River Restoration 2018 and 2017

River Restoration 2018

The project will provide fish habitat restoration on three watercourses in the Sackville River Watershed – Halfway Brook, Stoney Brook, and the Little Sackville River – the first being in the community of Hammonds Plains in the western part of the watershed, the second being in Middle Sackville in the central part of the watershed, and the third being in the heart of Lower Sackville in the central part of the watershed.This project is an extension or continuation of past projects within the Sackville River Watershed and involves the installation of habitat restoration structures, including diggerlogs and rock deflectors.

The purpose of this project is to support directly the population of the Atlantic salmon (and indirectly the other species in the Sackville River watershed), which on Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast (Southern Uplands) is a species considered endangered, through restoration of its habitat. At this point every salmon is crucial, as is every square meter of accessible habitat (which is one of the limiting factor to salmon’s success in this watershed). Due to this, SRA strives to restore and protect every watercourse known to carry Atlantic salmon currently in the Sackville River watershed, as well as those which would have carried salmon in the past before development and other land use had impacted this critical habitat.

This project strives to increase habitat, improve fish passage, and increase the flow of water through channel definition, flow consolidation, and debris dam removal, in the watercourses mentioned above. All of these activities will assist in the recovery of the Atlantic salmon, while also indirectly supporting populations of Speckled trout and gaspereau. The success of the project will be determined through inspections by the Adopt-a-Stream program (permit holders) and the continued success of the structures will be measured by annual inspection and maintenance by SRA.

This project is very important for the various communities of the Sackville River watershed as it will show how suburban and urban streams, if restored and protected, can be healthy and can support viable populations of Atlantic salmon. This project can also prove to other communities that their suburban and urban streams can also be a healthy home to native fish of all kinds. Once you show people that these suburban streams can be more than the perceived drainage ditch, they are more likely to become stewards of their own local stream.

Partners in River Restoration 2018 are:

  • Sage Environmental Program
  • Echo Foundation
  • DFO Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program
  • Student Summer Skills Incentive
  • McLean Foundation
  • Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation
  • Service Canada Summer Jobs Program
  • McCain Foundation
  • NSLC Adopt-a-Stream
  • SRA directors, members, and volunteers

SRA River Restoration 2018 Final Report

River Restoration 2017

For 2017 we returned to our most valuable feeder Brook to the Sackville River, the Little Sackville River (LSR), which flows through the heart of Lower Sackville. Activities included the installation of rock sills and diggerlogs to restore salmon and trout habitat in the reach of river in behind the Lion’s Ballfield on Old Beaver Bank Road and along the Sackville Greenway which continues to be under construction, continuing restoration in the LSR from River Restoration 2016.

Other restorative work on the Little Sackville River involved the clearing of large debris dams through a number of reaches along the LSR’s length, largely derived from 2003 Hurricane Juan (i.e. damaged trees from the storm slowly falling into the river) and from human-related debris/garbage (tires, bicyles, traffic cones, kiddie pools, etc.). Removing these debris jams not only increases/improves flow and facilitates fish passage, but is an asthetic improvement (important in the appearance/perception of such an urban stream facing uniques challeges not experienced in it’s rural counterparts). A large number of debris jams were removed in the reach of the LSR that flows through the Millwood community.

Also included in this work on the LSR was work completed on the culverts under Millwood Drive in the LSR wetlands in Millwood, with thanks to Halifax Water and HRM, for the purpose of increasing fish passage during low water flow by installing low wood cribbing to concentrate low flow into 1 of 5 culverts, increasing fish passage.

Aside from the restorative work on the LSR, flow improvement had also been completed on Little Sandy Lake Brook in Glen Arbour and in Stoney Brook in Millwood. For Stoney Brook, a watercourse impacted heavily by siltation related to development in the area, complimentary actions to past restoration work had taken place to redefine channels to improve flow and to improve fish passage through the movement of silt and fine sands.

Restoration work had been completed largely through the summer work crew, which comprised of 4 university students enrolled in programs related to the nature of this work, with volunteer work completed by SRA directors, members, and volunteers on weekends through out the summer.

Partners in River Restoration 2017 include:

  • Canadian Wild Turkey Federation – Bluenose Long Beards chapter
  • Sage Environmental Program
  • DFO Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program
  • Student Summer Skills Incentive
  • Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation
  • Service Canada Summer Jobs Program
  • NSLC Adopt-a-Stream
  • Habitat Stewardship Program
  • Halifax Water
  • Halifax Regional Municipality
  • SRA directors, members, and volunteers

Typical debris jam on the LSR

Summer work crew in the LSR

More to come…

SRA River Restoration 2017 Final Report