Atlantic Salmon Habitat Restoration and Enhancement
Last year, the entire system was assessed to determine problem areas on which to focus on for the following summer of 2011. The river had not been managed in a number of years; therefore, much work was done to open the system – mainly thinning the alders to make it easier to monitor in future years. Beaver dam blockages, spring locations, and locations of sediment loading were some of the features that were recorded onto a GPS unit. We then used this information to determine a work plan for the summer of 2011.
This summer we identified a problematic beaver dam located approximately in the center part of the system. This dam blocks fish passage to almost half of the lower region of the river where salmon redds were once common. We plan to remove this dam, but are postponing this until next year. This gave us the summer to prepare the system for the release of the sediment. In doing so, we have installed brush mats along a 1km section immediately downstream of the dam – and plan to install more next summer. Our efforts to stabilize as much sediment as we can is to avoid damaging a healthier part of the river closer to the head of tide where salmon redds are more frequent.
Other smaller projects were completed including developing relations with local land owners and working with them to develop new project ideas based on what is important to them. On one section of Bristol Creek where fish did not have significant cover, a few cover logs were installed. These are on a trial basis and will be monitored. If successful, next year we will install more once the dam has been removed.