Working with the K’ómoks Nation towards Q’waq’wala7owkw on their unceded territory.

Working with the K’ómoks Nation towards Q’waq’wala7owkw on their unceded territory.

Mallard Creek Restoration Update

Mallard Creek Restoration ~ By D. Brown

Live Willow Stakes Along the Banks of Mallard Creek ~ By D. Brown

Mallard is a local creek that flows into the Dyke Slough on the north side of the K’ómoks Estuary and supports coho salmon and cutthroat trout. It has been severely impacted by agricultural practices and upstream urban development.

Project Watershed has been working to restore Mallard Creek and improve the salmon habitat. It’s been a lot of work and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our amazing volunteers!

This summer, we used a small excavator to remove floating mats of invasive reed canary grass up to 18″ thick from the watercourse. The mats had grown over the entire channel and were limiting juvenile salmon and adult salmon from entering the stream. This work immediately benefitted juvenile coho using the Dyke Slough and over time, the plan is to restore full passage for both juveniles and spawners, allowing salmon to re-establish a run by spawning in the upper stream reaches.

This fall, right now in fact (October), the plan is to live-stake the margins of the newly cleared section of stream channel with willows. This will help shade out reed canary grass in future years and slow reinvasion of the stream. The long-term plan is to restore a healthy riparian buffer along the creek that will fully resist reinvasion by reed canary grass. In the meantime, increased riparian shading will improve rearing conditions for juvenile salmonids.

Live staking is fun, and you can see the effects of your work in a fairly short time frame. It can be a lot of work though – help is always appreciated!

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