This map shows the clearing and maintenance work completed on the Camp and Hope slough systems in 2019. (City of Chilliwack)

This map shows the clearing and maintenance work completed on the Camp and Hope slough systems in 2019. (City of Chilliwack)

Cleaning out the sloughs of Chilliwack was appreciated council hears

Camp-Hope Slough system saw maintenance underway in recent months including grass and log removal

Sections of the Hope Slough and Camp Slough were cleaned out this fall, partly to increase drainage and partly to create more recreational opportunities.

Heavy equipment was spotted in the local waterways recently, removing vegetation like reed canary grass and other obstructions.

“Just a note of thanks to the Operations departments for these works,” commented Coun. Jason Lum at the last council meeting.

Grass, log, and sediment removal was conducted between September 16 and October 8, during authorized work windows that protect fish and fish habitat.

READ MORE: Camp Slough work plan put in place

Several positive comments and messages came in from residents while the work was underway, Coun. Lum said, adding

“I really appreciate what they’ve done.”

The Camp Slough system saw equipment at work in Gravelly Slough, cleaning out the waterway from the confluence of Hope Slough to Camp Slough. The Camp Slough work covered the length to the confluence of Bear Slough. Bear Slough was also cleaned out of in-stream vegetation and reconnected to Camp Slough at Rose Road.

The map shows the extent of the cleaning effort, which was part of the city’s short-term strategy with quick hits. The cost to complete the work was about $40,000, and there have been ongoing slough restoration efforts since council approved a work plan in 2017.

A comprehensive, long-term approach to Camp-Hope Slough restoration and culvert replacement would be more expensive council found out, with estimates in the range of $30 million over 20 years.

But clearing out the vegetative overgrowth is relatively inexpensive.

“For such a small item in the budget, it has a huge impact,” said Coun. Chris Kloot. “We got a lot of posts, feedback and better fish habitat, so I wholeheartedly want to see that continue.”

A 55-foot long boom excavator was contracted, and Nova Pacific Environmental personnel monitored the in-stream works.

“Each year the Hope and Camp systems are seeing more and more waterway cleaned and opened up which not only benefits drainage for the area but also increases recreational opportunities for water-borne activities,” according to details in the Third Quarter reports.

READ MORE: Hope Slough needs cleaning out


@CHWKjourno
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Camp-Hope Slough restoration efforts approved by city council started in 2017 and continued with cleaning and maintenance in September and October 2019. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Progress File)

Camp-Hope Slough restoration efforts approved by city council started in 2017 and continued with cleaning and maintenance in September and October 2019. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Progress File)