Biologist Brian Koval stands in front of the section of Colquitz Creek that will undergo restoration in and around the water this month in Copley East Park. The public is invited to enlist as volunteers for the project, an initiative of the Peninsula Streams Society and the District of Saanich. (Photo by Rebecca Koval)

Fish habitat enhancement champions set to start next project in Saanich

The latest stage of restorations to Colquitz Creek runs Aug. 4 to 14

Making further improvements to in-stream habitat for coho salmon and cutthroat is a key element of a new project getting underway on a section of the Colquitz Creek in Copley East Park in Saanich.

But giving the community further opportunities to be a part of that work is equally important, says biologist Brian Koval, who is overseeing the project for the Peninsula Streams Society alongside fellow biologist David Clough.

“It’s a location that has been kind of loved to death,” Koval says, noting that many visitors enjoy spending time at the creek’s edge, even doing yoga in this forested area in the Northridge neighbourhood. “But [the activity has] trampled the ground to the point where plants can’t regrow.”

The project, being undertaken on an 80-metre section of creek downstream from where restoration work was done last year, includes various elements.

ALSO READ: Millstream fish ladder gives salmon, trout a leg up

The in-stream habitat will be restored by adding new rock crests with spawning gravel, and anchoring large rocks and woody debris to provide protection against erosion for the stream banks. Compacted clay soil will be broken up, and healthy, clean soil will be added to allow native plants to grow, a further buffer against erosion. The newly planted area will be protected with a split rail fence, to be installed between the trail and the creek.

The plants will not only help decrease contaminants from entering the creek, Koval says, bugs on the plants fall into the water, providing a food source for young salmon fry.

While there are technical aspects to the project, Koval says neighbourhood volunteers will be welcomed to help with planting and other labour-intensive duties.

“We’ve gone door to door handing out brochures that let people know about the importance of project, and to encourage them to become part of the project,” he says.

RELATED STORY: Peninsula Streams Society to restore 120 metres of Colquitz Watershed

The combination of last year and this year’s projects will provide roughly 200 metres of continuous, high-quality habitat for salmon. While it may not rival Goldstream Park for a salmon spawning spectacle this fall, it still gives residents and children a chance to see nature in action, right in their own backyard, Koval says.

Access to this area of the park will be restricted during the restoration work, which is scheduled to run through Aug. 14.

The 2020 project is a partnership between the society, the District of Saanich, Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. For more information on the Peninsula Streams Society and their projects, or to financially support their projects around Greater Victoria, visit peninsulastreams.ca.

District of Saanichsalmon stocks

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

Just Posted

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Work on Sidney’s Reay Creek Dam won’t wrap until 2021

Municipality expects the pond to be ‘partially drained’ again in 2021

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read