Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association

Successful Applicant:
Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association


Project Title:
Aquatic Habitat Restoration in the Wilmot and Dunk Rivers

Project Gallery:

Project Summary:

The goal of this project was to improve fish and fish habitat conditions in the Wilmot and Dunk Rivers through a combination of fish habitat improvement and riparian zone restoration efforts. The instream restoration efforts improved fish habitat conditions on approximately 10 km of stream. This labor-intensive work involved the selective removal of instream debris and placement of structures to consolidate instream sediment and help better define the natural stream meanders. Critical pool habitat areas for recreational fishing were restored or enhanced (the Eel Hole and Bell’s Hole). This project actively worked with private landowners to improve riparian buffers and correct sediment sources entering watercourses/wetlands.

The project goals revisited:

1. Stream restoration on the Dunk River from the mouth to Scales Pond and from Emerald to Breadalbane
5 km (2 km main branch, 3 km tributaries below Scales Pond), 50 blockages cleared (mostly solid fallen trees and log jams), 15 brushmats installed
2. Rebuild the wing deflector at Bells Hole
The crib deflector was replaced using rock obtained from an old gabion removal located 750m upstream at Eel Hole
3. Removal of rock gabion at Eels Hole
In the 1980’s wire gabions filled with rocks were installed to shore up the bank of the Dunk River (below Scales Pond Dam). These gabion baskets were failing and in jeopardy of toppling into Dunk River. Without undertaking restorative work, the river would have continued to erode on the backside of the structure. BBEMA staff removed the top layer of gabion baskets (4 baskets wide), placing the rocks from the baskets against the river bank as rip-rap
4. Digger log repair, Waughs Bridge
5. Riparian zone enhancement on the Dunk River
1,930 trees/shrubs planted
6. Fish spawning (redd) surveys for Atlantic salmon
Operation of a fish counting operation at Scales Pond to establish a baseline on fish populations (and to establish the importance of removing the concrete obstruction at the former Breadalbane Pond site, a distance of 11.5 km upstream from Scales Pond); completed redd surveys (spawning surveys) to determine critical spawning areas for Atlantic salmon (Dunk – 201 redds, Wilmot – 103 redds); completed fish density counts on the Wilmot River in partnership with Rosie MacFarlane (PEI Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist); completed broodstock collection on the Wilmot and Dunk River in partnership with the Abeqweit First Nation Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery
7. Monitoring of water temperatures
Deployment of automated water temperature recorders in the Dunk and Wilmot Rivers was done at 20 sites
8. Restore 4 km of fish habitat on the Wilmot River
5 km of stream cleared, mostly solid blockage for full distance
9. Riparian zone enhancement of Wilmot River
1,728 trees/shrubs planted