Fish Assessment and Carp Removal Pilot Project in Pelican Lake
In late summer 2021, the Healthy Lake Committee was approved for a MANITOBA FISH AND WILDLIFE ENHANCEMENT FUND (FWEF) grant for the Pelican Lake Carp Assessment and Removal Pilot Program. This project's goal was to find the most efficient methods of carp harvest, while having the lowest impact on the other fish species. The proposed methods to try were seine netting, corral netting, trap netting and electro fishing. The project would also look for effective, efficient ways of disposing of the carp. Under a scientific permit from Manitoba Fisheries, AAE Tech Services was hired to coordinate the project and do the scientific work. The Healthy Lake Committee organized volunteers to increase the scope and effectiveness of the project.
Phase 1 - Baseline Assessment and Fish Population Census, September 2021
Phase 1 of this project was a preliminary assessment that examined baseline water quality parameters, the distribution and abundance of native fish species in Pelican Lake, and tested various fish capture techniques to help choose which method(s) would be most efficient for the Phase 2 Carp Removal portion of the project in 2022. Here is the Technical Report on the results and recommendations upon completion of Phase 1. Pictures.
Phase 2 - Carp Removal, June 2022
Phase 2 of this project was targeting Common Carp specifically, using an electrofishing boat to stun and remove the fish from the water. High traffic areas known for Carp feeding/spawning were identified by local residents and targeted, as well as other areas. Here is the Final Report on this project, as well as Pictures.
The Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund with the Manitoba government provided funding for this project. The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) administers the FWEF program on behalf of the Manitoba Government
Marina Terrace Aeration Project
Over the summer and fall of 2015 we successfully built and installed a second aeration field at a mid-way point in Pelican Lake at Marina Terrace. This new field is much larger than the Northern Basin field, with 98 micro-bubbler heads installed in a fan pattern on the lake bottom over an area of 42 acres. Like our Northern Basin aeration system, this new system is supplied with air by compressors located in a shed onshore. At full capacity this field is able to supply 350 cfm of air to the lake. The total cost of the Marina Terrace aeration project was approximately $100,000, with $46,500 covered by the federal Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program Grant, and the rest covered by local fundraising and volunteer labour. We can’t thank our volunteers enough!
This addition of a second aeration field will help us to further build on the improvement in water quality and fish habitat that we’ve already started to see in the last few years. Running at full capacity in winter, the aeration systems add oxygen to the water to prevent fish die-offs. Running at a reduced capacity during the summer, they work to de-stratify the water column and accelerate the breakdown of the organic material on the bottom of the lake.
July 14, 2015 - Federal grant press release
June 1, 2015 - Marina Terrace Aeration Project begins June 2015
The positive impact of the northern basin aeration system that our committee installed in 2013 has led us to make plans to install a second, larger 250 – 300 cfm field at the mid-point of Pelican Lake at Marina Terrace, on a piece of land owned by the R.M. of Prairie Lakes. We have secured federal funding through the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program Grant in the amount of $46,500, with the total cost of the project estimated to be between $100,000 and $120,000. A significant portion of this cost will come from local fundraising.
We will line-bore underneath the shoreline and lake bottom out approximately 500 feet, to locate the field in approximately 13.5 to 15 feet of water. Approximately 100 diffuser bubbler heads will be installed in a fan pattern as shown in the diagram below. The system will be powered by three Becker rotary vane compressors. The compressors will be housed in a small shed on shore, that will be insulated for sound and located in a heavily treed area to minimize disturbance to area residents. There will be signage placed on the lake shore and the roadway denoting the aeration system and all supporters. The aeration field will be marked in the winter with reflective signage and flashing navigation lights (visible for 1.5 nautical miles). In the summer the field will be marked with floating marks/buoys with the same navigation lights.
Once installed, we ask that all recreational boaters and fishermen stay clear of the aeration field, as it will be susceptible to damage from dragging anchors etc. Please pass this information along so that everyone is aware of the location of the field, and can help to protect the equipment.
This new aeration field will help us to further build on the improvement in water quality and fish habitat that we’ve already started to see in the last couple of years in Pelican Lake. Running at full capacity in the winter months, this system will add much needed oxygen to the water to prevent fish die-offs. Running at a reduced capacity during the summer months, it will work to de-stratify the water column and accelerate the breakdown of the organic material on the bottom of the lake.
We welcome your help with this project! Whether you would like to join our work parties, or help us out with a donation, please email us at email@example.com. For project updates as we proceed, please visit this page.
Northern Basin Aeration Project
This project took place from August 2013 to Spring 2015. Start at the bottom of this section and work your way up!
