Results of a Study to Evaluate the Feasibility of Using a Drifted Gill Net to Survey Fish Species Present in the Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy

Evaluation of the potential impact of tidal power turbines on fishes within the Minas Passage requires knowledge of the abundance and species composition of fish present during various times of the year.  At present, estimates of fish biomass are underway using Femto echosounding technology in combination with trawl netting to identify species composition.  An additional potential approach to collection and identification of fish species composition is by using drifted gill nets.  Although some investigators have raised doubts about the feasibility of this approach in the highly turbulent environment of the Minas Passage, others having considerable experience in the use of drifted gill nets in other turbulent areas of the Minas Basin feel that this should not be a serious problem, and that it will in fact be more effective in capturing fish, and especially larger fish, than trawls considering that the latter are not usually effective in catching larger fish in midwater unless towing speed is very high or a very large net is used.  The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using drifted gill nets to capture fish within the area of the Minas Passage being surveyed with the Femto echo-sounding technology. 

Investigators: M. Brylinsky of Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research, at Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia 

This resource is also available as Appendix 7 in the 2011 Environmental Effects Monitoring Program report.