Mallard Creek Reed Canary Grass Removal Project
Since 2004, it is estimated that the amount of RCG in the K’ómoks Estuary has tripled. RCG provides little value for native wildlife and insects, few species will eat it, and it grows too thickly for mammals or waterfowl to use for cover/nesting. Foraging juvenile salmon and trout have feeding opportunities reduced in areas dominated by RCG, and it constricts waterways thus preventing salmon from reaching spawning habitats.
Project Watershed, with funding support from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, has been working to inventory and map the extent of invasive RCG in the K’ómoks Estuary and to come up with a management plan for this invasive species. Once we started our inventory work this past spring and summer we quickly realized that there was a significant issue with Mallard Creek (not to be confused with Millard Creek on the opposite side of the Estuary!). Mallard is a local creek that flows into the Dyke Slough and supports coho salmon and cuththroat trout. However, RCG, which can grow on land and in water up to 2 meters in depth, has completely choked off this creek in the last few years, leaving little to no open water access for fish or other wildlife.
Once we realized this was the case, Project Watershed mobilized to tackle this issue. We brought an excavator in to clear out and flip upside down the large vegetative mats of RCG alongside about 200 meters of the west side of creek this past September. Then with the help of our wonderful volunteers, we harvested long native willow stakes, cut them down to 2 meters lengths and transplanted them in the areas along the creek where the grass had been removed. The willow, which is densely planted, will regrow from these cuttings and shade out the RCG, preventing it from re-establishing. The fall is the ideal time to do this type of restoration work as the willows are dormant. With fantastic volunteer support, we managed to harvest and transplant 600 willow stakes alongside the creek at the end of October!
Volunteers, Rio North and Isadora Datt, who helped that helped harvest the willow stakes rest on the result of their labours
Earthworks Continue at Kus-kus-sum
While the Kus-kus-sum site is already beginning to come into its own, there is still much work to be done. Just over one third of the area was recontoured and planted last year in 2022. Project Watershed aims to recontour and replant the remainder of the site this summer and fall, if funding allows. The key works you will see on site this year include recontouring and regrading, habitat complexing, and native species planting.
Kus-kus-sum Restoration Overview
The restoration will occur in 3 phases. Click below to read more about each phase and scroll down to see a visual representation of the site features found on the restored Kus-kus-sum site. During Phase...
Forage Fish Map
Project Watershed has been surveying beaches for the presence of forage fish and forage fish eggs. The location of the beaches we surveyed last season are shown below. You can hover over each location to see if eggs were found.
Forage Fish Spring Forum April 26
Announcing the 2023 Virtual BC Forage Fish Monitoring Network Spring Forum! This event is an opportunity for all those interested in the conservation of forage fish in British Columbia to come together and learn about the latest research and updates.
The Importance of Estuarine Environments for Pacific Salmon
Fish monitoring at Hollyhock flats will be starting this summer! We’ve summarized a scientific article explaining what kinds of habitat are important to salmonids.
Kus-kus-sum Site History
A short history of the Kus-kus-sum site from pre-European contact to the present day.