The Deer Lake Tourism Development Corporation is seeking partners for an exciting research project that will explore the feasibility of salvaging logs which have sunk to the bottom of Deer Lake over the years and the potential impact such an operation would have on the lake-bottom habitat, especially that of the Atlantic salmon.
The Town wishes to establish a partnership to avail of the province’s research capabilities to determine the environmental and economic implications of recovering these logs for processing and eventual sale to specialty markets. We need to know the volume of logs that has accumulated on the lake bottom and where are they concentrated. This knowledge would be gathered through a bathymetric survey of the lake bottom.
We would like to engage post-secondary students in a multi-disciplinary approach to assess issues such as the following:
- What if any impact has the presence of these logs had on the lake bottom habitat as it relates to fish, specifically Atlantic salmon, and plant growth;
- What would be the impact on said fish and plant habitats of removing these logs;
The Town also hopes to determine if there is a market for the recovered logs and where these markets exist; what equipment would be required to transform the recovered logs into market-ready materials and in the process create employment opportunities and if the logs possess economic value, what steps would need to be pursued to undertake such an economic opportunity.
The Town has spoken with a representative of AquaTimber, a BC-based firm which has harvested underwater logs from a variety of locales in North America over the past 25 years. AquaTimber has developed specialized equipment for use in the industry and in recent years has served as a consultant. The company provided some valuable direction and volunteered to lend its expertise to the project.
The Town of Deer Lake has resources available to assist with the project. A local group, the Deer Lake Underwater Search & Recovery Team, possesses side-scan sonar equipment, along with a boat, motor, computer, software and other related equipment. This would allow us to conduct a survey of the lake bottom to get an idea of how many logs are there. The team has told the town it would be a willing participant in the project, providing the equipment and volunteer resources.
It is projected the project would start in the spring of 2018 and last for a period of 2-3 months. This will allow ample time to complete an underwater survey of the lake and then to bring ashore some sample logs for drying and cutting before they are sent away for analysis. It is hoped the project will include a private sector partner firm. To that end, the Town has reached agreement on a joint venture with a Corner Brook-based company, Resource Innovations Ltd., which has many contacts in Canada that would serve very useful purposes for the project.