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Report: Thompson Creek Fish ladder, Replanting and Assessments Stave River Watershed- Restoring Salmon Habitat FWCP COA-F20-F-3110

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Tidally influenced freshwater estuaries and off-channel habitats are critical areas benefiting salmon, waterfowl, mammals, migratory birds, and serving as an important ecosystem for flood protection and human services. Natural off-channel habitats include beaver ponds, wetlands, alcoves, floodplains, side channels and tributaries.

Author:  Natasha Cox, Rachel Drennan

Old Reference Number:  COA-F20-F-3110

Old Reference System:  FWCP - Fish Wildlife Compensation Program Coastal

Date Published:  Apr 2020

Report ID:  58991

Audience:  Government and Public

The Lower Stave River has been regarded as one of the most productive salmon habitats in the province and supports the second largest chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) population in the Fraser River watershed. The presence of the Ruskin dam restricts the range of habitat that the anadromous salmon can use, and currently only the lower 3 km section of the Stave River provide habitat for these spawning salmon. The lower Stave River, between the Ruskin Dam and the Fraser River, consists of numerous channels and gravel bars, with predominantly deciduous vegetation growing on the more established bars and riverbanks. Located within the traditional territory of the Kwantlen First Nation, the area contains numerous archaeological sites and artifacts of cultural and historical significance, many of which are threatened by the continual erosion of the riverbanks. The erosion of these banks has long been a concern of the Kwantlen First Nation, a concern identified during the past Water Use Planning process (2003). There are limited areas remaining on the lower Stave River floodplain that support significant populations of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) adults and juveniles, and this includes the lower 3 km section of the Stave River. This section provides the only remaining habitat for anadromous salmon within the Stave River Watershed. Up to 500,000 chum salmon and hundreds of coho, pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) salmon spawn in these graveled channels. In 2007, actions to create more complex spawning habitat appropriate for the tail-water release flows of the Ruskin Dam, were completed by FVWRC (now FVWC) in partnership with DFO and FVRD. This project focused on two areas within the Stave river watershed. Replacement of a failing fish ladder on the right bank of the Stave River and a riparian planting in the wetland area on the left bank of the Stave River.

Report Type
  Fish and Aquatic Habitat Information
  Fish Species - Chinook Salmon - Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
  Fish Species - Coho Salmon - Oncorhynchus kisutch
  Fish Species - Pink Salmon - Oncorhynchus gorbuscha
  Region - Vancouver Island
  Fish and Fish Habitat - Conservation Biology
  Fish and Fish Habitat - Habitat and Stream Assessment
  Fish and Fish Habitat - Management
  Fish and Fish Habitat - Monitoring
  Fish and Fish Habitat - Restoration
  Vegetation - Riparian

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