Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005 by ChristMoore

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 24

									Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon
Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005
      BCRP Project Number 05.Ca.07




                    Prepared for

                     BC Hydro
         Bridge Coastal Restoration Program
               6911 Southpoint Drive
               Burnaby, BC V3N 4X8

                        and

           Habitat Conservation Trust Fund
            Suite 100 – 333 Quebec Street
               Victoria, BC V8V 1W4


                    Prepared by

                   M.P. McCulloch
                 Fisheries Technician
    Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan
            #3-1200 Princess Royal Avenue
                Nanaimo, BC V9S 3Z7




                     May 2006
Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                            ii


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Following construction of John Hart dam on the upper Campbell River in 1953, natural
recruitment of spawning substrates in the Elk Falls Canyon and lower river was
significantly reduced, leading to “gravel poor” habitat in those reaches (Burt 2003; BCRP
Strategic Plan 2000). Increasing spawning habitat and egg to fry survival for the remnant
population of summer and winter steelhead are important steps in the recovery of these
stocks in the Campbell River watershed (Lill 2002).

This project addressed a limiting factor for fish production in the Campbell River (Elk
Falls) Canyon by placing high quality spawning gravel in key locations with a heavy lift
helicopter. A total of 136 m3 of spawning substrate was placed at two locations on July
13, 2005, enhancing 230 m2 of spawning area and providing a source of appropriately
sized gravel for natural recruitment downstream.

Funding for this project was secured from the Bridge Coastal Restoration Program and the
Habitat Conservation Trust Fund through a funding initiative of the Greater Georgia Basin
Steelhead Recovery Plan.




_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                           iii



                                                                                        CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ............................................................................................. II

1.0           INTRODUCTION................................................................................................... 1

2.0           GOALS AND OBJECTIVES ................................................................................ 2

3.0           STUDY AREA......................................................................................................... 2

4.0           METHODS .............................................................................................................. 4

5.0           RESULTS ................................................................................................................ 5
     5.1            MONITORING......................................................................................................... 6
6.0           RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................................................ 7

7.0           ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................... 8

8.0           REFERENCES........................................................................................................ 9



                                                                             LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. El k Falls Canyon spawning gravel placements in 2005...........................................3


                                                                               LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Results of the Elk Falls Canyon gravel placement, July 13, 2005. ............................5


                                                                       LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix A                          Performance Measures/Actual Outcomes

Appendix B                          Photographic Record, Media Coverage

Appendix C                          Financial Statement




_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
 Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                             1

1.0               INTRODUCTION
 Hydroelectric development began in the Campbell River watershed in 1945 and continued
 through 1958. The Campbell supports the largest hydroelectric facility on Vancouver Island
 with a combined generation capacity of 247.5 MW (BCRP Strategic Plan 2000).

 Most flow from John Hart Lake is routed through penstocks to a powerhouse on the Campbell
 River, bypassing the 2.0 km long Elk Falls Canyon reach (Figure 1). With completion of the
 John Hart hydroelectric facilities the canyon received only “leakage flows” from under the dam
 spill gate, or periodic spills when high local inflows or system maintenance occurred. Spills of
 more than 400 m3/s have been recorded through the canyon reach. The unreliability of flows in
 the canyon had a profound impact on its value as anadromous fish habitat.

 Beginning in June of 1996, provincial fisheries staff began a regular monitoring program of the
 Elk Falls Canyon to better determine its potential value to steelhead and other species, in
 relation to development of the Interim Flow Management Strategy1. By the fall of 1998, an
 agreement between BC Hydro, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Ministry of Environment
 Lands and Parks (now Ministry of Environment; MoE) provided a base flow of 3.5 m3/s
 through the canyon via a controlled release from the John Hart reservoir.

