West Coast Aquatic Stewardship Association has engaged in several habitat restoration projects over the last few years. Habitat restoration projects form a key part of the activities of the society due to the ongoing nature of habitat degradation from natural and human activities. Assessment and monitoring are critical components that guide habitat restoration projects.
Kitsukis Fishway Diversion Project
This multi year project diverted Kitsuksis Creek into the original streambed in order to avoid a failing dam and fish ladder structure. The project is located at McLean Mill near the Dave Chitty Resource Centre. Coho salmon return each year and provide a wonderful sight for visitors who seek the thrill of watching salmon returning to spawn.
Urban Streams Project Phase One
The first phase of this project involved improving and creating salmon habitat in a number of locations in the urban reaches of local creeks. Spawning and rearing habitat were improved and created in several locations.
Roger Creek Habitat Restoration
The first phase of this project involved creating off channel habitat for rearing, as well as creating a sediment sink to trap materials from a large storm drain. A mark recapture program was undertaken and proved the project’s success.
Urban Streams Project Phase Two
The second phase of this project involved staged work on previous projects, as well as creating a holding pond in Dry Creek, improving habitat in the Co-op Fish Ponds, and improving spawning habitat in lower Kitsuksis.
Taylor River Habitat Restoration
The Taylor River was breaching into off channel habitat that had been created in the past. Repair of the breach was completed, as well as creation of alcove ponds and improvement of off channel habitat.
Plested Habitat Restoration
Several refuge ponds were created in order to provide summer habitat during dry seasons.
Projects in Progress
Somass Basin Habitat Restoration (Phase One)
This multi year project is underway and encompasses the Somass Basin Watershed from the outlets of Great Central and Sproat Lake to the Harbour. Risk assessments undertaken over two years showed very high, high and moderate concerns in the region that require habitat restoration. A high level restoration plan has been created. Several projects have been approved and prescriptions are being created for implementation in the upcoming year.
Roger Creek Habitat Restoration–Phase 2
Off channel habitat has proved successful in the previous project. More sites for off channel habitat have been identified, along with riparian planting.
Taylor River Habitat Restoration–Phase 2
Further work in the Borrow Pits area of Taylor River will provide off channel refuge.
West Coast Aquatic seeks to produce innovative solutions to coastal concerns, and strengthen the understanding and relationships between parties that share a common interest in the health and wealth of aquatic resources, businesses, and communities. West Coast Aquatic is comprised of: a collaborative governance board that brings together governments, key sectors and communities to develop consensus-based outcomes for marine resources on the West Coast of Vancouver Island; a management association that provides technical and administrative support to the activities of the governance board; and a charitable organization that administers stewardship activities.