From 1974 to 1997, I made expeditions from our field station at Drizzle Lake Ecological Reserve,  Haida Gwaii, to some 700 lakes and ponds in the Haida Gwaii archipelago to assess the distribution and characteristics of the Threespine Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Athough several large lakes were visited by float plane,  most of the lakes and ponds on west Graham and Moresby Islands were accessed by boat, during navigation around the archipelago with a 4 m Zodiac. All of the lakes and ponds in the north-east lowlands of Graham Island were reached on foot using compass navigation. 

 In the majority of localities, standard minnow traps were set for 24 hours in littoral and, occasionally,  open water zones . The presence of fish species other than Threespine Stickleback was usually assessed with 2.5 cm monofilament gill nets set in the littoral zone. When possible, pH and conductivity was measured and a 5cc water sample taken for subsequent chemical analysis. We made estimates of  macrophyte cover, littoral area and approximate depth, the latter extrapolated from shoreline slope and  subsequently tested on 4 large lakes using depth sounder transects.  Species and numbers of aquatic birds were recorded; we also surveyed the lake for River Otter (including spraints), Beaver, and amphibians. More than half of the lakes and ponds had no gazetted or local names and, for these, we assigned a name largely based on  biophysical attributes.

All localities have been geo-referenced on Google Earth and linked to photographs and to a .pdf file of biophysical attributes. This website comprises about one-half of all of the localities visited, but includes all of the localities with fish (separated into 3 categories: Gasterosteus plus other fish species, Gasterosteus only, other fish species only) and 100 localities without  fish. Many of the ponds, which lacked fish or aquatic birds, have not been included.  

Tom Reimchen and Sheila Douglas
December 2011
Victoria, B.C.


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