Murray Creek is situated on the north bank of the Nechako River, and is one of the larger tributaries to the river. The Murray Creek Rehabilitation Project is a volunteer run project that focuses on rehabilitating Murray Creek for the improvement of water quality, fish and wildlife habitat and access for salmon spawning. A number of projects have occured on Murray Creek over the past several years, and the information is presented here. NEWSS members have lead field trips along Murray Creek to promote awareness and education about the creek and projects. The Murray Creek Stream Rehabilitation Project was formed in 2008, although it had been on the radar of club membership for over 30 years. The objective was to understand how to facilitate the restoration of a stream within the Nechako Valley by working with the landowners in a cooperative and conciliatory way that would benefit the landowner and provide an atmosphere that would result in water stewardship practices that created and restored a healthy ecosystem.
Since we have been operating, the investment by private funders, landowners and agencies has been in excess of $300,000.
The initial target was to get 70% of the landowners on side within the term of the project and we have exceeded this within the first five years time. Not all landowners will participate on this project but that we will have projects on the majority of private land within the life of this initiative. The farming and ranching community understands the need to adapt their programs to include Environmental Farm Planning (EFP) and to be wise users of the water resources. Our experiences on the Murray Creek Stream Rehabilitation Project have demonstrated how we can work together to meet these objectives.
About the Murray Creek Rehabilitation Project
The Murray Creek Rehabilitation Project brings together land owners, businesses, schools and environmental stewards that collaborate to rehabilitate Murray Creek. We hope to increase the number of salmonids that inhabit Murray Creek, as well as improve water quality to create a healthy ecosystem. This will in turn contribute to the health of the Nechako River and the salmon and white sturgeon that spawn at the mouth of Murray Creek.
The Murray Creek Rehabilitation Project has been well received by most of the land owners along the creek, as well as members of the community and governments.
Purpose and Objective
The purpose of this project is to enhance the habitat along Murray Creek for the benefit of all users, fish and wildlife and to facilitate the process of the agricultural community voluntarily working towards water stewardship throughout the Nechako Watershed. The objective is to understand how to work corroboratively with the community along Murray Creek to facilitate the rehabilitation of the stream while ensuring that the majority of the funds required are raised from outside sources.
Funding & Projects
To date the Murray Creek Rehabilitation Project has secured funding and in-kind contributions that have gone towards a number of in-stream works projects including fencing off the stream, off channel watering, bioengineering to stop erosion, replanting the riparian zone, and replacing inadequate culverts to be fish friendly. As well as educational field trips for elementary and secondary school students, public education, and research (UNBC Graduate study in Community & Watershed Health).
As the Murray Creek Stream Rehabilitation Project has moved forward over the years we have developed tremendous support from many individuals, agencies and organizations throughout the province. Much of this support has been in the form of funding, while other support has been more collaborative in working on the larger outcomes of bringing water stewardship and education to the Nechako Valley. Our partners and collaborators include School District 91, University of Northern BC, BC Cattlemen's Association, Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemen's Association, Fraser Basin Council, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Fraser River Action Plan, Ministry of Environmental, Nechako White Sturgeon Community Working Group, and Nechako Fisheries Conservation Program. Read more about our partners and collaborators »
One major supporter of rehabilitation work on Murray Creek has been Richard Martens, a long-time rancher in the area. Murray Creek flows through much of Martens' property and his dedication to stewardship and rehabilitation to long sections of the creek has not been overlooked. In 2015, Richard received the Cattlemen's Environmental Award. Congratulations - well deserved!