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

Significant donation completes Victoria Hospitals Foundation most ambitious fundraising campaign

Townline’s $600,000 donation helps purchase new 3 Telsa MRI for Royal Jubilee Hospital

New, compressed natural gas buses hit Greater Victoria streets

12 new buses hitting the road, with a total of 71 to join the fleet by the end of the summer

Sidney to remember ‘dog whisperer’ Terry Westcott

Terry Westcott has been meeting and greeting dogs in Beacon Park for years

Victoria hotel proposal threatens Old Town conservation, advocates say

Height requests defy historic district’s guidelines

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they’ll meet with ministers if RCMP get out

Federal minister in charge of Indigenous relations has proposed a meeting to diffuse blockades

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Most Read