There currently exists some significant (and several minor) data and information gaps for the indicator relating to Aquatic Life.
One of the key SEAWA initiatives is management of aquatic ecosystems. As such, future efforts and programs will emphasize research, monitoring and evaluation, and indicator development with a focus on:
Fish Sustainability Index (FSI)
Data for a Fish Sustainability Index is not yet available for fish species in the South Saskatchewan River. The purpose of the FSI will be to:
In addition to the FSI, another indicator measurement under consideration is Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index.
Viewing wildlife is one of the best things about spending time along a river. Even aquatic invertebrates – the “bugs” living at the bottom of a river – are interesting if you take a close look at them! The kinds of invertebrates found in a river can tell you a lot about the water quality.
Large Vascular Plants
Including macrophyte biomass, chlorophyll, and species composition reports. The giant pondweed id of particular concern
Includes algal blooms – not all are bad. Algae are a vital part of the aquatic ecosystem providing food and shelter to other organisms. They play a crucial role in the ability of an aquatic ecosystem to absorb nutrients and heavy metals. However, excessive growth of algae can reduce the aesthetic and recreational value of a water body, can trap litter and sediment, and reduce the holding capacity of a dam and cause smells and scum when decaying. Algal blooms may deplete oxygen concentrations in water which can smother fish, other animals and plant life. One indicator that is under consideration for lakes in the SSRSB is the Trophic Diatom Index: an index for monitoring eutrophication.