

Below, comparison of May, July and Aug. Sept. samples, 2006  Total Mayfly specimens dropped from 1748 in May to 84 in July.  Total mayfly species dropped from 13 to 6.  Total insects in the samples dropped from 3328 in May to 133 in July.  No drops were seen at Cecil Ferry.


St. Louis is a small town with a bridge across the river  located downstream form Saskatoon, between F and G in the map below.  Obviously, Saskatoon, a city of over 200,000 people, with input of treated sewage, plus being the location of numerous chemical plants,  and with a history of events such as mercury spills into the river,  is suspect in causing the elimination of the aquatic community.  No monitoring records are known  to be availble from Federal Environment Canada labs in Saskatoon,  nor  from Provincial sources such as the Saskatchewan Research Council and their private consultants also located in Saskatoon , nor have  there have been  reports of toxic spills or other catastrophic events from the  well staffed and well funded University Toxicology Center in Sasktoon  (http://www.usask.ca/toxicology/Faculty/index.php).  Problems have been know form the past, mercury being an example (http://www.jamietan.com/2008/04/would-you-eat-fish-out-of-saskatchewan.html); (http://www.environment.gov.sk.ca/adx/aspx/adxGetMedia.aspx?DocID=577,243,94,88,Documents&MediaID=237&Filename=Mercury+Guidelines.pdf)   See Waite, D. T. 1981. Environmental Importance of Low Concentration Mercury Discharges, Gov. Pubs. Environment Saskatchewan for details on known discharges and the source industry, as well as concentrations in fish taken in the area, especially of concern being fish from Clarkboro Ferry area,  site F. on the map below, on the downstream edge of Saskatoon - the discharge area.

Obviously, something serious took place at St. Louis. between May and July 2006, but there seems to have been no monitoring sites or samples to detect water quality in the river.  It would seem to be a matter of concern that so little attention is paid to such large sections of the river by the appropriate agencies and departments, including, for example, the Environmental Champions, innovators, and activists of the Meewasin Valley Authority,  with their creation called  the "Partners For the Saskatchewan River Basin", also located in Saskatoon (http://econet.sk.ca/sk_enviro_champions/meewasin.html) .

St. Louis is located between F and G in the map below.


_____________________________________________________________________

Comparison of May and July samples at St. Louis, 2006  Total Mayfly specimens dropped from 1748 in May to 84 in July.  Total mayfly species dropped from 13 to 6.  Total insects in the samples dropped from 3328 in May to 133 in July.

-St. Louis, So. Saskatchewan River
May 2006- Quantitative TransectsJuly 2006
-
Ephemeroptera Taxa 
       
Acentrella parvula (McDunnough)
Acentrella turbida (McDunnough)
Baetis tricaudatus Dodds
Baetisca lacustris McDunnough
Brachycercus edmundsi Soldán
Centroptilum album McDunnough
Centroptilum bifurcatum McDunnough
Ephemerella excrucians Walsh 
Heptagenia elagantula / diabasia
Macafertium terminatum (Walsh)
Metretopus borealis (Eaton)
Pseudiron centralis McDunnough
Tricorythodes sp.1
Unidentified Acentrella sp.
Unidentified Centroptilum sp.
Immature Baetidae sp.
Immatue Heptageniidae sp.

EPHEMEROPTERA May 2006 

TOTAL SPECIMENS        1748
TOTAL TAXA                      13
 
       
***************************************
PLECOPTERA May 
       
Isoperla bilineata (Say)
Pteronarcys dorsata Say
 
TOTAL SPECIMENS              43
TOTAL TAXA                          2 

*****************************************
       
Tricoptera Taxa 
       
Ceraclea arielles (Denning)
Cheumatopsyche sp. 1
Hydropsyche alternans Walker
Hydropsyche bifida Banks
Hydropsyche occidentalis Banks
Nectopsyche sp. 1
Ochrotrichia sp. 1
Immature Hydropsychidae sp.
Unidentified Hydropsychidae sp.
Immature sp.
Pupa

TRICHOPTERA        May

TOTAL SPECIMENS      687
TOTAL TAXA                    7
 

*****************************************
       
Diptera  
       
Athericidae (larvae)
Chironomidae (larvae)
Chironomidae (pupa)
Empididae (pupa)
Simuliidae (larvae)
Simuliidae (pupa)

Simuliidae (pupa)

DIPTERA              May

TOTAL SPECIMENS                850
TOTAL SPECIMENS  excl. Chir. 61 
       
********************************************

ODONATA
       
Ophiogomphus sp. 1
Immature Gomphidae sp.

