Winter Road Fisheries Enhancement Project

During the summer of 1996 the Bilston Watershed Habitat Protection Association undertook a project to enhance the fishery potential of the Bilston Creek immediately south of the Winter Road bridge.

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This is the worksite before any alterations were begun. The area is overgrown with Canary grass. During the winter flood season the bank is eroded away and loose sand and silt is swept downstream to clog up areas of gravel suitable for the native cutthroat trout to spawn in. View upstream from worksite

Standing on the Winter Rd. bridge looking south downstream along Bilston Creek just before work on the project started. On the left side the winter flood waters erode the bank away, which is fine sand. This material then is sent downstream to clog gravel spawning beds. Originally this site meandered but as a flood control project initiated by the Ministry of Highways the stream channel was dreadged down and straightened, exposing the loose sand. Much of the Reed Canary Grass in the photo is floating on the water, having had the sand originally around the roots washed away. Though the grass overhangs provide shade to fish in the area during summer, the overall effect is to reduce successfull spawning possibilities. View downstream from bridge


Starting the excavation. Here the machine is removing the loose sand back for about 20 feet from the stream channel. Starting Excavation

Logs are placed into the excavation. These are cedar about 20 feet in length and 8 to 12 inches diameter, laid as a continuous row. Every 8 to 10 feet a single log, also 20 feet long, having the entire root mass still attached is placed. This root wad will provide refuge holes for fish and add complexity to the underwater profile. Placing logs and rootwads

Once in place the logs are covered with mixed sized rock ranging from small gravel to 2 foot diameter nuggets. About 3 to 4 feet of overhang is left exposed to provide shade. Soil is laid on the upper bank and a number of larger shrubs were planted. The area is seeded with grass and some is covered with a protective woven straw mat to reduce predation from birds. Logs covered with rock and soil

A number of water and marsh plants were replaced in the stream channel. Plants salvaged from the excavation and from other areas of the stream were placed along the site. Placing water and marsh plants

The upper bank area was extensively replanted with native shrubs and small trees. Replanting Upper Bank

Winter Rd. 1997 Home back to Habitat Martin Brook