Tree planting assessment along Sucwoa river bank. (Submitted photo)

Six northwestern Vancouver Island rivers undergoing fish habitat restoration

Coastal Restoration Fund project addresses river bank instability between Tahsis and Zeballos

A riparian restoration along the banks of the Tahsis River is underway after a $900,000 grant by the Coastal Restoration Fund.

On June 15, forestry crews conducted surveys to identify ways to promote long-lived conifers along the river banks. The restoration project aims to plant and accelerate the growth of spruce and cedar trees to repair stream-banks to promote a healthy habitat.

Spearheaded by the Nootka Sound Watershed Society (NSWS) and managed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the work will be conducted over three years on six northwest Vancouver Island salmon streams in the region around Tahsis and Zeballos.

A healthy riparian zone — the interface between land and water bodies — is often covered with dense vegetation including mature trees and shrubs. These riparian zones are essential to maintain ecosystems, prevent soil erosion and protect fish habitats.

Along with stable banks, rivers also need fallen trees in stream for healthy fish habitat. Large woody debris — a critical component of fish habitat — naturally occurs when trees fall into the river over time, but Tahsis River lacked large woody debris in its system. Also, unstable stream banks along the Tahsis, caused by soil erosion and logging over time, delivered sediments detrimental to salmon health. The riparian restoration project in Tahsis will address these issues.

Kent O’Neill, president of NSWS said that the society is committed to a “holistic” maintenance of the ecosystem which in turn promotes healthy salmon habitats.

NSWS is a non profit, multi-stakeholder group championing salmon restoration and enhancing biodiversity on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

In March the first phase of the project was completed along the banks of Sucwoa River, located between Gold River and Tahsis. Almost 1,200 seedlings, donated by Western Forest Products, were planted along 30 hectares.

Two more phases are planned in Tahsis this year and two phases in Zeballos in 2021.

READ ALSO:Tree planters adapt to working during pandemic

Environment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

“He was just untying the boats and watching them float away,” said Harbour Master Kevin Cortes.

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Ucluelet RCMP warns of scammers impersonating police

“Police will never demand payment of any kind to get rid of an arrest warrant.”

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Most Read