A $55,000 federal grant has been earmarked to restore a spawning and rearing habitat for Pacific salmon in the Stave River, just east of Maple Ridge. MP Randy Kamp made the announcement on Monday afternoon. The grant will help improve habitat that was impacted by the original construction of the Ruskin Dam.
The grant is part of a new federal initiative called the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program. The grant will be used by the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition and Vancouver-based Pacific Salmon Foundation to improve valuable habitats that were impacted by environmental changes caused by the nearby Ruskin Dam, and that will ultimately support B.C. fisheries.
“This is a great project because the Stave River was naturally inhabited by all Pacific salmon species, but changes to the river due to dam construction and diking have reduced habitat for salmon to spawn and for their offspring to grow and survive,” said vice-president, development, marketing and communications Michael Meneer.
The project became necessary as a result of construction of the Ruskin Dam on the lower Stave River, which permanently cut off most of the historic habitats available to Pacific salmon.
There are only two areas remaining on the lower Stave River floodplain that support significant populations of Pacific salmon.
The project will address this issue through the creation of channels extending off the main river that will be ideal for young coho, chum and Chinook salmon to grow. Several existing spawning channels that were cut off from the main river will also be re-connected.
The project is slated to be completed by December 2013 with a total budget of $132,108. More than half of the project’s budget will be contributed by the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition, along with support from the Stave Valley Enhancement Society, BC Hydro, Kwantlen First Nation and the province of British Columbia. Fisheries and Oceans Canada personnel will aid with fish habitat design, construction, and habitat management and restoration.
@ Copyright 2013