Fish Monitoring Trial
As part of the environmental monitoring for the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project, a 96 hour trial took place in the fall of 2016. The 96 hour trial is commonly used to scientifically test the tolerance of fish to specific environmental conditions.
The trial was filmed in a lab at the Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University. Young Striped bass were transferred from freshwater to near seawater at 28 parts per thousand (ppt) salinity. Water temperature was 20oC, typical of summer conditions in the Shubenacadie River estuary.
Salinity off the coast of Nova Scotia is stable, around 30 ppt. In the Shubenacadie estuary, by contrast, salinity varies greatly from 0 to 28ppt depending on the tide and rainfall. Striped bass are fully adapted to these conditions through all their life stages from egg to adult.
As expected, the Striped bass easily adapted to 96 hours at 28 ppt.
If the estuary has a natural salinity approaching 28 ppt, brining operations to create the natural gas storage caverns at Alton will be reduced automatically or shut down completely to stay below this value. This is an important safeguard at Alton to ensure the release of brine mirrors the natural salinity in the river.
The complete 96 hours of the trial from October 13 to October 17 can be viewed at the following links. Most video segments are two hours and seven minutes long, and some are approximately one hour long. Each segment starts where the previous segment ended to provide continuous recording of the trial. If the links do not play, please try another browser.
For an introduction to the trial, see the following segment.