The project is hoped to restore conditions to reverse the decline in Cutthroat and Coho salmon in the Colquitz River. ((Joel Krahn/Black Press File)

Salmon restoration and new viewing platforms planned for Colquitz River

Peninsula Streams Society and District of Saanich team up to protect natural resource

An environmental group is partnering with the District of Saanich to both restore salmon breeding grounds and to build infrastructure to help the community witness the salmon in their natural habitat.

The Peninsula Streams Society (PSS) and the District of Saanich have targeted the Colquitz Watershed, home to both cutthroat and coho salmon. They hope to reverse the decline in coho spawners migrating upstream, and believe that with proper restoration, fish populations can recover and flourish in the Colquitz River.

ALSO READ: North Saanich man cuts a swathe through invasive species

Between Aug. 12 to 26, they aim to restore a 120-metre portion of the river, north of Copley Park East. The area has a long history of human impact as the Colquitz River Trail runs alongside it. The group has gone door-to-door to inform local residents of the project and say there will be volunteer opportunities for anyone interested after the initial machine work is completed.

The project has intrigued many local residents as part of the vision is to create three ‘riffles,’ with pools and spawning platforms, which provide habitats for the fish and improve overall water quality. Large chunks of natural debris and rocks will be anchored into the stream-bed to mitigate the effects of erosion and to enhance the salmon’s habitat.

The river itself it not the only area to benefit from the project. Along the banks, soil will be loosened, covered with mulch, and native plants added. Split-rail fencing will then be installed between the stream and trail, with a pathway offering viewing access. The new spawning platforms will improve opportunities for salmon viewing, giving the general public the opportunity to clearly see the wonder of salmon spawning.

ALSO READ: Women and girls offered free day trip on navy warship

The proposed viewing area will be big enough for small school groups and will provide a good site for those in environmental education programs. Further, interpretive signage will be put up, giving information on salmon, stream habitat and restoration. PSS hopes the project will help keep the public abreast of the threats facing urban salmon streams and facilitate community-based stewardship in the future.

The Friends of Colquitz Mainstem group will participate in stream monitoring and adult salmon counting activities to help the long-term success of the project and to gauge its efficacy.

ALSO READ: North Saanich residents reaching boiling point over illegal dumping

Sponsors and supporters of the project include the District of Saanich, Pacific Salmon Foundation, B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C., Friends of Colquitz Mainstem, Victoria Fish and Game Protective Society and the Haig-Brown Fly Fishing Association.

As work begins, public access to the trail between Copley East Park and Mann Avenue will be restricted from 7 a.m to 6 p.m. from Aug. 12.

For more information on the project or to donate, visit peninsulastreams.ca/watersheds/colquitz-watershed or contact PeninsulaStreams@gmail.com.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cloudy, chance of showers ahead for Wednesday

Plus a look ahead at your weekend

Candidate forum planned for Sooke

Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce hosts event Oct. 11

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Oak Bay father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

UPDATED: Hundreds gather to reflect and remember UVic students killed in bus crash

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

Greater Victoria could see a months worth of rain within a week this fall

Weather Network predicts wet, warm fall season for B.C.

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Most Read