Salmon habitat undergoing restoration work

Heavy machinery moving in Aug. 8 to clear way for increased salmon spawning area

Some heavy duty work is beginning at a delicate spawning habitat along the Vedder River.

The intent is “restore and extend salmon spawning habitat” along Peach Creek, between Webster Road and Peach Road. The area is popular for walkers, runners and cyclists meandering along the river, just past the Vedder bridge.

The work began Aug. 8, and should take about three weeks to complete, according to the City of Chilliwack. They are completing the work in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans, and the Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition. It will take some heavy machinery, trucks and equipment for the bulk of the work, while a replanting event with volunteers will take place later in the fall.

Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition shared a photo on their Facebook page this week to show how uprooted trees are being used in the project.

It’s at that point they’ll be asking for volunteers to pitch in and help. In the meantime, those who use the trail are asked to be patient and keep their distance as the work is carried out, between the Rotary Trail and the setback dike trail. Detour signs will be put in place.

The City’s notice about the work project says “the purpose of this project is to improve and create additional off-channel salmon spawning habitat along the Vedder River to support resilient salmon populations.

“Creating these off-channel habitats is particularly important in the Vedder River system as the main river can become quite turbulent (unclear and carrying sediment) and can be harmful to our salmon. Peach Creek is supported by groundwater and is an off-channel habitat. By extending and enhancing this creek, it will provide the much needed habitat for our salmon: cool, clear groundwater that is protected by vegetation and large logs and offers ample food supply of invertebrates.”

They compare it to similar work completed at the Browne Creek Wetlands, and notices say the main work is expected to be completed by Aug. 25.

This project has been funded by the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program, Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Royal Bank of Canada’s Community Action Grant.


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