The Adaptive Management Framework for Yukon placer mining is complemented by traditional knowledge and monitoring of water quality objectives, aquatic health, and economic health. The aquatic health monitoring program is governed by the Aquatic Health Monitoring Protocol. The Protocol describes the locations, timing, frequency and methods employed during sampling, as well as the methods used to analyze sampling data. The Reference Condition Approach (RCA) is the method chosen for assessing the health of freshwater ecosystems in the Yukon. One RCA model was developed for bioassessment based upon benthic macroinvertebrates, and a second model was developed to assess the diversity of fish species. The RCA model for invertebrates relies upon 224 reference sites collected over the period 2004 to 2010 by the University of Western Ontario, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Yukon G overnment, using the same standard protocol. The invertebrate data set was analyzed at the family level. There are two fundamental steps in the process of developing the predictive model. The first is to classify the reference sites based on their biological characteristics. This requires defining a number of community types based on the taxonomic composition. The second step is to determine a subset of habitat attributes that are associated with those community types. Following this step the number and type of organisms expected to occur at any given site can be determined from habitat attributes. For more information, contact the Yukon Placer Secretariat.
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