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

Salmon

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

Just Posted

Oak Bay deputy police chief and family cut Guatemala vacation short to return home

Belize border, punctured gas tank part of the adventure

West Shore businesses bring fitness online during COVID-19

At-home workouts offered to help community keep fit

Program makes a connection with isolated Victoria seniors

Phoning Seniors Together program lines up volunteers with seniors at Luther Court

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read