Fish Habitat Assessments

Habitat Assessment

Habitat assessment can assist with regulatory review such as getting an AHPP or a DFO review.

Assessment information collected can include sampling for fish species presence, measuring water quality, and mapping fish habitat. Information gathered is used to assist project owners in determining the best project locations, in-stream construction timing windows, and may be helpful for stream crossing designs, with respect to reducing potential impacts to fish habitat. Where it is required, the habitat assessment can also inform a project owner what the best local options might be for habitat compensation/offsetting.

Know where you are working


Knowing the kind of habitat that is present at your site, and the value it offers to the fish known to be present in your area, helps you to plan appropriately.  Not all habitat is valued the same - the species and life stage(s) of fish present will dictate what is important (or not).    Confirming the type of habitat that might be impacted by your work means you can adjust your work accordingly to minimize risk to fish and the aquatic environment.

Types of Projects


Outside has assisted with the following project types: proposed water crossings (bridges, culverts, temporary access roads), shoreline projects, water intakes and in-stream remediation projects.


Best Practices and Mitigation

Plan Ahead

Riparian features were protected during this in-water work.

Want permitting to go as easy as possible?  Plan ahead to protect important habitat features such as riparian areas and important fish habitat BEFORE you apply for approvals.

Develop a mitigation plan that is simple and easy to follow

An example water by-pass plan for a culvert and road reclamation project.

Even before applying for permits, understanding a project's potential risks to the aquatic environment, and planning to reduce or eliminate these risks makes sense for everyone.  Clear communication of these plans to regulators, and to construction crews, is key to delivering a low risk project.

Develop project specific mitigations

Sample of some in-water work mitigation required for AHPP's etc.

Tailor your mitigation plan to address the issues and protect important features specific to your site.  Blanket mitigation plans may be hard for crews to understand and carryout, and may not clearly identify the high risk issues at your site.  Permitting agencies want to see clear and concise plans designed to effectively protect habitat and water quality.