 Three primary impacts of hydroelectric development that have led to a reduction in the quantity
 and quality of spawning and rearing habitat and severely limit fish production in the canyon
 reach were identified by the Bridge Coastal Restoration Program Strategic Plan
 (http://www.bchydro.com/bcrp/strategic_plan/ch02_final.pdf) and include:

         1. …significantly reduced gravel and LWD recruitment to mainstem.
         2. Penstock diversion (partly) dewatered ~2 km of spawning & rearing habitats below Elk
            Falls (flow is currently managed by interim agreement).
         3. Mainstem carries augmented flood peaks from diversions that affect morphology of
            downstream channel.

 Both summer and winter steelhead stocks in the Campbell River are classified by the province
 as extreme conservation concerns. “Declines in steelhead abundance have been caused by
 sharply reduced ocean survivals combined with impaired freshwater habitat capability. Wild
 stocks in most systems will not recover unless their freshwater productivity can be significantly
 increased to compensate for reductions in marine survival” (Lill 2002). The ongoing efforts to
 improve habitat quality in the Elk Falls Canyon play a significant role in recovery strategies
 identified in the Vancouver Island Steelhead Recovery Plan (Wightman et al. 1998).

 Previous restoration projects addressing spawning habitat constraints in the Elk Falls Canyon
 occurred in 1999, 2002 and 2004 when LGL Limited (1999) and the BC Conservation
 Foundation (BCCF) were contracted to place 75, 94 and 95 m3 of washed and sized spawning
 gravel, respectively (McCulloch 2005).

 Annual monitoring since 2002 has shown significant use of introduced spawning gravel by all
 salmon and trout species occurring in Campbell River. As expected, large rain events and
 subsequent water releases down the Elk Falls Canyon have displaced a significant portion of

 1
     Campbell River Hydro/Fisheries Advisory Committee. 1997. Final Report Prepared for BC Hydro, Burnaby, BC.
 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
  Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                             2

  the placed gravel from preferred locations. As a result, periodic additions of spawning gravel
  through precise placements and/or bulk loading will likely be part of a long term rehabilitation
  and maintenance plan for the Campbell River.


2.0                GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
  The primary goals and objectives of this project were to increase the quantity/quality of
  spawning gravel in the Elk Falls Canyon reach toward levels identified by Burt (2003), and
  ultimately increase the freshwater productivity of the system’s remnant populations of summer
  and winter steelhead stocks.

  A long term goal of gravel placement projects is to increase abundance of gravel in Elk Falls
  Canyon to levels capable of supporting all salmonids species occurring in this reach. These
  levels do not appear to have been set although ongoing work through the WUP may lead to
  development of suitable targets.


3.0                STUDY AREA
  The Campbell River flows east from Strathcona Park, entering Johnstone Strait at the town of
  Campbell River. Draining 1,744 km2, the Campbell is Vancouver Island’s second largest
  watershed, having an average annual reservoir flow of 87 m3/s at John Hart Dam and 103 m3/s
  in the town of Campbell River.

  A penstock diverts water from John Hart reservoir to the John Hart generating station on the
  mainstem Campbell River, circumventing the 2.0 km Elk Falls Canyon reach (Figure 1).




  _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                             3




Figure 1. El k Falls Canyon spawning gravel placements in 2005.




_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
  Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                             4



4.0                METHODS
  Works occurred under authorization of a Parks Use Permit (PUP) approved on July 2, 2004 and
  amended specifically for this project. A field safety plan was submitted to BC Parks for
  attachment to the PUP and approved prior to the commencement of instream work. A
  notification under Section 9 of the Water Act for “works in and about a stream” was submitted
  to MoE on July 4, 2005.

  A public announcement identifying access restrictions and trail closures in Elk Falls Provincial
  Park was placed in the Campbell River Courier Islander newspaper on July 10, 2005. Three
  public service announcements were provided by the local radio station2 leading up to the
  project date.

