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Connecting Lakes to Mountain Streams with Ben Mitchell-Banks

Enabling fish in Ben Abel Creek

Abel Creek is a feeder stream of Lake Windermere that provides spawning habitat for kokanee salmon and rainbow trout.  Like many local waterways, the Abel Creek watershed has been negatively impacted by human development since the early 1900s. The long-term objective of the Abel Creek restoration project is to restore fish passage throughout the Abel Creek watershed. Restoring access to almost 3 km of high-quality habitat will assist the kokanee salmon population to rebuild to the historical numbers of spawning fish that utilized the system in years past.  Several potential barriers to fish passage were identified in the initial habitat assessment of the watershed.   In the summer of 2014, a dam located below Westside Road was removed, following the removal of the dam, kokanee were observed utilizing new spawning habitat above Westside Road.  During the spawning runs of 2015 and 2016 the progress of kokanee was monitored as they made their way upstream.  It was then determined that two culverts under Johnston road prevented further upstream migration.   In the fall of 2018 one of the culverts had remediation work completed.  Planning is underway to remove the last barrier to fish migration in the summer of 2019.

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