Stave River Watershed: Restoring Salmon Habitat
This project aims to increase and diversify off-channel habitats within the lower two kilometres of the Stave River, to support salmon rearing and overwintering. The focus is to work on the IR3 Kwantlen First Nation island, which has been identified as a priority area, due to being significantly encroached by Reed Canary Grass and invasives, as well as a lack of species diversity. Historic waterways will be restored, additional channels created, wood, bio-engineering, replanting incorporated, and community engagement is anticipated. This project is in collaboration with: Kwantlen First Nation, who under their current land management review process identified this site as having important environmental habitat values; DFO; SVSES; the District of Mission; and the community at-large.
Species expected to benefit include: Coho, Chum, Chinook, Pink, and Sockeye Salmon. Short-term benefits include: increased access for salmon into off-channel habitats (300 linear metres), improved wetland floodplain, riparian habitats through replanting, and diversifying habitat.
This project will improve monitoring of water quality, fish, and vegetation and help inform future restoration designs and communications. This project will also increase community volunteer opportunities, and capacity development (short-term contract employment) for Kwantlen First Nation.
Final Report: Executive Summary
Off-channel habitats are vital in maintaining the ecological integrity of river systems in British Columbia. Natural off-channel habitats include beaver ponds, wetlands, alcoves, floodplains, side channels and tributaries. The Lower Stave River has been regarded as one of the most productive salmon habitats in the province and supports the second largest chum salmon population in the Fraser River watershed. The presence of the Ruskin dam restricts the range of habitat that the anadromous salmon can use, and currently only the lower 3 km section of the Stave River provide habitat for these spawning salmon. To ensure the Lower Stave remains a highly productive system, monitoring and periodic restoration of in-stream and off-channel habitat quality and quantity is necessary.
Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.