  The author participated in several snorkel surveys with MoE3, BC Hydro4 and Steelhead
  Recovery Plan5 staff (Appendix A). These surveys investigated downstream movement of
  gravel in the Elk Falls Canyon reach pursuant to large spill events between 2003 and 2005,
  identified potential future gravel placement locations and feasibility, and quantified the use by
  species of previously placed spawning gravel. Two locations were consistently identified for
  gravel placement in the canyon reach including the tailout of the Elk Falls plunge pool
  (Appendix B, Photo 6) and a site 500 m downstream where natural gravel has accumulated
  (Appendix B, Photo 1).

  An estimated 70 m3 of gravel (six inch minus/medium drain rock mix) remained near the John
  Hart Dam from the spawning gravel placement project in 2003. An additional 90.5 m3 of
  screened and washed gravel was purchased6 and stockpiled at the impoundment dam. This new
  material was comprised of 70% “six inch minus” mixed with 30% medium drain rock
  (Appendix B, Photo 3).

  On July 12 all trails leading into the flight corridor were posted with signs identifying the
  closure time and date as well as appropriate contact information. At 7:00am on July 13, all
  trails in the flight corridor were officially closed with a combination of signage and danger
  tape. A representative of Osprey Parks Operations was stationed near the bottom of the
  Millennium Trail to ensure that the danger zone under the helicopter flight path remained clear.

  At 10:00am, the ‘tailboard’ (safety) meeting was completed with all ground crew present.
  During this meeting, staff roles, lines of communication and safety protocols were discussed
  and confirmed.

  Helifor Industries Limited (HIL) was contracted to install the gravel using a Boeing Vertol 107
  heavy lift helicopter (Appendix B, Photo 3). The author attended a preliminary meeting with
  the helicopter pilots and Base Manager Mark Hogg to confirm flight corridors, identify
  potential flight hazards and gravel placement procedures and locations. The helicopter used a
  2
    97.3 fm, The Eagle, Courtenay, BC.
  3
    Craig Wightman, A/Manager Salmon and Steelhead Recovery, Nanaimo, BC.
  4
    Alistair McLean, Fisheries Biologist, Campbell River, BC.
  5
    James Craig, Senior Technician, Nanaimo, BC.
  6
    Uplands Excavating Ltd., Campbell River, BC.
  _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
 Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                             5

 remote release 150-foot long-line to place buckets of gravel in precise locations in the canyon.
 The project manager, stationed at the Elk Falls or canyon rim lookouts, directed gravel
 placements using a portable VHF radio (Appendix B, Photo 4). While one bucket was ferried
 into position, a second was filled with gravel at the staging area with a Volvo 140 excavator7
 (Appendix B, photo 2). Vehicle traffic on Loveland Bay Road was controlled by ground crew
 while the helicopter was overhead (Appendix B, Photo 5).


5.0                RESULTS
 On July 13, 2005, sixty-seven loads of spawning gravel were delivered to two sites in the
 canyon reach. Project costs, including preparation, implementation, monitoring and reporting
 were $37,675.39.

 A total of 4.6 hours of helicopter time was required, with actual turn times averaging 3.6
 minutes (three on-site fuel stops increased average turn time to 4.1 minutes). Fourty-eight
 loads (72%) were placed at the natural gravel accumulation located 500 m downstream of the
 Elk Falls plunge pool. The remaining 19 loads (28%) were placed in the tailout of the Elk Falls
 plunge pool (Table 1). Water depths averaged 1.2 m at the lower site and ranged from 0.5 to
 1.8 m at the upper location (Q=3.5 m3/s).

 With an average payload weight of 3,842 kg, a total of 257,414 kg of gravel was transported
 into the canyon reach. At an estimated 1,900 kg/m3, a total of 135.5 m3 was placed (38.4 m3 at
 the upper site, 97.1 m3 at the lower site). With a target depth of 0.6 m this equates to
 approximately 230 m2 of additional and/or enhanced spawning area.

 Table 1. Results of the Elk Falls Canyon gravel placement, July 13, 2005.


