Restoration on the tributaries of the Exploits River, including removing complete and partial obstructions
In the mid 1900’s sections of the tributaries were channelized and dammed to facilitate log driving for the pulp and paper industry. The practice stopped in 1980’s, but many of the dams and water control structures remain today. Over the years many of the structures have not been maintained and have come dilapidated and as a result have formed partial and in some cases complete obstructions. These have negatively affected the upstream and downstream movement of anadromous fish species. Habitat conditions are improved if the debris is removed or “thinned out”. When larger material such as drowned pulpwood is removed, smaller material will be dislodged and removed by the current as normal bedload movement. This will allow the stream flow to condition and maintain natural substrate that is suitable for spawning and rearing. It also allows fish to access upstream spawning, rearing and feeding areas, increasing the net habitat available for the fish. It may prevent stream diversions and subsequent bank erosion and it encourages natural stream flows to scour silts and debris from the streambanks.