News Release

BC Fish and Wildlife Benefit from Restoration and Research Projects

The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) has announced funding towards fish and wildlife research and restoration projects in watersheds stretching across BC from Vancouver Island to the Shuswap.

Coho, pink and sockeye salmon, grizzlies, mule deer and marmots are among the species that will benefit from the projects grouped into the FWCP's Coastal Region. Other projects are targetted to enhance or monitor habitat.

Altogether the FWCP has comitted $1.46 million to projects in watersheds across the region for the year. All research and project work will take place in 2012/2013.

FWCP funds are provided through BC Hydro and managed in a partnership with the Province of British Columbia and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to conserve and enhance fish, wildlife and their supporting habitats affected by the creation of BC Hydro owned and operated generation facilities in the Coastal, Columbia and Peace regions of British Columbia.

Applications are reviewed annually in the Coastal region by both technical and board-level committees that include representation from all program partners, First Nations and the public. Projects are chosen based on technical merit, cost vs. benefit, level of partnership, linkages to watershed-specific priorities and overall benefit to the FWCP’s mandate and vision.

For more information and to find out how your project can apply for next year’s funding visit www.fwcp.ca.

Coastal Region Projects Funded – 2012-2013

Lower Mainland

Alouette Watershed
For the third year, the Smolt Parental Lineage Assessment project ($57,100) will continue to complete a genetic assessment of the outgoing smolts from Alouette Lake to try to determine if the smolts are from sea run (anadromous) adults that have successfully spawned in Alouette Lake. A second genetic assessment of the smolts that remain in Alouette Lake will be conducted to assess if they were born from anadromous sockeye parents and if they will migrate out of the reservoir or remain in the lake. This project is led by the Pacific Biological Station at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Part of an ongoing restoration effort in the Alouette River, the Coniagas Spawning and Rearing Channel project received $35,100 in funds. Led by the Alouette River Management Society, this project proposes to construct 1000m2 of spawning and rearing habitat for coho salmon. The riparian areas surrounding the side channel will be planted with native species and the area will also be augmented with large woody debris and spawning gravel. 

For the second year, wildlife funding went to a project that will identify, conserve and restore populations of species at risk and their associated habitats ($60,000). Led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the project will map critical habitat features and occupied sites for the Pacific Water Shrew, Western Painted Turtle and the Great Blue Heron.

Stave Falls
The Stave River Coho Off Channel Habitat Restoration project ($66,200), led by Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition, will create 2000m2 of functional habitat through excavating new and restoring old tidal channels for chum, chinook, coho and cutthroat trout on the left bank of the Stave River. In addition, there will be some small scale habitat restoration work completed in Thompson Creek to improve the quality of summer and winter habitat for coho and cutthroat trout.

The Stave River Steelhead Smolt Imprinting project ($10,150), led by British Columbia Conservation Foundation, will continue in its fifth year and will monitor returning adult steelhead that were imprinted in 2010.

Coquitlam/Buntzen Watershed
The Coquitlam River Side Channel and Creek Ponds Restoration project ($67,900), led by the North Fraser Salmon Assistance Society, will create 16,500m2 of off channel habitat in the Or Creek ponds by reconstructing the intake and delivery pipe for that area.

The Coquitlam Dam Sockeye Capture and Transport project ($22,550), led by the Watershed Watch Salmon Society and Kwikwetlem First Nation, is a continuation of smolt release and Capture and Transport projects that have been completed in the past using FWCP funds. The project will facilitate the movement of kokanee/sockeye smolts downstream where they will be enumerated. Returning sockeye adults will also be captured at the base of the Coquitlam dam and transported and released into the Coquitlam reservoir.

The Coquitlam River Riparian Planting project ($61,800), led by The Nature Trust, will mitigate loss of habitat due to BC Hydro water diversions by planting 1800 riparian trees and shrubs at Colony Farms and the Coquitlam River Park. This will provide habitat for many species of birds and amphibians and shade for aquatic species.

Wahleach Watershed
Led by Madrone, the Mapping and Wildlife Inventory project ($4,400) will work on research and information gathering to help map riparian and wetland habitats in the Wahleach watershed.

