Salmon Habitat - Clayoquot Wilderness Resorts

Salmon Habitat

Restored Pond Channel

In 2003, the resorts began restoring 6.4 kilometres of critical spawning habitats in the Bedwell River basin. The only privately-funded initiative of its kind in North America, the five-year program is welcomed by First Nation leaders as well as federal and regional agencies.

To date, about 20,000 cubic metres of over-burden (gravel and debris jams) have been excavated to restore the so-called pond channel, and more excavation and restoration work is being done about 2km up-river from the Outpost.

The goal is to create enough viable 'off-channel' spawning and rearing salmon habitats to restore salmon and steelhead populations to pre-industrialized levels. Already, chum salmon have been seen digging redds (egg nests) in the new off-channel habitat.

Off-channels are akin to collector lanes running parallel to a main freeway; safe, protected areas for salmon to spawn, eggs to hatch, and for fry to mature. They are removed topographically from the devestating effects of torrential river activity, which washes away both eggs and fry.

During the 2007 season, restoration crews and interested guests will continue 'complexing' the off channel with large stumps and logs to provide shade and predator cover for juvenile salmon. Within a few short years, a new natural eco-system with optimum upslope and mature riparian edge (diverse bank and shoreline area) will dramatically increase the numbers of salmon and steelhead returning each year to Clayoquot Sound.

Resort guests are invited to participate in all aspects of the restoration process and/or learn about the role salmon play in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere, not just as a food source in the region's web of life, but as a complex key to the Biosphere's fragile eco-system.

For a detailed chronology of the salmon
habitat restoration stewardship visit the
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