Cornwall and Area Watershed Group Inc.
The Conservation Stewardship and Habitat Improvement Project
The Conservation Stewardship and Habitat Improvement Project was initiated to mitigate sedimentation, aggradation and erosion occurring along the North River and Hyde Creek watersheds. Our Salmon and Trout species rely on fish passage to make it upstream to spawn. The best habitats are protective, well oxygenated with gravel to cobble size substrate. With the amount of agricultural run off the North River watershed experiences, viable upstream habitat is being silted in, and heavy sediment loads often destabilize the streams profile discouraging fish from spawning where they naturally would.
The benefits of this project include the improvement of Salmon and Trout passage, fish habitat quality and riparian function. Using the watershed management techniques outlined in our project, we provided 9.28 Kilometers of alder management, installed 60 brush mats and planted 412 trees 162 of which contributed to the mitigation of sedimentation from agricultural run off. We held three community educational events at which time we demonstrated watershed functionality and challenges using a model. A total of 690 individuals attended these events, most of which were students between 9-16 years of age.
Our brush matting efforts directly improved the stability of the river banks by capturing a portion of the suspended sediment load in the water and creating fish cover. While indirectly this technique rehabilitates streambed habitat for the salmonids to spawn in overtime. During the project, we were surprised to locate many new beaver lodgings for which will require future management to ensure fish passage continues within our watersheds.