Habitat for the Pugnose Shiner, a species at risk, will be enhanced and restored in the Quinte watershed thanks to a project led by Watersheds Canada and Quinte Conservation. A generous two-year grant from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program for Aquatic Species at Risk will fund the Pugnose Shiner Landowner Engagement and Shoreline Habitat Restoration Project.
This project will focus on education and actions shoreline property owners can take on their lands to protect wildlife habitat quality and availability for the Pugnose Shiner. This project focuses on select areas in the Quinte watershed that contain some of the last remaining habitats of the Pugnose Shiner.
The Pugnose Shiner is a small fish found in a few areas in southwestern Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. It is extremely vulnerable to declining habitat quality. As such, this project will focus on landowner engagement and action to help enhance and restore local Pugnose Shiner populations and habitat quality.
One stewardship and education component of the project is shoreline property assessments using the Love Your Lake program. Love Your Lake uses a standardized assessment protocol (pictured below). Landowners receive a personalized property report with details on the state of their shoreline and voluntary recommended actions for improving lake health for people and wildlife.
Eligible landowners will also receive the Natural Edge to restore their shoreline properties using native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Landowners walk their shoreline with one of our staff members to talk about their restoration project and create a custom planting plan (pictured below). These plans are made on-site with the landowner based on their site conditions like sunlight availability and soil type, and personal preferences like plant height and colour.
Education and stewardship materials will also be made available to individuals living through the Quinte watershed, including informative videos and handouts. These tools will be great for getting your community together to protect critical Pugnose Shiner habitat!
However you choose to get involved, Watersheds Canada is excited to give you tools and resources so you can take local action to protect water quality health and wildlife habitat availability. If you have any questions about this project, please email Melissa Dakers, Lake Stewardship Coordinator at Watersheds Canada (firstname.lastname@example.org).