Morell River Management Cooperative Ltd.
St. Peter’s Bay Watershed Enhancement Project
This project benefited wildlife by improving water quality, providing shade and stream bank stabilization, food source, and created more wildlife habitat through the completion of stream enhancement techniques funded by the Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Our completed habitat restoration projects will benefit wildlife by creating and improving over-wintering and spawning habitat for Atlantic Salmon and Brook Trout. We have surveys and monitoring programs in place that take place annually to allow us to compare yearly data and monitor vital wildlife habitat conditions such as water temperature. We also help collect broodstock for the Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery that allows them to release native fish back into our river systems. This enables our rivers to maintain a healthy fish population in watersheds that have heavy angling pressure annually. Healthy fish populations will also benefit other wildlife within our watersheds.
The project goals revisited:
- 1. Enhanced water quality in tributaries
- Installed 152 brushmats to collect sediment, removed/monitored barriers to fish and water, and also installed 26 temperature data loggers to monitor water temperature.
- 2. Increase shade and bank stabilization
- Installed 13 floating cover logs, 1 digger log, and 19 bank stabilization logs using wind-blown down trees. There were 23 installed in Bristol Creek, and 10 installed in the Morell River. Floating cover logs provide in-stream overhead cover for fish where natural cover may be lacking. Digger logs create pools, oxygenate the water, can provide quality habitat for aquatic insects and gravel beds for fish spawning
- 3. Improved access for initial stream enhancement work, monitoring, surveying, and educational opportunities
- Access trails were created in Marie River and Bristol Creek. They are not for public use.
- 4. Effective use of time and resources
- Hired seven staff, plus the Watershed Coordinator to complete surveys, monitoring, and stream restoration activities. Two Field Crew Supervisors and five crew staff were returning staff.
- 5. Comparative data collected on previously restored areas
- We installed 26 Hobo Pendant data loggers throughout the six St Peter’s Bay and St Peter’s Lake drainage basin watersheds. There are 11 in Morell River due to having historical data of temperature readings in those locations. There are 3 data loggers in each of the remaining 5 watersheds in our area (St Peter’s River, Schooner Creek, Midgell River, Marie River and Bristol Creek). Clearing the main section of the Morell River and the other river systems of blockages and barriers was a large part of our restoration project that greatly improves water temperature
- 6. Riparian enhancement:
- We planted 706 native trees and shrubs including White Birch, Sugar Maple, Eastern Larch, White Spruce, White Ash, Staghorn Sumac, Red Osier Dogwood and Yellow Birch within riparian zones