Many will recall the Meager Creek Landslide in 2010 and the resulting closure of the very popular Meager Creek Hot Springs – but what about the impact to the surrounding habitat?
Prior to the landslide, Alena Creek was important habitat for Coho Salmon and Bull Trout . After being inundated with slide debris however, much of the existing habitat was wiped out or significantly degraded.
In August 2016 the Alena Creek Fish Habitat Enhancement Project (FHEP), associated with the Upper Lillooet Hydro Project, was constructed by Mumleqs Construction Ltd. and planted by Lil’wat Forestry with design and environmental monitoring completed by Ecofish Research Ltd. Objectives of the project were two-fold; to enhance existing habitat and to create new habitat.
We are thrilled to report that in late October 2016 we observed a number of Coho Salmon using our newly constructed habitat! Coho were observed holding beneath many of the large woody debris clusters installed instream in the new channel. A popular area for bears, the woody debris over top of the channel has offered additional cover from predators.
Congratulations to Ecofish Hydrologist David West for designing the instream components and leading the construction of this project. Lastly, thank you to Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. for continuing to value local knowledge and for making this project possible.