                                                                                            Falls Pool                                   Lower Site                                          Totals

 Trips                                                                                               19                                             48                                            67

 Average Weight (kg)                                                                             3,842                                          3,842                                         3,842

 Total Weight (kg)                                                                              72,995                                       184,416                                        257,414

 Volume (m3)                                                                                       38.4                                          97.1                                         135.5

 % of Total                                                                                          28                                             72                                           100


 Media coverage of this project (Appendix B) included the North Islander and the Campbell
 River Mirror newspapers. In addition to three public service announcements explaining the
 project and associated trail closures, the local radio station broadcast a follow up interview.


 7
  Shelter Point Contracting Ltd., Campbell River
 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                             6

5.1              Monitoring
The author, C. Wightman and M. Romero8 snorkelled Elk Falls Canyon on October 15, 2005 to
document the distribution, spawning suitability and fish use of gravel introduced in 2005
(Appendix A). A secondary objective was to identify the usability of previously installed
gravel following large spill events in Elk Falls Canyon. The following summarizes key results.

1. The upper gravel pad appeared to provide excellent hydraulic diversity and spawning
   conditions for all species of salmon and steelhead present. Spawning gravel size appeared to
   be a reasonable compromise between stability and usability. Material placed below 1.5 m in
   water depth appeared to have a reduced usability due to relatively low velocities at the
   observed discharge, but would become more usable at increased discharges and should prove
   to be hydraulically more stable during high flow events.
2. The average depth of the spawning gravel at the lower site was approximately 1.2 m.
   Hydraulic diversity and spawning suitability appeared acceptable at the observed base flows
   and would likely improve with spawning pulse flows. This location appears to have some
   inherent stability during extreme events (as gravel has persisted at this location through time)
   but also has channel characteristics that facilitate spawning during base flow periods.
3. Approximately 20% of the spawning gravel placed in 1999 and 2002 that was displaced in the
   early winter of 2003 appeared to be in locations where it was immediately useable or would
   become useable with spawning pulse flows. Given several years of installations, estimates of
   the quantities and usability of displaced material are difficult to determine. Spawning use
   may be compromised by deficiencies in microhabitat quality.

A direct observation of fish spawning at the upper site occurred on November 15, 2005 during
an incidental visit to the park. The author observed 12 of 35 coho and two chinook salmon
engaged in spawning behavior (digging and/or guarding redds) in the plunge pool tailout.

A second snorkel survey was completed on February 15, 2006 to document gravel use by
summer and/or winter steelhead and displacement of gravel following a large volume spill (170
m3/s) down the Elk Falls Canyon. Key observations included:

1. A significant portion (20-30%) of the gravel from the upper site appeared to have shifted
   downstream. Some gravel had migrated up to 200 m downstream, as far as the head of the
   next large pool. A portion (30%) of the displaced gravel was situated in locations where it was
   either immediately available or could become available for spawning during pulse flow events.
   The remainder was typically found in the lee of large boulders.
2. Gravel that remained in the Falls Pool tailout continued to provide ideally suited spawning
   habitat with excellent hydraulic diversity.
3. A significant portion (30%) of the lower gravel pad (placed in 2005) was displaced laterally
   but situated in the active and wetted channel 10-15 m downstream of its original location. A
   portion of the gravel was displaced into a pile likely near the vortex of a large back eddy that
   forms at this location during extreme flow events. Very little displaced gravel was noted in
   the large canyon pool located immediately downstream.
4. Most of the laterally displaced gravel appeared to be located in areas suitable for
   spawning.


8
    CEO, Polaris Minerals Inc. Vancouver, BC.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
  Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                             7

6.0                RECOMMENDATIONS
  1) For the Elk Falls Canyon reach, spawning area targets should be developed for each
     species. Such targets need to consider current and/or potential flow regimes and the unique
     channel morphology of this reach.
  2) A strategy of precision helicopter gravel placements in conjunction with bulk gravel
     loading (as per Burt 2004) should be developed and implemented. Precision placements in
     ideal habitats that can be immediately used by all species should continue until quantities
     introduced through bulk loading are recruited and sufficiently occupy these preferred sites.
  3) Continued monitoring of spawning habitat, salmonid abundance and distribution, and
     spawning location preferences should help to optimize future placements.




