Trout River Environmental Committee
Trout River Environmental Committee Silt Management and Habitat Restoration Project
In total, 7.5 kilometers of river and riparian habitat was improved by this project. The removal of alders and fallen spruce trees from our rivers and the temporary removal of large woody debris (LWD) from the river beds will improve aquatic habitat for brook trout, macroinvertebrates and other aquatic life by encouraging a natural flow pattern and flushing out excess silt. The capture of excess silt through the construction of thirty (30) brush mats and a sediment bypass pond will ensure the silt is permanently removed from the river beds. Secondly, the creation of patch cuts in alder stands along the Hope River and Found’s Mill River will improve riparian wildlife habitat along 2 kilometers of stream bank by encouraging a greater diversity of riparian vegetation. The introduction of native hardwoods such as yellow birch will also benefit aquatic habitat by securing the banks and contributing valuable large woody debris to the streams.
The project goals revisited:
- 1. Create free flowing streams/ rivers without undue obstructions
- Dense alders growing into the streams as well as fallen spruce trees were completely/ partially removed to allow for a more natural stream flow and establish a natural meander pattern. This action will also flush out excess silt from the stream beds.
- 2. Restore stream/ river beds
- Large woody debris was temporarily removed from the stream beds to flush out excess silt. While much of the excess silt will likely not be flushed out until the spring floods in 2017, some benefit from these activities could already be seen after several weeks in certain areas.
- 3. Capture excess silt and stabilize or remove from watercourse
- Thirty brush mats were constructed in all four watercourses with an average capacity of 70 cubic feet to capture excess silt and remove it from the stream beds and estuaries. In addition, a sediment bypass pond was constructed along the Hope River to capture large volumes of excess silt
- 4. Diversify alder stands in riparian areas to encourage mixed native vegetation
- Patch cuts were made in alder stands along 1 km of Hope River and 1 km of Found’s Mill. These patch cuts and an additional 1 km of riparian zone were planted with a mix of native trees to speed up the transition to diverse riparian vegetation. Ninety hardwood trees were protected with hardware-cloth cages to discourage browsing