Fish use of restored and natural salt marshes in Maritime Canada
Salt marshes are coastal wetlands that provide many ecosystem services. Many fish species are known to use salt marshes as habitat at some point throughout their lives including those that hold commercial and recreational value. Depending on their location, salt marshes may experience varying degrees of tidal flooding, not only making more areas of the marsh accessible to fish but resulting in excess particulate and dissolved organic matter being drawn out with the ebbing tide. This organic matter may provide a nutrient subsidy to nearshore environments thus indirectly benefitting fish that do not directly use salt marshes. Maritime Canada holds a long history of salt marsh conversion to other land uses especially agriculture. There is now growing interest in restoring salt marshes to regain the services that they provide including those relating to fish and fisheries. Ducks Unlimited Canada and partners have initiated a number of salt marsh restoration projects throughout Maritime Canada, and are planning new restoration initiatives, with goals of reverting farmland and freshwater impoundments to salt marsh. The intern will assess fish use of salt marshes as well as salt pool communities in natural and restored marshes in the Bay of Fundy and southern Gulf of Lawrence.