Culverts and debris were removed from a crossing at Piper Creek at the Piper Creek Restoration Agriculture project site. (Photo courtesy of Trout Unlimited Canada video)

Culverts and debris were removed from a crossing at Piper Creek at the Piper Creek Restoration Agriculture project site. (Photo courtesy of Trout Unlimited Canada video)

Conservation groups help Piper Creek heal itself

Trout Unlimited Canada removes problematic stream crossing

Trout Unlimited Canada says the Piper Creek Restoration Project in Red Deer is an example of how to fix a broken creek.

A new YouTube video by the conservation group shows how a crossing built over the creek by a farmer was removed at the Piper Creek Restoration Agriculture project site and plant diversity was restored along the bank.

The culverts were too small and lots of debris thrown into the creek caused a lot of problems for the creek, water quality, fish passage, and the overall health of the system.

“Definitely things can be fixed. The key is working together, working with partners. We’re grateful for the support that we did get locally from the city of Red Deer from various groups and funders,” said Lesley Peterson, Alberta biologist with Trout Unlimited Canada.

The crossing was removed about five years ago to restore the area and the creek banks were rebuilt to allow the creek to heal itself.

Vegetation growth on the banks help to improve water quality and habitat to benefit a wide variety of species and wildlife.

“You’ll probably see a huge clump of really tall willows and that’s where we did the restoration work. You can’t even tell that there was a crossing there anymore.”

Related:

Restoration project targets small section of Piper Creek

Peterson said Trout Canada has addressed other problematic stream crossings and worked on riparian enhancements elsewhere in Alberta in recent years. Other work has focused on native trout recovery in the Eastern Slopes Region.

She said fish samples were taken from Piper Creek before the crossing was removed and any work was done. It would be interesting to go back for more samples to see if anything has changed.

Related:

Red Deer project shortlisted for environmental achievement award

Piper Creek Restoration Project was supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund, RBC Blue Water Fund, and involved contributions from a variety of partners including Cows and Fish, ReThink Red Deer, Red Deer River Naturalists, Olds College, and the City of Red Deer.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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