  _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
 Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                             8


7.0               ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
 Thanks are extended to Craig Wightman who developed the project and acted as the scientific
 authority. Mark Hogg of Helifor Industries Limited coordinated helicopter availability. Brent
 Blackmun and William Hastings of BC Parks facilitated the Parks Use Permit and helped to
 develop a safe, low impact strategy for securing trails and facilities in Elk Falls Provincial
 Park. Ground crew included James Craig, Andy Paul Jr., Kevin Pellet, Scott Silvestri and
 Harlan Wright.

 Funding for this project came from BC Hydro’s Bridge Coastal Restoration Program and the
 Habitat Conservation Trust Fund (Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan).




 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
 Campbell River (Elk Falls) Canyon Spawning Gravel Placement, 2005                                                                                                                                             9

8.0               REFERENCES
 Burt, D.W. 2003. A 5-year restoration plan for the Lower Campbell River. Prepared for
         Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection and the
         Campbell River Gravel Committee. 54 pp plus appendices.

 Lill, A.F. 2002. Greater Georgia Basin steelhead recovery action plan. Prepared for Pacific
         Salmon Foundation, Vancouver, BC. and the Province of British Columbia. 107 pp.

 McCulloch, M.P. 2005. Campbell River (Elk Falls) canyon spawning gravel placement, 2004.
       Prepared for Ministry of Transportation, Victoria, B.C. and the Habitat Conservation Trust
       Fund, Nanaimo, BC. 24 pp plus appendices.

 Wightman, J.C., B.R. Ward, R.A. Ptolemy and F.N. Axford. 1998. Draft: A recovery plan for
       east coast Vancouver Island steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Ministry of
       Environment, Lands and Parks, Nanaimo, BC. pp 131 plus appendices.




 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan                                                                                                            British Columbia Conservation Foundation
                    APPENDIX A



Performance Measures/Actual Outcomes, Monitoring Results.
                                                                   Performance Measures
                                                        Performance Measures - Target Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                            2
                                                                                                                                                 Habitat (m )




                                                                                                      In-Stream Habitat


                                                                                                                          In-Stream Habitat
                                                                                                         - Mainstream
                                                                                Primary




                                                                                                                                              Complexes




                                                                                                                                                                                  Coniferous
                                                                                                                                                                      Deciduous
                                                                                                                              - Tributary


                                                                                                                                               Reservoir
                                                                                          Estuarine




                                                                                                                                               Shoreline
                                     Primary Habitat Benefit Targeted of




                                                                                                                                               Riparian




                                                                                                                                                                       Lowland

                                                                                                                                                                                   Lowland
                                                                                                                                                           Riverine




                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wetland
                                                                                                                                                                                               Upland
          Project Type                                    2                      Target
                                                Project (m )
                                                                                Species



Impact Mitigation
Fish passage technologies         Area target species Habitat
Drawdown zone revegetation /
                                  Area turned into productive habitat
stabilization
                                  Area of habitat made available to target
Wildlife migration improvement
                                  species
Prevention of drowning of         Area of wetland habitat created outside
nests, nestlings                  expected flood level (1:10 year)
Habitat Conservation
                                  Functional habitat conserved/replaced
Habitat conserved – general
                                  through acquisition and mgmt
                                  Functional habitat conserved by other
                                  measures (e.g. riprapping)
Designated rare/special habitat   Rare/special habitat protected
Maintain or Restore Habitat forming process
                                  Area of stream habitat improved by gravel     ST, CO,
Artificial gravel recruitment                                                                         ~233
                                  plcmt                                         CH
Artificial wood debris            Area of stream habitat improved by LWD
recruitment                       plcmt
Small-scale complexing in         Area increase in functional habitat through
existing habitats                 complexing
Prescribed burns or other
upland habitat enhancement for    Functional area of habitat improved
wildlife
Habitat Development
New habitat created               Functional area created
FILE NOTE