*****************************************
Bivalva
Crustacean
Egg mass

*******************************************
 
Oligochaetae 11
Oligochaetae-like organism (white) 813 

       
*******************************************
SUMMARY            May 2006

Grand total insects                       3328
Grand total insects excl. Chiro.   2539
Total taxa                                        22
******************************************


Ephemeropttera Taxa 
       
Ephoron album (Say)
Fallceon quilleri (Dodds)
Heptagenia elegantula / diabasia
Isonychia compestris McDunnough
Macafertium terminatum (Walsh)
Tricorythodes sp. 1
Immature Baetidae sp.
Immature Heptageniidae sp.
-
-
-Notice that all species  (left)
except two disappear between
 May and July- the "recovery species
above are from new hatching of summer
species. 











EPHEMEROPTERA  July 2006

TOTAL SPECIMENS            84
TOTAL TAXA                        6 
       
******************************************
PLECOPTERA July
 
NONE






************************************

Tricoptera Taxa 
       
Cheumatopsyche sp. 1
Hydropsyche alternans Walker
Immature Hydropsychidae sp.
Pupa








TRICHOPTERA        July

TOTAL SPECIMENS       18
TOTAL TAXA                   2
       
******************************************

Diptera 
 
       
Chironomidae (larvae)
Chironomidae (pupa)







DIPTERA               July

TOTAL SPECIMENS         31
TOTAL SPECIMENS (excl. Chiro XXXXX
       
*************************************

ODONATA

Ophiogomphus sp. 1
Immature Gomphidae sp.

*************************************
Bivalva
Collembora
Copepod
Crayfish
Crustacean
Oligochaetae         xxxx




*********************************************
SUMMARY                  July 2006

Grand total insects                        133
Grand total insects  excl chiro      102
Total taxa                                         8
******************************************

Recovery of the Community,  July and August-September samples at St. Louis.  It seems there was no recovery.  Compare with data from Weldon Ferry, the next site downstream form St. Louis.  See table below.

St Louis, So. Saskatchewan River
-July 2006 Quantitative transectLate Aug. Sept 2006
 

Ephemeropttera

       
Ephoron album (Say)
Fallceon quilleri (Dodds)
Heptagenia elegantula / diabasia
Isonychia compestris McDunnough
Macafertium terminatum (Walsh)
Tricorythodes sp. 1
Immature Baetidae sp.
Immature Heptageniidae sp.







EPHEMEROPTERA

TOTAL SPECIMENS    84
TOTAL TAXA                6 
       
******************************************
PLECOPTERA   NONE

***********************************

Tricoptera 
       
Cheumatopsyche sp. 1

Hydropsyche alternans Walker
Immature Hydropsychidae sp.
Pupa


TRICHOPTERA

TOTAL SPECIMENS       18
TOTAL TAXA                   2
       
******************************************

Diptera 

       
Chironomidae (larvae) 
Chironomidae (pupa) 

TOTAL SPECIMENS         31
TOTAL SPECIMENS (excl. Chiro XXXXX
       
*************************************

ODONATA

Ophiogomphus sp. 1
Immature Gomphidae sp.


*********************************************
SUMMARY

Grand total insects                     133
Grand total insects  excl chiro   102
Total taxa                                              8
******************************************


Ephemeroptera 
       
Acentrella parvula (McDunnough)
Centroptilum album McDunnough
Centroptilum bifurcatum McDunnough
Ephoron album (Say)
Fallceon quilleri (Dodds)
Heptagenia elegantula / diabasia
Macafertium terminatum (Walsh)
Pseudocloeon propinquum (Walsh)
Stenacron interpunctatum (Say)
Tricorythodes sp. 1
Immature Baetidae sp. 
Immature Ephemerellidae sp.?
Immature Heptageniidae sp. 
 

EPHEMEROPTERA

TOTAL SPECIMENS     315
TOTAL TAXA                 10
 
*******************************************
PLECOPTERA NONE

***************************************

Tricoptera 
       
Cheumatopsyche sp. 1
Helicopsyche borealis (Hagen)
Hydropsyche alternans Walker
Hydropsyche occidentalis Banks
Hydropsyche riola Denning
Immature Hydropsychidae sp.

TRICHOPTERA

TOTAL SPECIMENS      38
TOTAL TAXA                  5
 

***************************************
       
Diptera 
         
Chironomidae (larvae)
Chironomidae (pupa)  

TOTAL SPECIMENS                 25
TOTAL SPECIMENS  Excl Chiro 1 
          

****************************************         


ODONATA
 
None 



*******************************************
SUMMARY

Grand total insects                          380
Grand total insects excl. Chiro        356
Total taxa                                         15

*******************************************
       

We have data from about 10 sites on these dates, covering the entire river, for comparison. See various pages under Saskatchewan River for some of the information.

Weldon Ferry, just downstream from St. Louis. No reduction between May and July is seen.  Whatever caused the destruction of the community at St. Louis did not extend to Weldon Ferry.

grand total insectsgrand total taxatotal mayfliesmayfly species
May5132227513
July7672051211

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