Stabilizing flow, increasing juvenile Coho habitat and removal of a fish stranding issue in Patenaude Creek, Horsefly River Riparian Conservation Area

The objectives of the project were to stabilize flow, increase habitat for juvenile coho salmon and eliminate a fish stranding issue on Patenaude Creek, a small creek in the Horsefly River Valley. The project had two components: deactivating a fish trap (the terminal end of a man?made rearing channel), and consolidating the flow of Patenaude Creek to prevent the creek from spilling its banks and depositing fish in adjacent hayfields and to increase the habitat complexity of this severely impacted creek. We were able to successfully complete the deactivation of the rearing channel by filling in and planting the upper ~100 m of the channel (after fish were removed). We also installed a ground water infiltration gallery, and replaced a blocked culvert to bring additional water to the rearing channel to further alleviate the possibility of any future fish stranding in the remaining sections of the rearing channel. We were unable to complete the proposed works along the main part of Patenaude Creek because of delays in the preparation of plans for this portion of the project by DFO engineers and habitat biologists. Because of the complexity of this portion of the project, DFO opted to do an additional, detailed physical survey of the area to the east of Patenaude Creek in order to generate a precise, 3D map of the creek bed and surrounding areas. From this map, they will develop a detailed restoration plan that will be reviewed and revised with input from local restoration ecologists and implemented, likely during the fall of 2012. In the interim, we installed over 300 sandbags along the west side of Patenaude Creek to ‘encourage’ this creek to carve out one, consolidated channel during this years freshet.