Date: October 21, 2005
File: 34560-20/SNORK
 xf:  34560-27/CAMPBELL

                                SNORKEL SURVEY REPORT
                                     Campbell River

DATE:                   October 15, 2005
WEATHER:                Partly overcast, air temp approximately 12 Degrees
WATER TEMP.(oC):        14 at 1100 hours
DISCHARGE (m3/s):       3.5 (as per BCH regulation)
VISIBILITY (m):         10
PERSONNEL:              C. Wightman, M. McCulloch, M. Romero
AREA:                   Elk Falls Plunge Pool downstream to BCH John Hart Generation
Station.
                        Total distance: approx. 2.0km

1. Fish Observed:

Adults
         3 wild steelhead (~3 kg), summer runs. These moderately bright fish were
         observed in the upper portion of the canyon holding mainly in large pools. One
         additional fish was included in the tally of large trout as the origin could not be
         determined.
         >100 resident rainbow (predominantly small 20-35 cm). These fish were well
         distributed throughout the surveyed reach, with concentrations near obvious salmon
         redds particularly in the tailout of the Elk Falls plunge pool.
         >24 cutthroat trout (20-35 cm). Distributed throughout. Approximately 50%
         hatchery.
         56 chum salmon. Two observed in the falls pool.
         53 coho salmon. Observed throughout. An additional large school of several
         hundred adult coho was observed in the last canyon pool near the JHT power station.
         38 chinook salmon. Large, pre and post-spawn fish (10-15 kg), coloured, some with
         fungus.
         20 sockeye salmon. Colored, mid and post-spawn.

Juveniles

         Steelhead parr abundance was moderate overall with high point abundances.
         Large abundances of coho juveniles were visible using virtually all habitat types.

2. Notes

•   This swim was completed to monitor the distribution and location of spawning gravel
    placed in two locations in the Elk Falls Canyon in the summer of 2005 and continue to
    investigate the usability of displaced spawning gravels following a large spill in the Elk
    Falls canyon on October 18, 2003 (8,400 cfs, C. Wightman, pers. comm.).
•   Approximately 29.7 cubic meters of gravel was imported into the tailout of the Elk Falls
    Plunge pool on July 13, 2005. The gravel pad ranged from an average depth of
    approximately 1.8 m on the upstream face to an average depth of 1.0 m near the tailout,
    primarily on the left bank (north side) of the canyon. Approximately 80% of the gravel
    was estimated to be within the 1.8-1.0m depth range with the remainder placed into
    shallower water between 1.0-0.5m in depth.
•   The upper gravel pad appeared to provide excellent hydraulic diversity and spawning
    conditions for all species of salmon and steelhead present in the Elk Falls Canyon.
    Spawning gravel size appeared to be a reasonable compromise between stability and
    usability. Material placed below 1.5 m in depth appeared to have a reduced usability due
    to relatively low velocities at the observed discharge, but would become more usable at
    increased discharges and should prove to be hydraulically more stable during extreme
    flow events.
•   Approximately 100.4 cubic meters of spawning gravel was placed into a riffle/glide at the
    head of a large pool located approximately 400m downstream of the tailout of the falls
    pool. This location represents the largest natural accumulation of gravel in the Elk Falls
    Canyon reach and imported gravel was placed to extend the natural gravel accumulation
    downstream and towards the thalweg or left bank. The average depth of the spawning
    gravel at this location was approximately 1.2 m. Hydraulic diversity and spawning
    suitability appeared acceptable at the observed base flows and would likely improve with
    spawning pulse flows. This location appears to have some inherent stability during
    extreme events (as gravel has persisted at this location through time) but also has channel
    characteristics that facilitate spawning during periods of base flows.
•   Approximately 20% of the spawning Gravel placed in 1999 and 2002 that was displaced
    in the early winter of 2003 appeared to be in locations where it was immediately useable
    or would become useable with spawning pulse flows. The estimates of the quantities and
    usability of the displaced material is highly speculative as exact quantities are hard to
    estimate and spawning use may be compromised by deficiencies in microhabitat quality.
•   Movement of gravel during large canyon spills is a natural fluvial process that will
    ultimately lead to gravel recruitment into downstream locations, similar to what occurred
    in the river before BC Hydro dam construction in the late 1950’s. The addition of gravel
    to the canyon reach is part of a joint federal-provincial-community strategy to restore the
    river’s spawning capability for two major species, chinook salmon and steelhead trout.
•   For steelhead, adding quality spawning gravel at selected sites in the canyon will increase
    wild fry abundance in immediate proximity to some of the highest quality rearing habitat
    in the Campbell River system. In time, this should lead to substantial increases in smolt
    production and adult returns.




