Influx Helps Restore Fish Habitat
Published: June 28, 2011 9:00 AM
Two local volunteer groups are working hard to conserve and recover Pacific salmon populations in B.C. and both have received grants to help them in their endeavors.
Friends of French Creek Conservation Society (FFCCS) was recently approved for $10,000 through the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Community Salmon program to restore fish habitat and bank stability on 77 metres of private land in French Creek.
The Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES) was approved for $2,850 from the same program to stabilize woody debris with cables and clamps in Centre Creek and $8,000 for a status report on the Englishman River.
FFCCS Director Sandy Robinson said rain storms in the winter cause a deluge of water in French Creek that scour and erode the creek bottom and remove fish habitat. The group will use the funding to improve this stretch of the creek.
“This particular stretch is quickly being washed away and we’d like to stop it and replace it with something that would be a little more permanent,” he said.
This will include rip rap and large woody debris that will provide protection and food for the fish. Robinson said all together the project will cost about $50,000, an amount the group has come close to achieving thanks to other grants from FortisBC, EPCOR, B.C. Hydro, the Parksville Qualicum Fish and Game Association, Coastal Community Credit Union and the B.C. Wildlife Federation. The project is slated for August, but the group is hoping to raise more.
Centre Creek is within the Englishman River watershed and Faye Smith with MVIHES said it’s a very important tributary for fish. Woody debris has gathered so much in an area of the creek that it risks coming apart and destroying habitat downstream, she said, which is why the group will work with biologists to secure it.
“It’s important to have this woody debris in the stream because it provides habitat for fish and protects banks, keeps the flow from being too severe, and all sorts of benefits.”
MVIHES will use the $8,000 grant to sum up the activities that have happened in the Englishman River since the Watershed Recovery Plan for the river was initiated in 2001.
Smith said they are also looking to broaden the focus in the plan.
“The ultimate goal with this report (is to) support the expansion of the watershed plan to include water management,” Smith said.
“What we want to see is the whole ecosystem protected in the Englishman River, that’s the best way to protect water for drinking and everything else.”
The Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Community Salmon Program grants are made possible in part as a result of money raised at the the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s annual Oceanside Dinner.
The Pacific Salmon Foundation was created in 1987 as an independent, non-governmental, charitable organization to protect, conserve and rebuild Pacific Salmon populations in British Columbia and the Yukon.
For more on FFCCS or to donate visit www.ffccs.ca or call 250-752-4720.
Details about MVIHES visit www.mvihes.bc.ca.