The Squamish River Watershed Society (SRWS), in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Squamish Nation is currently implementing phase 1 of the Central Estuary Restoration Project. Phase 1 of the project is focused on upgrading an existing culvert to improve fish access between the Squamish River and the estuary, and active construction for this commenced in April 2019.
We have been busy placing 100kg, 500kg and 1000kg rip-rap a.k.a. really big rocks at the inlet and outlet of the box culvert in the past week. This is to limit scouring from water flows to maintain the integrity of the culvert. This scour protection rip-rap has been designed to withstand a 200 year river flood event, that coincides with a low tide event resulting in a high flow volume and velocity from the river to the estuary. As the rip-rap placement wraps up, we are pulling the dam today that has been in place throughout construction and allow the water to flow from the river to the estuary. This is a very exciting project milestone for us and the fish!
We have also been releasing juvenile Chinook in the river that have been tagged with pit and acoustic telemetry tags in the past week, and more will be released next week. This will tell us if they are using the culvert and where in the lower flood plain they are swimming adding to our 5 year fish monitoring data set in the area used to support an adaptive management approach to habitat restoration.
To accommodate final road reconstruction and bank restoration the road will be closed to traffic between 7am - 5pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week (May 27, 28, 29th). We appreciate your continued understanding and support as we undertake this work that is critical to the survival of juvenile salmonids, particularly Chinook – an at risk species that is a primary food source for the southern resident killer whales. For more information on the science that has informed this project please visit:
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The Squamish River Watershed Society (SRWS), formed in 1998, takes a holistic approach towards watershed management, examining the headwaters down to the estuary and into Howe Sound. We are committed to enhancing and preserving the integrity of the Squamish Watershed, focusing on key environmental factors and human influences.