Belfast Community Development Corporation
Establish A Watershed Group in the Belfast Area and Prioritize Watershed Issues in the Community
Early in 2017 a group of keen residents began meeting in Belfast to discuss the possible formation of a watershed group for the area. Due to the outpouring of interest from the community we were able to establish a board of directors and formally incorporate our watershed group (Belfast Area Watershed Group Inc.). Additionally, the group established a bank account to manage the finances of the group. On the ground, several volunteer stream surveys and a volunteer tree planting day were completed.
With limited information on the state of the waterways in the area, general surveys were conducted in priority areas to identify potential obstructions to fish passage on major tributaries of the Pinette, Bell and Flat Rivers. Fall stream assessments found large aggregations of spawning brook trout on both the Bell River and the Flat river. Now that important spawning areas have been identified, the group work with caution in these areas in-order to protect these important areas. Additionally, the group will work in neighboring stretches to improve the spawning potential for the entire area.
Our group hosted a site tour with Rosie MacFarlane and Allie McLennan (PEI Gov’t) along with Mary Finch (PEI Watershed Alliance) of major impoundments within the watershed area. Several landowners also participated in the tour and participated in discussions on potential improvements.
Another desired outcome of our initial application was to construct a silt trap at Compton’s Pond in Belle River. Unfortunately, the logistics of this undertaking were beyond the capacity of the group this year. These plans will be re-evaluated next year. We did however, obtain a watercourse alteration permit for the group which enabled us to remove a beaver dam and restore fish passage to a portion of the Pinette River that had been obstructed for many years.