Improving understanding of wetlands for fish, wildlife, and cultural use in our Peace Region

Project Year: 2019-2020

Multi-year Project

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Photo: Province of B.C.

Project Lead

Chu Cho Environmental LLP

Watershed/Sub-region

Peace Region

Finlay Arm

Project Type

Research & Information Acquisition

FWCP Contribution

$56,324

Action Plan Alignment

Species of Interest Action Plan

Project ID

PEA-F20-W-2966

Identifying opportunities for wetland restoration 2019-2020

This project will improve the understanding of historical distribution of wetlands in the Finlay Reach of Williston Reservoir, prior to inundation. This work will also document the cultural importance of wetlands to the Tsay Keh Dene (TKD) Nation, and quantitatively assess the current health of the wetlands. The results of this study will identify opportunities for wetland restoration. Debris scour and wave action is negatively impacting nearshore vegetation and wetlands within the Finlay Reach of Williston Reservoir. In addition, non-hydro-related, landscape-level disturbances have resulted in a loss of inland wetland habitat for fish and wildlife. This process is threatening the ecological benefits provided by wetlands and the ability of TKD Nation to harvest food and medicine from within wetlands.

Update: Wetlands flagged for restoration

Fifteen wetlands near the Williston Reservoir were assessed as part of a traditional ecological study conducted by members of the Tsay Keh Dene Nation and Chu Cho Environmental.

Fifty-three percent of the wetlands assessed were found to be healthy, 34% were healthy with some problems, and 13% were assessed as unhealthy. A healthy wetland typically has wildlife, insects, varied plant communities, and water present.

Based on these assessments, the project’s proposed next steps include restoration plans for three high-priority sites. Future restoration aims to preserve the Tsay Keh Dene Nation’s ability to harvest food and medicine from the wetlands and protect the habitat of native plants, waterfowl, wildlife, and amphibians.

 


Final report: executive summary

This report describes year 1 of a 2-year research and information acquisition project in the Finlay reach of the Williston reservoir. The project was initiated with funding from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program.

This project works to identify nearshore wetlands at risk from debris scour and wave action, as well as inland wetlands impacted by industry (forestry, road building, mining) and hydro-related landscape-level disturbances. These cumulative negative effects are threatening the ecological benefits provided by wetlands and the ability of Tsay Keh Dene (TKD) Nation to harvest food and medicine from within wetlands.

 

Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.

View more about this project on the provincial database