Souris & Area Branch PEI Wildlife Federation
Improve Diadromous Fish Habitat in Fortune and Naufrage Streams
Naufrage and Fortune streams are two of the largest watersheds in the Souris Wildlife Management Area. Fortune River is our largest watershed consisting of 92km stream length and 7335 hectares of land, of which 75% is forested and 20% is agricultural. Naufrage has 56km of streams and 4157 hectares of land of which 80% is forested and 6.7% is agricultural.
Sediment is a major problem in these systems primarily due to beaver activity, as well as dirt roads and agricultural fields. This project addressed this issue through the
• excavation of two sediment by-pass ponds in Naufrage
• excavation of two silt traps in Fortune
• removal of old beaver dams
• removal of beavers and active beaver dams, where appropriate, in accordance with Beaver Management Plans
• installation of two brush mattresses in each stream
• tree planting in stream riparian zones
• general stream enhancement
The above activities contribute towards to removal of sediment already present in the systems and help prevent further sedimentation. This benefits diadromous fish through various stages of their life cycle by improving fish passage and allowing for the creation of cool, safe spots for fish to hold, as well as exposing gravel for reproduction.
Riparian zone planting absorb excess nutrients from agricultural run-off, leading to a reduction in eutrophication, and sequester carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas.