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

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after Const. Beckett’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Police investigating incident in Saanich neighbourhood

Neighbours tell Black Press Media that a body has been found, but police remain tight-lipped.

Colwood man takes on Ride to Conquer Cancer for 11th year in a row

Team Finn has raised almost $3 million for BC Cancer Foundation

Langford lizard sighting excites Victoria museum curator

Curator of vertebrate zoology/knowledge explains the spread of the Wall lizard in the region

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read