Michael McCulloch
Fisheries Technician
Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan
FILE NOTE

Date: February 21, 2006
File: 34560-20/SNORK
 xf:  34560-27/CAMPBELL

                               SNORKEL SURVEY REPORT
                                    Campbell River

DATE:                   February 16, 2006
WEATHER:                Clear and cold, air temp >4
WATER TEMP(oC):         5 at 1300 hours
DISCHARGE (m3/s):       3.5 (as per BCH regulation)
VISIBILITY (m):         10
PERSONNEL:              M. McCulloch, A. Mclean, T. Andrews
AREA:                   Elk Falls Plunge Pool downstream to BCH John Hart Generation
Station.
                        Total distance: approx. 2.0 km

1. Fish Observed:

Adults
         5 steelhead (1.5-2.5 kg), likely summer runs. These dark fish were observed in the
         upper portion of the canyon holding mainly in large pools. Three steelhead redds
         were noted, two in the Elk Falls tailout and one on the second gravel placement
         location. These redds were located in 65 cm, 80 cm and 80 cm of water depth
         respectively.

Juveniles

         No juveniles were observed.

3. Notes

•   This swim was completed to monitor the distribution and location of spawning gravel
    placed in two locations in the Elk Falls Canyon in the summer of 2005 and to investigate
    the usability of displaced spawning gravels following the most recent large spill event in
    Elk Falls Canyon in January 2006 (4,900 cfs).
•   An additional 29.7 cubic meters of gravel was imported into the tailout of the Elk Falls
    Plunge pool on July 13, 2005. The gravel pad ranged from an average depth of
    approximately 1.8 m on the upstream face to an average depth of 0.8 m near the tailout,
    primarily on the left bank (north side) of the canyon. Approximately 80% of the gravel
    was estimated to be within the 1.8-1.0m depth range with the remainder placed into
    shallower water between 1.0-0.5m in depth.
    • A significant portion (20-30%) of this gravel pad appears to have shifted based on the
        downstream displacement of spawning substrate. Some gravel has migrated up to
        200 m downstream and is currently visible in the head of the next large pool. A
        portion (30%) of the displaced gravel is situated in locations where it is either
        immediately available of would become available for spawning given pulse flow
           events. The remainder is typically found in the lee of large boulders and would
           slowly be recruited back into the wetted channel during extreme flow events.
      • Gravels that remain in the tailout of the falls pool continues to provide ideally suited
           spawning habitat with excellent hydraulic diversity.
•     Approximately 100.4 cubic meters of spawning gravel was placed into a riffle/glide at the
      head of a large pool located approximately 400m downstream of the tailout of the falls
      pool. This location represents the largest natural accumulation of gravel in the Elk Falls
      Canyon reach and imported gravel was placed to extend the natural gravel accumulation
      downstream and towards the thalweg or left bank. The average depth of the spawning
      gravel at this location was approximately 1.2 m.
      • A significant portion (30%) of the lower gravel pad (placed in 2005) was displaced
           laterally but is currently situated in the active and wetted channel 10-15 m
           downstream of the original placement location. A portion of the gravel was displaced
           into a pile like configuration near the vortex of a large back eddy that forms at this
           location during extreme flow events. This hydraulic condition is responsible for the
           maintenance of remnant gravel at this location since river impoundment and gravel
           recruitment was halted in the 1950’s. Very little downstream displacement of
           spawning gravel into the large canyon pool was noted.
      • This laterally displaced gravel could be used effectively where it is currently located
           (as evidenced by past surveys that identified large numbers of chum salmon actively
           spawning on the historic gravel bar at this location) but will likely be redistributed
           locally into excellent spawning locations by a combination of spawning chum salmon
           and pulse flows.
•     Movement of gravel during large canyon spills is a natural fluvial process that will
      ultimately lead to gravel recruitment into downstream locations, similar to what occurred
      in the river before BC Hydro dam construction in the late 1950’s. The addition of gravel
      to the canyon reach is part of a joint federal-provincial-community strategy to restore the
      river’s spawning capability for two major species, chinook salmon and steelhead trout.
•     For steelhead, adding quality spawning gravel at selected sites in the canyon will increase
      wild fry abundance in immediate proximity to some of the highest quality rearing habitat
      in the Campbell River system. In time, this should lead to substantial increases in smolt
      production and adult returns.




