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Channel Construction and Bioengineering: A Multi-Year Commitment for Fish Habitat Compensation on Beaver Creek


Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure’s realignment and widening of Highway No. 219 resulted in the loss of a portion of Beaver Creek. An aging timber bridge was removed during the construction. The bridge was replaced by one 5.23 m diameter, 47 m long structural plate culvert, plus one 0.8 m diameter, 66 m long corrugated steel pipe culvert. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) authorized the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction (HADD) of fish habitat for the bridge-to-culvert project and required several mitigation measures during construction, compensation for the HADD, and three years of post-construction monitoring. Compensation for the impacted fish habitat included the construction of a new channel with similar physical characteristics of the original channel and the preservation of a segment of the original channel as a back flood area for future spawning activities. Site stabilization with bioengineered methods was also a condition of the compensation efforts. The bioengineered features included willow staking, brush mattressing and brush layering. These combined efforts resulted in a net gain of approximately 64 square meters of fish habitat. All compensation efforts including the bioengineered features must be functioning as intended or remedial works will be required. All post-construction monitoring and any required remedial work must be done to the satisfaction of DFO; therefore, the Ministry’s commitments may extend well beyond 2010. This submission of this paper documents an innovative and creative approach to fish habitat compensation for a bridge-to-culvert project. The following pages highlight the key features of the compensation efforts and demonstrate the relationship between riparian habitat compensation and fish habitat compensation.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Sharla Hordenchuk
Education, Human resources