A Plan for Improved Habitat at the Air Park Lagoon

Following the Restoration and Prioritization study that occurred in 2010 Project Watershed has been investigating the possibility of doing some restoration work at the Air Park Lagoon, one of the sites identified as a high priority from that study. The Air Park Lagoon has the potential to be more productive especially in terms of salmonid habitat. Unfortunately, the water is relatively stagnant meaning that the temperatures get very high in the summer, oxygen levels decrease and the water column becomes very stratified.  All these factors make the lagoon less attractive for salmonids and other associated species. Hollyhock flats on the other hand, which is directly across the water from the lagoon off the Dyke Road, is one of the most productive salmonid habitats in the estuary.

The 2010 study revealed that adding a breach from the river to the upper area of the lagoon could help change the functioning of the lagoon for the better by bringing in more fresh water, increasing fish access, and helping to flush water through the lagoon. In 2011, a feasibility study was done to asses the idea and it was found to be feasible. This year a planning project was done to gather baseline information, model the system and design a breach. To date we have gathered baseline information including bird, fish and vegetation data and have assessed the sediments for hazardous compounds. Northwest Hydraulics has done the modeling and has designed the breach itself. Below are two presentations the first summarizing the  background and information collected so far and the second detailing the engineering model that was created to assist the design of the breach.

This Project is funded by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program on behalf of its program partners BC Hydro, the Province of B.C. and Fisheries and Oceans Canada who work together to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by the construction of BC Hydro dams. It is also funded by TD Friends of the Environment.

 

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