Michael McCulloch
Anadromous Fisheries Specialist
Ministry of the Environment
2080A Labieux Road, Nanaimo, BC
Photos attached

cc:       All Fisheries staff
          Steelhead Crew
          A. McLean, Biologist, BCH, Campbell River
          D. Ewart, Manager, Quinsam River Hatchery, Campbell River
          M. Gage, Chair, Campbell River Gravel Committee
            APPENDIX B



Photographic Record, Project News Stories.
Photo 1. Looking upstream at the primary gravel   Photo 2. Excavator filling distribution buckets
placement location towards the left of photo.     with spawning gravel.




Photo 3. Boeing Vertol 107 at the edge of the     Photo 4. Gravel distribution bucket being
canyon rim at the lower gravel location.          lowered into the Elk Falls Canyon.




Photo 5. Helicopter hovering above gravel         Photo 6. Upper Elk Falls Canyon, the light
loading area at the top of John Hart Dam.         colored spawning gravel can be seen in the
                                                  tailout of the Falls Pool (2004 archive photo).
Front page article that appeared in the Campbell River Courier Islander, July 2005.
Photo and news clip that appeared on the front page, Campbell River Mirror, July 15, 2005.




                                Photo courtesy of Paul Rudan
                               and the Campbell River Mirror.

"A Helifor chopper, typically used for logging operations, lifts another four-ton-plus load of
gravel from above Elk Falls to be dumped into the Campbell River on Wednesday. The
gravel - more than 500,000 pounds - enhances spawning locations in the river for salmon.
This is the fourth straight year The Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan has
dumped gravel into the river to replace rocks washed out to sea.”
 APPENDIX C



Financial Statement.
                            Financial Statement
                            Form

                                  BUDGET                    ACTUAL
                               BCRP      Other          BCRP       Other
          INCOME
Total Income by Source        36,491.00      5,008.25   36,491.00      1,184.40
Grand Total Income
(BCRP + other)                     41,499.25                 37,675.40

        EXPENSES
Project Personnel
   Wages                       5,020.00                  3,272.27        152.27
   Consultant Fees
   Training/Safety                                                       216.71


Materials and Equipment
  Equipment Rental            24,113.00      5,008.25   25,240.00         72.32
  Materials Purchased          3,000.00                  3,827.60
  Travel Expenses                840.00                    118.38        743.10
  Permits
  Communications                 200.00
  Lab Costs
  Shipping
  GST                                                    1,015.39

Administration
   Office Supplies                50.00
   Photocopies and
printing                         250.00
   Postage
   BCCF admin @ 10%            3,017.35                  3,017.35


Total Expenses                36,490.35      5,008.25   36,490.99      1,184.40
  Grand Total Expenses
        (BCRP+other)               41,498.60                 37,675.39



         BALANCE
    (Grand Total Income -
    Grand Total Expenses)             0.00                      0.00

								
To top