Cambridge Bay Project

Cambridge Bay, Nunavut


Arctic char are an important subsistence and commercial resource for the Inuit of Nunavut, and Cambridge Bay is the home of the largest commercial fishery for the species in Canada. In collaboration with OTN, DFO, and the local HTO, we have been operating an acoustic array of >40 receivers in the Cambridge Bay region since 2013, tracking the marine migrations of more than 200 acoustically tagged searun Arctic char. The data collected so far has provided new insights into the timing of habitat transitions between salt- and freshwater, revealed marked habitat preference for near-shore and estuarine habitats, and provided clear evidence of stock-mixing at known fishing locations, all findings with important implications for the sustainable management of the fishery in the region. Thanks in part to funding from MEOPAR, the acoustic array will continue to operate until at least 2018, with a new focus on identifying critical freshwater habitats for spawning and overwintering.