From bull trout to grizzly bears, sturgeon to snakes, and caribou to bats, there is a long list of local species that will benefit from 53 projects announced this week by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP).
Members of the FWCP’s Columbia Region Board approved approximately $5.6 million in funding for 53 hands-on and research-based projects including six in the general Revelstoke area.
“This year we continue to fund large projects, such as the successful nutrient restoration programs in Kootenay Lake and Arrow Lakes Reservoir, and much smaller community-based ones such as riparian restoration monitoring in the wetlands near Revelstoke,” Grant Trower, an FWCP-Columbia Board public representative, said in a statement released on Monday, April 27. “Regardless of the project size, they all align with our strategic Action Plans.”
The FWCP is a partnership between public stakeholders, First Nations, BC Hydro, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of B.C. to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by BC Hydro dams.
It delivers conservation and enhancement projects in three ways: calls for project applications each year; through a long- term agreement, currently with the Province of BC, to deliver some of the core FWCP operational projects; and finally through issuing calls for proposals (directed projects) to deliver projects viewed as local priorities by the FWCP-Columbia Board.
“This has allowed us to increase grants, project diversity, and the number of project partners,” FWCP-Columbia Program Manager Crystal Klym said in the statement. “Working more closely with First Nations, government agencies, consultants, stewardship groups and others has enabled us to broaden the range of hands-on and science-based fish and wildlife projects implemented.”
Six projects are likely of particular interest to Revelstoke:
- Bridge Creek Enhancement Project. Enhance existing stream spawning capacity and quality for kokanee. This objective will be achieved by reducing build‐up of siltation within spawning gravel, and re‐channeling waterflow to concentrate on new gravel to be introduced into the stream. Revelstoke Rod & Gun Club. $17,768.24.
- Revelstoke Caribou Maternity Pen Project. To determine if maternity penning of mountain caribou can improve survival of captive‐reared calves in Columbia Mountains ecosystem; and ultimately reduce the rate of decline, and increase the size of the Columbia North caribou sub‐population. Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild Society. $70,000.
- Revelstoke Riparian Restoration Monitoring. Restore native vegetation to a patch of old‐field riparian habitat that is presently a maturing cottonwood stand with reed canary grass understory. This year planted vegetation will be monitored for survival after one winter and a second season of innundation. Kingbird Biological Consultants Ltd. $2,550.
- Arrow Lakes Reservoir Nutrient Restoration Program. To address the nutrient losses in Arrow Lakes Reservoir as a result of the construction of the Hugh Keenleyside, Mica and Revestoke dams, a bottom‐up approach was taken with the addition of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus in the form of liquid agricultural grade fertilizer). These additions increase phytoplankton populations that are suitable for the production of Daphnia, a main food source for kokanee. Nutrients have been added to Upper Arrow since 1999 and, this year, will be dispensed from the Shelter Bay‐Galena Bay Ferry (operated by Waterbridge Ferries) from the end of April through mid‐September. Arrow Lakes Power Corporation contributes 25% of the costs to this project to compensate for fish entrainment through Arrow Lakes Generating Station. $834,635.
- Hill Creek Spawning Channel. Hill Creek Spawning Channel provides spawning habitat for kokanee and rainbow trout from Arrow Lakes Reservoir. The channel was constructed in the early 1980s to compensate for lost natural kokanee and rainbow spawning habitat due to the construction of Revelstoke Dam. The funding supports ongoing operations, maintenance and monitoring at the channel including kokanee fry emigration, rainbow trout redd counts and fry emergence, adult kokanee size, fecundity and escapement, overwinter egg survival, and water quality. Year‐round flow control is essential to minimize sediment inputs and ensure adequate flows, and machine gravel cleaning, facility maintenance, and reporting are annual requirements. $171,578.
- Coordination and implementation of Upland/Dryland restoration tasks on Crown lands in the West Kootenay. Activities this year will include identifiying sites for prescriptions and revisiting past FWCP restoration for potential re‐treatment (e.g. Revelstoke area, Wallis Creek, and Crawford Creek); layout treatment unit in the Lower Arrow; continued liaison with the Wildfire Management Branch for burn implementation (e.g. Tulip Creek and Syringa Park); complete post treatment monitoring plots; create wildlife trees for Lewis’ Woodpecker and other cavity nesters; and spotlight deer counts in the Pend D’Oreille Valley. West Kootenay Enhancement. $245,468.
For a full list of projects supported by the FWCP visit fwcp.ca. You can also click here to read the lst in PDF format.