Improving fish passage and habitat in the Stave River Watershed

Project Year: 2019-2020

Lowering new fish ladder into place Photo: Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition

Project Lead

Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition


Coastal Region

Stave River

Project Type

Habitat-Based Actions

FWCP Contribution


Action Plan Alignment

Rivers, Lakes & Reservoirs

Project ID


Thompson Creek fish ladder, replanting and assessments

This project will improve fish passage and habitat in the Stave River Watershed, and will benefit Coho, Chum, Chinook, Sockeye, and Pink Salmon, as well as Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout. A wooden fish ladder on Thompson Creek – a salmon-bearing tributary to the Stave River – will be replaced. Bio-engineering and planting efforts will continue within the Stave River to replace invasive Reed Canarygrass with natural vegetation and to improve ecological function. An effectiveness assessment will be conducted on right bank erosion protection work and will help further downstream restoration of additional off-channel habitats. This project will host a local stakeholder meeting and community planting events.

Update: Fish ladder replaced on Thompson Creek

An aged wooden fish ladder has been replaced with a new 8.5-metre-long steel structure on Thompson Creek, a tributary of the Stave River near Mission. The ladder will provide long-term, reliable access to good-quality, valuable habitat for salmonids including coho, chum, Chinook, sockeye, pink, cutthroat, and rainbow trout.

The structure was augmented by riparian enhancement work that replaced invasive reed canary grass with native plants in off-channel habitats. Nearly 6,000 individual plants were dug in to reduce bank erosion, provide shade, and increase the volume of leaves and other organic debris falling into the water. In addition, nearly 200 kilograms of garbage was removed from the site.

The project is coordinated by the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition, with support from the FWCP, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Kwantlen First Nation. Volunteers play a key role, especially local champion Phillip Northrop of Thompson Creek Farms, who will monitor fish use of the new ladder.