Much of the area along Sauls Creek has been logged and/or cleared for either agricultural, residential, or commercial purposes. The upland forested regions of much of the central interior of BC experienced a Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic from 1997 through 2006. Since then, decisions were made to salvage log the dead pine leaving many of watersheds extensively harvested to levels where we would expect adverse cumulative effects in the aquatic ecosystem. Recent site visits and aerial photo records show increasing rates of erosion. Riparian loss appears to be a function of land clearing and development that did not adequately conserve the floodplain ecosystem. Cumulative effects currently observed in our identified rehabilitation areas include: massive erosion of stream banks, little embedded course woody debris in the stream channels, absence of woody debris in contact with water during summer months for many reaches, reduced deep pools, spawning gravels laden with fine sediment, and reduced shade and cover. These observations point towards poor conditions for spawning, incubation and rearing.
Erosion issues are apparent on many of the banks in this section of Sauls Creek. Historical clearing practices along riparian areas have contributed to stream bank stability deterioration, erosion issues, in some locations are severe, and have resulted in stream relocation, mass wasting, and significant deposition of sediment into the stream.
About Sauls Creek Restoration
The project is intended to reduce erosion and sediment deposition, restore bank stability, and improve fish habitat for spawning and juvenile rearing conditions for salmonid and other fish species. Eroding banks around will be protected with a combination of strategically placed rock spurs, rip-rap, Large-woody debris (LWD), and a variety of bio-engineering techniques to enhance immediate and long-term protections of eroding banks. Bio engineering techniques will include live bank and wattle fence construction, live willow staking and Beaver Dam Analogues (BDA’s). Large-woody debris will not only be placed to bolster erosion protection efforts, but to add habitat enhancements for juvenile and adult fish by to providing cover, and habitat diversity/complexity. Willow planting and conifer planting will also be conducted along banks to enhance long term bank stability within the project area.
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