Fish science at Alton

Posted on September 09, 2016

Years of fish research on the Shubenacadie River have been summarized in new fact sheets available on the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project website.

The fact sheets explain how different types (species) of fish in the Shubenacadie River tolerate the wide range of salinity in the water.

The fact sheets have sections on:

Twenty species, representing all levels of the food web, are profiled in the fact sheets including Atlantic salmon, Striped bass, Atlantic tomcod, Atlantic sturgeon and American eel.

The fact sheets were developed by Dalhousie University with input from Alton consultants and reviewed by a multi-party working group including federal and provincial departments and representatives of the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.

To view the fact sheets, visit

As well, Alton’s response to the third party science review of the project includes information on fish research on all species found at the Alton site, including Atlantic salmon and Striped bass. Alton’s response to the review is an outcome of discussions of a multi-party working group that met through the fall of 2015. The working group included representation from Alton, the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, and federal and provincial governments.

To help protect fish and fish habitat in the tidal Shubenacadie River estuary, Alton continuously monitors the salinity of the estuary water and has controls in place to ensure activity at Alton mirrors the natural salinity changes on each tide. The monitoring system incorporated scientific data and input from stakeholders resulting in a state of the art system designed to protect the environment. This system automatically adjusts to ensure the salinity levels stay within the range the fish naturally live in during the life stages present at the Alton site. 

In addition, due to extensive studies on Striped bass, our environmental monitoring includes regular checks in the springtime for Striped bass eggs and young Bass. When Striped bass eggs are detected, our brine release operations will shut down for 24 days to provide additional protection for the eggs and larvae during the spawning season.

For other Alton updates, read our new community newsletter. Visit  to find studies and reports on Alton.