Four conservation projects in the Campbell River watersheds are being given more than $360,000 of funding through the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program. The Program funds conservation and enhancement projects in the Coastal, Columbia River and Peace River regions.
Funding is from BC Hydro and is managed in a partnership with the Province of British Columbia, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations and the public to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by the creation of BC Hydro dams.
In the Campbell River area four projects are getting funding this year:
Grilse Creek Large Woody Debris Rehabilitation
British Columbia Conservation Foundation
This project will repair, maintain and build new fish habitat upstream of the Salmon River Diversion to provide rearing and holding habitat for Steelhead, Coho and resident trout of all life stages. A minimum of eighteen main-stem large woody debris (LWD) sites will be built or repaired in the lower portions of Grilse Creek. Benefits will include increased habitat complexity in the restored reach to help boost production capacity of this area for Steelhead and Coho.
Assessment of Distribution of 2014 Brood Coho Adult Migration Below and Above the Salmon River Diversion Dam
Campbell River Salmon Foundation
Fish passage improvements for the Salmon River Diversion Dam have been approved with the goal of scheduled completion by fall 2015. This project will monitor Coho Salmon abundance and distribution in the Salmon River for a minimum of two years prior to the planned fishway upgrade/replacement project being completed. This will ensure adequate preconstruction data is available to compare to post-construction assessments on habitat utilization and fish passage at Diversion Dam. Unimpeded access to the upper watershed is critical to the long-term adaptability and sustainability of salmon populations in the watershed.
Salmon River Estuary Acquisition
The Nature Trust of British Columbia
The Salmon River Estuary is the only significant area of coastal wetland habitat located on a relatively steep and rugged 250km stretch of coastline from Campbell River to the network of estuaries on the Quatsino lowlands of Vancouver Island. The goal of this project is to purchase the remaining 67ha of private land in the Salmon River Estuary and lower Salmon River to complement the existing 104ha already secured by The Nature Trust, Ducks Unlimited Canada and their conservation partners, including FWCP. The acquisition includes several intertidal areas of the Salmon River Estuary, which provide critical foraging, rearing and roosting habitat for Great Blue Heron, Northern Pygmy Owl, Cutthroat Trout and Dolly Varden.
Vancouver Island Marmot – Buttle Lake Supplementation
Marmot Recovery Foundation
This is the final year of a three-year project. During 2012 and 2013, more than 30 captive-bred, and 20 wild-born marmots were translocated to eight sites in the Buttle Lake area. At least four sites now have fledgling colonies with multiple marmots remaining on-site for two years or more; and successful reproduction has occurred at three of those sites. The goal of this year’s project is to evaluate the effectiveness of new release techniques for the Vancouver Island Marmot. The objective of releases and translocations to the Buttle Lake area is to re-establish two functioning populations of Vancouver Island Marmots at historic sites around Buttle Lake.
– Contributed by BC Hydro