BC Fish Passage Restoration Initiative (Canton Creek Culvert Replacement Project)

There are more than 172,000 road crossings over fish-bearing streams in BC, with an estimated 92,000 of these crossings being either partially or fully impassable to fish. The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is working with the province of British Columbia’s Fish Passage Technical Working Group (FPTWG), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF), and the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation (PsKF) to develop a BC Fish Passage Restoration Initiative to remediate these crossings and other barriers to fish movement in a strategic way that provides the most benefit to salmon and federally listed fish species-at-risk.

Canton Creek wetland is a large (approximately 4,000 m2) salt marsh located west of Canton Creek on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The wetland connects to Canton Creek though only during high flows, and through a ditch that otherwise dries out and strands fish. There are two culverts under Head Bay Forest Service Road that connect the wetland to the ocean, and the wetland is used by rearing Coho Salmon. Chinook Salmon juveniles also rear in the wetland. Connection to the ocean is tidally influenced, and the culverts are perched at lower tides. We have retained a contractor to develop a remediation plan for the wetland, which entails upgrading the two culverts connecting to the ocean with fish passable structures. Culverts will likely be replaced with open-bottom structures, though designs will determine whether a full replacement or a retrofit is the most effective way of achieving fish passage at variable tide levels.