Squamish
The North Vancouver Outdoor School received $67,800 in funds for their Cheakamus River-Dave Marshall Salmon Reserve Habitat Enhancement project which will make modifications to the channels and create 200m2 of additional spawning habitat for pink salmon and 200m of refuge habitat in the form of a wetland. Additionally, they will reconstruct the fish enumeration structure and intake for some of the other channels in the area.

The Squamish Estuary Management Directive project ($5,000), led by The Nature Trust, will create a management plan for a piece of property that was previously purchased using FWCP funds.

Vancouver Island

Campbell River Watershed

The Salmon River - Big Tree Side-Channel Performance Improvements project ($4,840), led by the BC Conservation Foundation, will evaluate the Side channel that was constructed in 2008 and determine if there are any opportunities to improve fish access.

In its sixth year, the Vancouver Island Marmot Buttle Lake Supplement Project ($66,550) will continue to expand the marmot population and support the Province of B.C. and its Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Program. Continuing on the success of the past five years, the project will again release up to 30-40 marmots at approximately 6 sites in the vicinity of Buttle Lake to augment the current population.

Puntledge River Watershed

The Assessment of Homing Behaviour of Puntledge Summer Chinook Hatchery Returns project ($57,778) continues in its second year. The project will determine if Chinook that are imprinted in Comox Lake will have a higher return rate compared to adults that were reared at the Puntledge Hatchery with no imprinting. Now in the construction phase, the Puntledge River Hatchery Summer Chinook Rearing Consolidation project ($151,184) will install additional tanks to the chilled water acclimation system that will allow for summer Chinook to be held at the Hatchery.

Chinook and coho smolt/fry will also be assessed for a third year ($78,620) as the project continues to analyze the migration of the fish in the upper watershed. And the fourth fish project ($4,950) will prepare a habitat improvement plan and budget for restoration of an area in the Courtenay River Estuary.

Southern Interior

Bridge River Restoration Area
The Gates Creek Salmon project ($165,930), led by the Lillooet Tribal Council, enters its fourth year. Proposing a number of enhancements, the project includes a fry enumeration project at the entrance to the spawning channel, an assessment of the sockeye salmon using the channel and an assessment of the survival of eggs deposited in Gates Creek. 

In its second year, the Grizzly Bear Recovery Habitat Action project ($146,836), which is led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO), will continue to verify habitat areas for berry production, map priority areas for management and raise awareness about grizzlies in the area.

Also in its second year, the Mule Deer Buck Migration and Habitat Use project ($31,620), led by the MFLNRO, will monitor the movement of this species using radio collars in order to determine migration routes, residency patterns, seasonal ranges and daily buck habitat use during post hunting periods. This research will provide deer harvest and habitat management recommendation for the species.

An inventory of fisher populations and reproductive dens ($19,550), led by Davis Environmental Ltd., wraps up its final year of assessment. Hair snags will be analyzed and a population estimate will be completed. Research on cavity bearing trees as reproductive dens will also be completed along with the identification of potential wildlife habitat areas.

The Identification of Mineral Lick Locations and Use by Mountain Goats project ($52,545) was given funds to determine habitat use and will be led by Cooper-Beauchesne.

Funds in the amount of $30,000 have been allocated to the first phase of the Sekw’el’was Seton River Corridor Conservation and Restoration Project. Led by the Cayoosh Creek Indian Band, research will be conducted throughout the year in order to compile a restoration plan for the area.

Also in its first year, the MFLNRO was given $35,000 in funds to determine the habitat use of the Western Screech Owl in the Bridge-Seton Area.

Lillooet
Phase five of the Powerhouse Foreshore Restoration project ($90,000), led by the Lillooet Naturalist Society, will continue the removal of invasive plant species from the area and replace them with native plant species grown in the native plant nursery that was established for the project in 2009. The project will also continue to assess wildlife usage in the area.

Shuswap
Funds in the amount of $19,660 have been given to SEC Shearing Environmental Consultants for the Impact of Wilsey Dam on Middle Shuswap River Substrate Composition project. The project will create hydraulic sediment and transport models that will aid in developing future habitat restoration projects.

In its third year, the Habitat Complexing in Bessette Creek project ($40,092) will continue to create pool habitat with the addition of 25-30 large woody debris, rock groins and boulder clusters. This project is led by the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre Society.