Habitat Restoration in the Petite Rivière Watershed
Coastal Action conducts habitat assessments of streams and fish passage assessments of stream crossings through out the field season in Petite Rivière watershed. These assessments allow Coastal Action to gain a comprehensive view of overall restoration needs and determine specific actions that can be undertaken to improve habitat and environmental conditions within the watershed.
Restoring fish habitat can involve installing digger logs, deflectors, rock sills, etc. Visit the NSLC Adopt-A-Stream's website for a more extensive list of types of stream restoration and their descriptions. These types of restoration encourage the natural meander of the stream to reoccur and allow for more oxygen to be dissolved into the water. This provides better water quality and habitat for fish to spawn. Some of Coastal Action's other restoration project involve removing debris blockages from streams to allow for fish passage, riparian planting to help stabilize stream banks from erosion and culvert remediation to help restore upstream fish passage.
The sub-watershed of Wildcat Brook (approximately 9 km watercourse) has fully been assessed, and under-gone in-stream restoration in the field seasons of 2014 and 2015. There has been a total of 8 digger logs and 8 deflectors installed in Wildcat Brook recovering a 400 m stretch of brook. The land surrounding Wildcat Brook has had a history of mining, and the brook has suffered from it physically and chemically. Historically, the brook has been straightened and widened to make room for mining operations and now Coastal Action is restoring the brook back to its more natural state by installing digger logs and deflectors.
In addition to the stream assessments done in Wildcat Brook the sub-watersheds of Birch Brook (approximately 7 km watercourse), Wallace Brook (approximately 4.5 km watercourse) and Fredericks Brook (approximately 7 km watercourse) have been conducted in the the 2015 field season. Stream assessments along the sub-watershed of Brown Brook (approximately 10 km watercourse) begun in the 2015 field season, but has not been fully assessed.
Future habitat restoration plans for the 2016 field season includes an continuation of stream assessments in some priority crossings, along with stream crossing assessments for aquatic connectivity starting at the mouth of the river and working up towards the headwaters, from which five of the high priority crossings preventing fish migration will be selected and restored.