Stream Rehabilitation

Hansard Creek Crossing - Before and After
Hansard Creek Crossing - Before and After

In August, Phase I of Hansard Creek Stream Restoration project was completed.   The project focused on the restoration of fish passage on an existing major forest road crossing on Hansard Creek (i.e. construction of a fish weir), and rehabilitation of fish habitat on a 200-metre-long stream reach below the crossing.

Historically, the creek had been modified with the establishment and operation of an old Forest Experiment Station camp which was initially constructed in the early 1920s and operated for approximately 40 years.   Anthropogenic influences from older times included log cribbing installed into the stream banks. In addition, with the construction of the Aleza Lake FSR in the 1950’s, a large culvert was installed.   This culvert had a hanging outlet, creating a 60 cm drop which acted as a barrier to juvenile fish passage. This affected movement and migration of juvenile rainbow trout and chinook salmon which were unable to access habitat upstream of the culvert.

Preliminary planning for this project was conducted in 2010 and 2011 including initial surveys and weir design (provided by engineers and professional biologists from DWB Consulting Ltd.). Overall project coordination and planning was provided by professional staff of the Aleza Lake Research Forest Society.

The construction of the wier was directed by an Engineer/Biologist and a Professional Forester.   Waters were diverted, and an excavator was moved in to complete the heavy digging/filling.   As per the plans the weir was constructed with a clay core, wrapped in geotextile and armored with large wrip wrap.

Further downstream large organic debris and boulder clusters were placed in stream to mitigate anthroprogenic modifications to the stream and enhance beneficial riffle-pool structures.

Thanks to:

  • DWB Consulting for all of their efforts and expertise
  • Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation which provided a portion of the funding through the Public Conservation Assistance Fund.
  • Faculty and students of UNBC’s Field School who provided their muscle power

Seeding Thought

  1. What are the environmental and social benefits of this type of project?
  2. In a project of this nature what roles did professionals take?   What is professional reliance and how does it apply in a project of this nature?