A construction crew drills holes into logs and rocks so that they can be tied together, providing stable support for the Douglas Creek wall. The Friends of Mount Doug Park Society is restoring the creek bed for salmon spawning. Myles Sauer/News Staff

Six years into Douglas Creek’s five-year salmon restoration

“I’ve watched the salmon spawn here,” Darrel Wick, president, Friends of Mount Douglas Park

Six years into what was originally a five-year plan, the Friends of Mount Doug Park Society are now in the final stretch of a salmon spawning ground restoration project at Douglas Creek.

Crews were out last week working on the final 130 metres upstream of the creek, which runs about one kilometre through Edgemont Park into the ocean. Douglas Creek was a salmon spawning creek 60 years ago, but the urbanization of Gordon Head has led to severe rain storm surges washing out spawning beds, said Darrell Wick, Friends of Mount Doug Park Society president.

The crew is now armouring the creek banks with logs and large roots, which will reinforce the landscape against erosion. A water pump at the head of the creek helps to divert the water flow around the worksite entirely.

“This section is a beautiful section of the creek with the most meandering sections, but storm surges already overflow some of the meanders,” says Wick.

Similar to years previous, the Pacific Salmon Foundation has provided a grant amounting to $10,000 in support of the restoration. And according to Wick, those investments have paid off.

“This [project] has been successful … I’ve watched the salmon spawn in here,” he says, adding that salmon have come back every year since the project started.

However, water surges still prove to be a challenge, as do pollutants.

“There are several ways where Gordon Head residents can really help,” Wick says.

Residents can disconnect their roof downspouts and redirect the water into their garden, and make sure that they don’t dump any pollutants into street catch basins or laundry room drains, both of which lead directly to Douglas Creek.

Following completion of the armouring, Wick says Mount Doug Society volunteers will return in late fall for tree planting.

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