The BC Conservation Foundation (BCCF) completed a new skyline earlier this year, located just downstream of the Elk Falls suspension bridge, to provide gravel placement for salmon habitat in Elk Falls Canyon.
And that skyline was put into place this week placing regularly timed gravel in the canyon.
The gravel placement project that began Aug. 3 and will end today. The project involves a cable skyline being deployed to connect to either side of the canyon. A gravel trolley dropped about 250 cubic meters of washed spawning gravel into the river below. The gravel was brought in using existing and new trails using tracked bobcat type machines.
“The John Hart dam stops the natural recruitment of gravel into the canyon from upstream,” says BCCF project lead, Jeramy Damborg. “There’s good fish habitat from the generating station up to Elk Falls. It’s about 1.5 km long and provides spawning and rearing for Steelhead, Coho and Chinook, among other fish.
The difficult access with the steep vertical canyon walls has meant the gravel had been historically delivered in buckets by a heavy lift helicopter. The plan is to deliver gravel to this area annually. Water releases from the dam disperses the gravel downstream over time.