Tranquille River Restoration
article and photos by Geoff Swannell
Project work started on March 2, 2015 and was completed with the planting of native vegetation, shortly after month's end. The project was officially sponsored by the KDFGA. Administration and project submissions were done by Barb Waters of the BC Conservation Foundation and were funded through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' (DFO) Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program.
The conservation program is an initiative whereby DFO provides 50% of the project funding and the applicant provides the other 50% in work value. In this case DFO provided approximately $30,000 for project costs. Diversion and protection dike construction was also designed and supervised by DFO staff Sean Bennett and Fred Lockwood. Two First Nations representatives were also present during construction work.
A total of 38 loads of large rock were made into stream bank erosion protection in three areas, one rock/log weir and several smaller current deflection structures were also built. In all, a total of 20 structures were made to deepen a main channel and to control erosion.
Even though last year’s freshet was not as vigorous or as long as it has been in past seasons DFO Senior Restoration Biologist, Sean Bennett had the following to say about the project’s success.
“Post freshet observations last spring indicate the project is very successful with channel improvements occurring at all 4 areas of the river where restoration efforts took place. Over the next few years high water events will continue to down cut the channel and create deeper channel conditions that will allow fish to migrate through this highly degraded section of the river. Without the involvement of the KDFGA these efforts would not have taken place and fish species would continue to encounter immigration problems as they enter the river.”
In all, volunteers and agencies in partnership enhanced fish access to thousands of square meters of improved fish habitat. KDFGA has applied to both BCWF and CWF for consideration of an award for the club's efforts.