Scientific projects


Research on the impact of forest management on salmon


Salmon habitat is directly related to the quality of the environment within watersheds. The land use and use of the land along rivers and tributaries has a direct effect on the streams. Upstream impacts can affect the entire river system and threaten the survival of salmon at various life stages. It is therefore very important to respect and promote the integrity of their habitat in land use planning processes. The FQSA is interested in all activities carried out on forest land, but pays particular attention to the omnipresence of silvicultural work carried out in the watersheds of salmon rivers. The impacts of forestry are multiple and complex in Quebec's natural ecosystem, particularly with respect to biodiversity, natural habitats and wildlife populations.

The biology of Atlantic salmon is a complex science and forestry activities in the watersheds of rivers where these fish occur can impact the optimal conditions for their survival. These impacts can manifest themselves in various forms. In order to preserve salmon populations in rivers, it is essential to have a thorough knowledge of the territory and that it be effectively integrated into land use planning. In this regard, with funding from the Fondation de la faune du Québec, the FQSA provides professional and technical support to river managers in the regions to ensure that the wildlife interests of Atlantic salmon are taken into account. The FQSA also participates in numerous committees and issue tables for forest management and other activities related to land use planning in salmon river watersheds.

The following are the main concerns related to salmon habitat protection and sport fishing activities in relation to forest management:

Key issues related to salmon habitat:

  • The level of harvesting in the watershed
  • Condition of forest roads and stream crossings
  • Wooded edges / Riparian buffers

Key issues related to the fishing experience:

  • Alteration of the landscape
  • Tranquility of the area
  • Accessibility to the territory and safety for users


Current Projects

Minimizing the impact of culverts on Atlantic salmon habitat

This project aims to develop a geomatics method based on a multi-criteria spatial analysis to identify and characterize stream crossings that may pose a risk to Atlantic salmon habitat. This analysis allows us to specifically target culverts that may cause erosion issues and those that may cause habitat fragmentation. We then conducted a field inventory of a proportion of these culverts, geo-referencing them and performing a detailed characterization of the culvert and nearby aquatic habitat, using a questionnaire on the ArcGIS 123 Survey application.

This project is funded by the Fondation de la faune du Québec (FFQ) and the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation (FCSA).


Development of a methodology to evaluate the hydromorphological sensitivity related to logging in the watersheds of salmon rivers in the Gaspé and Bas-St-Laurent regions.

The Geomorphology and Fluvial Dynamics research laboratory of UQAR is working on the development of a method to evaluate the hydromorphological sensitivity of salmon river watersheds to logging. The ultimate goal is to evaluate and better understand how rivers and salmon habitats evolve in response to changes in forest cover in watersheds.

This project is carried out in partnership with the FQSA, the Conseil de l'eau du Nord de la Gaspésie and with funding from the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation.