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

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Twister at the Chilliwack SPCA

Small animals like rats are one of the first to be surrendered and last to get adopted

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Chilliwack Salvation Army to give away free laundry detergent and more at drive-thru event

They will be handing out Tide detergent, toothpaste and eggs to anyone who is in need

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read