Spawning and rearing habitat for Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) was created to offset predicted habitat losses resulting from hydroelectric development in Whistler, BC. The project generated additional benefits for Kokanee Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus), and other fish species, to offset predicted habitat losses resulting from hydroelectric development.
- Client: Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.
- Location: Whistler, BC
- Duration: 2013 – ongoing
Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. engaged Ecofish to provide habitat enhancement to offset the predicted habitat losses from the Fitzsimmons Creek Hydroelectric Project in Whistler, BC.
Identifying the most suitable site
Ecofish developed an options matrix which identified all suitable projects for the target species. We engaged the Resort Municipality and the Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group to refine the list and Crabapple Creek was chosen as the viable option to provide habitat enhancement to offset the predicted habitat losses from the Fitzsimmons Creek Hydroelectric Project in Whistler, BC. Crabapple Creek is a small stream located in Whistler, BC that flows through residential neighbourhoods and the Whistler Creek Golf Course, where it had been subjected to effects of urbanization (e.g. channelization, lack of diverse habitats).
Enhancing the habitat
We installed 12 rock riffles and associated spawning gravel, placed ten large woody debris structures, and planted a riparian area. Our work created 288 m2 of spawning and 709 m2 of rearing habitat for Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, and Kokanee Salmon. The total length of channel restored was 1,100 m.
Managing a range of services
We were responsible for determining project effects, outlining potential compensation options, working with stakeholders to prioritize options, permitting, managing contractors for construction, environmental monitoring, revegetation planning, effectiveness monitoring and developing interpretive signage for the high profile locations.
Monitoring has shown that the habitat is functioning as intended with Rainbow Trout adults observed using the gravel platforms for spawning and the fry using the large woody debris for rearing platforms.