Removing sediment was a big part of the project.

Habitat restoration improved side channel chances for spawning coho

Project partners worked on creating healthy, dynamic habitat using traditional and western knowledge

Sto:lo Coast Salish traditional knowledge and western science came together seamlessly in a recent habitat restoration project in the Fraser River near Chilliwack.

Carrielynn Victor, manager of Ayelstexw Consulting, was the lead on the project undertaken for the Cheam First Nation, which depends on the river, its values and aquatic resources.

The project acknowledges that threats to local wildlife habitat have only increased after decades of resource extraction, human activity and development along the Fraser.

It took more than two years to remove sediment, create natural pools, and restore flood-relief zones in the waterway, using locally sourced wood, and native plants.

“This is a model project that defines what Ayelstexw is,” Victor said.

Ayelstexw Consulting, owned by Cheam First Nation and Ecora Engineering and Resource Group, provides environmental services combining traditional Indigenous values and ecological knowledge, with western science, to guide operations and business. Atekstexw, meaning “sustainability” was the name offered by a Cheam elder for the joint venture.

Sometimes when undertaking habitat restoration work, the goal is improving conditions for one species at a time, but the aim was more ambitious with this project.

“In this case, issues arose around the famous Lower Fraser White Sturgeon. Working with a broad base of knowledge, our team was able to focus on habitat restoration for a variety of aquatic species, with special attention on sth’imiya, the Lower Georgia Basin coho salmon; a coho species now threatened due to habitat destruction.”

So “healthy, dynamic side channels” like the one created by this project, create critical spawning grounds for coho, Victor added.

Cheam consultants worked with project partners, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Province of B.C. DFO provided 50 per cent of funding, while the province facilitated in-stream permitting.

The hope is that the project methodology and collaborative approach will end up as a project template for future habitat reconstruction and protection.

Funds from the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program also supported the project.

READ MORE: Five-year rebuild of fish stocks

READ MORE: Spawning habitat created along Peach Creek


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

 

It took more than two years to remove sediment, create natural pools, and restore flood-relief zones in the waterway. (submitted)

Carrielynn Victor, manager of Ayelstexw Consulting, was the lead on the project which improved habitat in the Fraser. (submitted)

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

This image from Linda Brown of the Chilliwack Plowing Match won a photography contest for Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl’s annual calendar. Her photo was featured for April 2020 in the Chilliwack—Hope constituency calendar. (Linda Brown photograph)
Annual call out for Chilliwack-Hope constituency calendar photo contest

Photos will be featured in MP Mark Strahl’s calendar for 2021

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers and COVID-19 contact tracers must stop, Chilliwack soccer club says

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack-Hope in the virtual House of Commons Oct. 26, 2020 going to bat for Fraser Valley Speciality Poultry. (Mark Strahl/Facebook)
MP Strahl goes to bat for Chilliwack farmer in the virtual House of Commons

‘Why are the Liberals running roughshod over this hard-working Canadian farmer?’ MP asked

The theatre at Imagine High was once the theatre for a bustling theatre program for the University of the Fraser Valley. Students will once again fill the space as the Chilliwack School District has taken over the space for their new arts and tech high school, opening in 2021. (Submitted photo)
Collaboration a big part of Chilliwack’s newest high school

Imagine High will eventually be home to 700 students and registration is almost open

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Lawrence Nadessan, 44, was last seen on Oct. 24 at 11:30 p.m. in Maple Ridge.
Maple Ridge man missing since Saturday is extremely out of character, family says

Cameras saw him leaving home, not dressed for the weather

A group of Abbotsford secondary principals’s and vice-principals are at a retreat in Whistler this weekend. (Whistler.com photo)
Abbotsford principals attend retreat in Whistler despite COVID-19 gathering restrictions

Reported group of 20 did follow COVID-19 protocols during Whistler Pro-D event, says school district

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

Most Read