Helping endangered eels in Ottawa River

OTTAWA, April 21, 2017 /CNW/ - The Canadian Wildlife Federation, Carleton University and Energy Ottawa have joined together to study the American eel, an endangered species native to the Ottawa region. The group received a $122,000 grant from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Ontario Species at Risk Stewardship Fund for vital research.

It is estimated that less than one percent of the historic population of American eels remains in the Ottawa River.

The study will track and assess downstream migration and passage success at Chaudière Falls.

Quick Facts

  • Energy Ottawa's new facility at Chaudière Falls has screens and two bypass channels offering safe passage around the turbine.
  • The goal of the study is to tag 20 to 50 eels each year for the next three years of study.
  • Acoustic receivers on each side of the Chaudière dam will track the movement of tagged eels as they approach the dam, explore channels and select a downstream passage.
  • In 2008, the American eel was listed as Endangered under the Ontario Endangered Species Act.
  • The American eel is the only fish in North America that is born in the ocean, matures in freshwater, and then returns to the ocean to spawn. Mature eels swim thousands of kilometres to spawn in the Sargasso Sea, near Bermuda.


"As hydroelectric producers, we believe it's our duty to ensure our facilities have minimal impacts on the environment, wildlife and the natural migration of species. We're proud to work together to do our part to protect the wildlife in our waterways."
- Greg Clarke, Chief Electricity Generation Officer, Energy Ottawa

"New approaches to hydropower generation are needed to ensure this source of green energy has minimal impacts on wildlife. We greatly appreciate Energy Ottawa's commitment to increasing American Eel survival at their facility and are pleased to work collaboratively with them to study new safe passage options."
- Nicolas Lapointe, Senior Conservation Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Federation

"Collaboration between hydropower companies and other watershed stakeholders on projects such as this is critical to improving American Eel populations in the Ottawa River watershed. We are excited to see this project moving forward. When industry and other groups combine their knowledge and skills and work collaboratively, American Eel wins."
- Meaghan Murphy, Senior Scientist, Ottawa Riverkeeper

About Energy Ottawa

Energy Ottawa is a diversified and innovative energy company. It is the largest municipally owned producer of green power in Ontario, with hydroelectric, solar, and landfill gas-to-energy generating facilities. Its energy services group offers a wide range of energy management services for commercial customers. Its infrastructure management services include cable testing, power quality monitoring and engineering solutions. Energy Ottawa Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc.

About the Canadian Wildlife Federation

The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, carrying out research, developing and delivering education programs, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information visit


SOURCE Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc.

For further information: Daniel Séguin, Manager, Media and Public Affairs, Hydro Ottawa, Tel: 613-738-5499 ext. 345,,


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