FORT MCMURRAY, AB, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - Two Alberta-based pipeline companies have completed a $1.5 million project to improve fish habitat at Gregoire Lake, a popular sport fishery and recreational area located south-east of Fort McMurray, AB.
Pembina Pipeline Corporation and Inter Pipeline (Corridor) Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Inter Pipeline Fund, restored the 760 metre, historic Gregoire River channel that prior to the work being completed, no longer allowed water flow or fish access into Gregoire Lake. By restoring the river channel, smaller classes of fish are now able to access the important feeding, rearing and over-wintering habitat in Gregoire Lake. The work completed by Pembina and Inter Pipeline created approximately 9,000 m2 of new fish habitat in the Gregoire Lake and Channel.
"We're already seeing fish in the river channel and we have high expectations that our work, over time, will increase the fish population in Gregoire Lake," said Phil Nepszy, Pembina's Senior Environmental Engineer. "We'll be monitoring our work to ensure the river channel flows as planned and delivers the improvements in fish population that we expect." Once the new outlet channel has been properly operating for two years, Alberta Environment will assume responsibility for river maintenance.
Pembina and Inter Pipeline initiated the project at Gregoire Lake after provincial fisheries managers had expressed concern that fish, particularly walleye, were unable to navigate an artificial weir built in 1973 to stabilize lake levels. This caused a loss of fish production because juvenile fish were unable to access Gregoire Lake.
Pembina and Inter Pipeline undertook the project to offset potential impacts to the fish habitat that occurred as a result of pipeline construction in the region. The two companies worked in cooperation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Alberta Environment, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
Project engineering, which began in late 2008, was designed to ensure the work did not adversely impact water levels on the lake.
Most of the project was completed by the spring of 2010. During the past summer, site reclamation was completed and interpretive signage, describing the project and its benefits, was installed.
"The signs should help increase awareness about the importance of ensuring fish have access to all critical habitats throughout their life cycle," said Nepszy. "The signs also let people know how important it is to 'tread lightly' so the area can re-vegetate and develop into a stable environment."
Pembina Pipeline Corporation transports crude oil and natural gas liquids produced in Western Canada, owns and operates oil sands pipelines and has a growing presence in the midstream and gas services sectors. Pembina Pipeline Income Fund trust units (PIF.UN) and convertible debentures (PIF.DB.B) are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Inter Pipeline is a major petroleum transportation, bulk liquid storage and natural gas liquids extraction business based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Structured as a publicly traded limited partnership, Inter Pipeline owns and operates energy infrastructure assets in western Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland. Additional information about Inter Pipeline can be found at www.interpipelinefund.com. Inter Pipeline is a member of the S&P/TSX Composite Index. Class A Units trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol IPL.UN.
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