Biologist Stephanie Christensen was one of several volunteers planting trees at the Hope River Corbould Park Saturday with an eye to improving the degraded streamside habitat.
She organized the event that brought volunteers out to plant the trees on the edge of the Hope Slough at the end of Corbould Road as a member of the Friends of the Hope-Camp Sloughs.
“I’ve been interested for a while in getting some plantings going because I see a stream that was historically really important with salmon,” she said.
Friends of the Sloughs have been working toward slough system restoration since 2016.
With salmon returns in sharp decline the focus is on improving critical habitat and water quality wherever possible.
“As a biologist I know that the riparian vegetation is really important for the in-stream habitat,” she said. “And since this is a municipal park, I thought it was important that a municipal park exemplifies the best of what a riparian area can be.”
City of Chilliwack donated 20 potted trees to help shade the waterway, as well as having shovels, and planting implements on-hand for the volunteers to use, and local biologist Mike Pearson contributed some willow tree cuttings.
“This planting is a good start but it will need to be maintained,” Christensen said.
Although many people mistakenly believe the slough is already dead or choked out, in fact it is teeming with life, home to fish species, like chum and coho salmon, to catfish, stickleback, cutthroat trout, pikeminnow, and chub.
The construction of a fish viewing platform in 2005 was part of a community project with DFO and community support to rehab the oxygen-depleted slough with a spawning riffle, a bed of gravel engineered for spawning in quick moving water. The project was funded by the Pacific Salmon Commission, administered by the Fraser Valley Regional District. Partners included Fisheries and Oceans Canada, City of Chilliwack, FVRD and the Chilliwack Fish and Game Protective Association.
Volunteers can help with more watercourse restoration planting. Sunday May 1, 10 a.m. at Chilliwack Creek, at the corner of Yale Road and Parr Road.
Something to add to this story, or a story tip? Email: