A little perspective on the Atkins Road culvert where work will take place. (Courtesy Peninsula Streams Society)

Millstream fish ladder extension work starts Monday

Potential traffic disruptions along Atkins Road at Mill Hill Park

A project that gets underway Monday will make it possible for coho salmon and cutthroat trout to get to areas where Mother Nature intended them to swim.

Peninsula Streams Society (PSS) announced this week that the $800,000 Millstream fish ladder project will create a fishway to enable fish to swim up to and around a large culvert under Atkins Road near Mill Hill Regional Park in Langford.

PSS is working with volunteers from the Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Society on the project, which consists of installing 14 step-pools up to the culvert, and 12 steel baffles within it.

The baffles will aid the passage of fish through the culvert, and the addition of concrete will improve the longevity of the culvert.

PPS executive director Ian Bruce said improving access is one of the key aspects of the project.

“It allows salmon to access habitat that is under urban stress,” he explained. “It also provides access to pristine areas further upstream.”

Another important consideration is raising awareness in more urban areas of the watershed.

“If people are aware that there’s fish in the area, they will endeavour to protect them and the environment as well.”

That may result in people forming personal connections that spawn involvement in volunteering or leads to the pursuit of careers in biology and similar fields, Bruce added.

READ ALSO: Give fish in Millstream Creek a step up

“The project honours hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours by members of the Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Society,” he said. It validates the sweat and toil of those who were unable to complete the project who reached out to PPS.” Volunteers have been instrumental in completing five other fish ladder projects downstream, Bruce added.

Coho salmon stocks have been impacted significantly by a long history of pressures, including fishing, changes to the availability of prey and oceanic conditions, as well as the degradation and pollution of freshwater habitat, Bruce explained.

“Expanding and enhancing spawning and juvenile rearing habitat will help recover populations of some of B.C.’s most iconic species and highlight their resilience in response to restoration and conservation initiatives.”

PSS is engaging with the community to discuss the project’s benefits and to deal with any concerns residents may have. There may be some traffic disruptions along Atkins Road at Mill Hill Park during construction, and public access to that area and the park may be restricted.

Construction is expected to be completed by September, followed by site restoration work.

Several trees will be removed to create access to the site, but a minimum of four trees will be added for each tree removed. The project was originally scheduled for 2018, but was delayed because of a lack of construction funds and other development pressures. PSS has since raised more than 80 per cent of the cost of the project and is fundraising to secure engineering, biological and support costs.

PSS, a charitable non-profit society, has been involved in a number of similar enhancement projects since it was established in 2002. The B.C. Salmon habitat& Infrastructure Fund, (DFO/BC), BC. Gaming-Capital Project Grant, the Pacific Salmon Foundation, EcoAsis/Bear Mountain Resort, the City of Langford, the Town of View Royal, Goldstream Volunteer Salmon Enhancement Association, Esquimalt Anglers, Trotac Marine, Keycorp, Market on Millstream, Rotary Club of Westshore, A.R. Gardner & Associates, and Victoria Golden Rods and Reels have provided funding and support for this project.

For more information or to make a donation, visit peninsulastreams.ca/millstream-fishway-project. Tax receipts for donations are available.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Ian Bruce, executive director with Peninsula Streams Society says work will begin on a fish ladder project on Millstream Creek on March 9 that will improve access for salmon and trout. The project consists of installing 14 step-pools up to the culvert, and 12 steel baffles within it. The baffles will aid the passage of fish through the culvert. (Black Press Media file photo )

Just Posted

Sooke businesses respond in time of crisis

Sooke Emergency Operations Centre met with business community to discuss impact of COVID-19

Langford expands COVID-19 response to include all of West Shore, home testing

City’s mobile team has already tested 20 people at home

Greater Victoria resident sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Boat says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Colwood looks at reopening garbage cans as litter, dog poop pile up in parks

City staff are now being redirected from priority infrastructure to picking up litter

Victoria police seek public help finding high-risk missing woman last seen on ferry

Mariah Konchak has shoulder-length dark hair, scars above her right eye and may be missing a tooth

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read