For pictures of this project click here:
March 12, 2015
Well, very early on in the blower's life, it overheated and was ruined; lesson learned...that type of machine was not designed to operate in a constant high temperature environment! From that point on, we decided to stick to compressors only. We therefore had two compressors remaining. As we don't need to pump as much air through the system in the warmer months, we ran only 1 compressor throughout the spring, summer, and fall of 2014, pumping 30 cfm of air into the lake. We installed three more lines of bubbler heads into the field (total of bubbler heads installed is now 54), which leaves only one remaining line yet uninstalled. In addition, we also installed a line of weighted bubbling hose into the yacht club marina in late summer of 2014, so we are now supplying air to that as well. Once winter arrived, we turned on/up both compressors to full capacity, and were pumping 100 cfm into the aeration field. We installed a new, third compressor in the booth on February 15, 2015, which means we are now supplying 150 cfm to the aeration field in total. Once the ice breaks up, we will turn 2 of the compressors off, and turn down the remaining one to 2/3 power for the warmer months of the year. The purpose of leaving some air pumping into the system throughout the warmer months is to ensure de-stratification and encourage decomposition on the bottom of the lake.
January 12, 2014
The new blower and compressor pump house are operational. We are currently pumping approximate 100cfm into 24 bubbler heads with 140 lineal feet of micro bubbler hose. It would seem that is all we can pump into the field at its current size without over pressuring the pump, the pump is running at 80% power and using 17amps. This translates to 4080 watts or 4.08 kilowatts. This is a 300% increase over last year. Once we add the additional bubblers on the 4 remaining lines already installed and the aeration in the marina we will be able to turn the blower to 100% and turn the 2 other compressors on, giving us our final output of approximately 220 cfm out of 350 feet of bubbler line. We have completed 2 water samplings, and both times we met with some equipment problems so the results are only partial. We hope to run a full test before the end of the month.
January 4 and 5, 2014
This weekend was spent building the new compressor house that now holds our three compressors. The newest compressor attended our committee meeting on Sunday, where Trevor started it up to give a demonstration of the air it can move.
September 1 and 2, 2013
This weekend our committee spent a couple of days working to ready the bubbler heads and assenble the airlines connecting them to our new main airlines under the lake bottom feeding from shore. We were able to launch and place 24 bubbler heads in total. Starting from the point in the lake where the newly buried 8 main airlines pop out, we used a section of floating dock to attach a bubbler head airline to a main airline, then slowly moved ourselves outward in a straight line, attaching rebar to sink the airline and attaching a bubbler head every 50 feet. Each line is 300 feet long and therefore has 6 bubblerheads attached. We were able to hook up 4 of these 300 foot lines to 4 of the main airlines, so with 6 bubblerheads on each line, ended up with 24 bubbler heads in the water in total so far. After they were set, Trevor put on his scuba gear and dove down to ensure each one was sitting properly and to see how our launching method worked. It seems to have turned out very well, so now next on the agenda is to get our bigger compressor hooked up on shore to get all 24 head running.
August 24, 2013
Saturday's line boring went smoothly, and we now have our 8 air supply lines buried under the lake bottom. We would like to thank Duffy's Electric & Geothermal of Cartwright, MB for an amazing and professional job well done. They were the company that did the line boring (directional drilling).
The next step over the next few weeks is to install a larger, permanent bubbler field that will operate year round. By line boring and installing the air supply lines beneath the lake bottom we will avoid snagging and damages from boat traffic. We will be increasing the number of micro-bubblers to 23 initially, and up to as many as 65 before winter depending on funding. With the addition of two more onshore compressors, we will be supplying 190 CFM to the bubbler field.
Our goal with this year round aeration is to improve the health of the lake by increasing the oxygen levels. High levels of nutrients in the lake lead to algal blooms. Some algae is a food source for fish and gets consumed, however the toxic blue-green algae (which is a bacteria called Cyanobacteria) is not a food source and therefore accumulates, dies and decomposes. The decomposition of this extra accumulated matter depletes the oxygen levels in the lake. When oxygen levels get too low, decomposition of vegetation and excess nutrients slows down and is often incomplete which leads to the thick layer of ‘muck’ at the bottom of the lake, and the rotten egg smell.
Therefore, through the addition of oxygen with aeration, the more decomposition we can facilitate, and the fewer nutrients there will be available for algae blooms. In addition, during the winter months the oxygen added through aeration will help to prevent fish die offs.
August 19, 2013
Line-boring under the Lake Bottom - The Healthy Lake committee is in preparations for a big project taking place on Saturday morning, August 24th. We will be line-boring under the lake bottom, starting at the Learn to Sail beach at the Pelican Yacht Club and boring out approximately 500 feet. We will then pull back eight 500' lengths of 1" high density polyethylene pipe which will connect our on shore compressors with our current bubbler field, with extra air lines for future expanded bubbler fields and additional compressors. More updates on this project to come after the weekend!
See the table below for our water testing results. Check back periodically!
(This table is best viewed in full browser rather than mobile version)
Test results February 15, 2017: