- The redside dace is an endangered fish species:
- They leap out of the water and eat air-based insects;
- Nearly all (80%) of its the population lives in the Great Toronto Area;
- They are also an indicator species for the overall health of a waterbody.
- Funds from the Great Lakes Challenge will pay for habitat restoration activities that help protect the redside dace’s rapidly disappearing habitat.
- This will be the largest project in terms of area covered. Activities will take place in watersheds throughout the GTA:
- Credit River, the Humber River, the Don River the Rouge River, and Lynde Creek.
- Restoration activities include:
- Creating natural meanders, adding spawning beds with gravel or other appropriate material, removing fish barriers and debris, and planting the overhanging trees and shrubs that keep water cold and attract insect prey.
The unique qualities of the redside race, its nearly exclusive residency in the Greater Toronto Area as well as the direct connection between its habitat loss and human activity, make this initiative a remarkable opportunity to make a difference in our watershed.
In May of 2017 the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in coordination with Environment Canada and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry uplisted the redside dace from the provincial Species at Risk Act to the Endangered Species Protection Act.
Our organization will be responsible for the education and awareness campaign that is sorely needed for this vulnerable indicator species. We will be partnering with a variety of partners including Toronto Zoo and Ontario Streams.