Improving access to existing fish habitat is one of the most effective ways of helping spawning and rearing fish. Wickman Creek, within the Caven Creek watershed near Elko in the East Kootenay, was the site of an FWCP-supported project to remove a hanging culvert that was acting as a fish barrier, and replace it with a bridge. The project, spearheaded by VAST Resource Solutions, is part of a larger initiative to improve fish access to more than 90 km of fish habitat, primarily helping Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Bull Trout.
Previous fish passage assessments on stream crossings within the Upper Kootenay River drainage identified a number of priority sites for culvert remediation in the Caven Creek watershed. So far, improvements of two stream crossings have been completed in Wickman Creek; two more are planned for the same creek and one in Caven Creek.
This stream crossing was supported by FWCP and Columbia Basin Trust through the Upper Kootenay Ecosystem Enhancement Plan (UKEEP). Funding was also provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program. The project will increase both the amount of habitat, and juvenile recruitment for resident and migratory fish populations, as well as help diversify angling opportunities.
FWCP Financial Contribution to this Project in 2015-2016: $96,630