Willow Creek fish passage improved

Two rock weirs have been constructed in the creek beneath the Highway 19A bridge to help fish get over a series of pipes

Work to improve fish passage in Willow Creek is complete, and fish are timing their movement upstream with high tides and fall rain.

Two rock weirs have been constructed in the creek beneath the Highway 19A bridge to help fish get over a series of pipes that had been exposed when the creek bed eroded.

The pipes are owned by the city and Telus, who worked with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), consultants, and local stewardship groups to design the series of weirs that allow the fish to pass over the pipes.

Fish have been observed freely making their way over the weirs and continuing upstream to spawn during high tides, and more rain will increase flow in the creek and improve fish passage.

The migration of spawning salmon into small local streams such as Willow Creek is naturally limited by instream conditions such as water flow level and water temperature.

The weirs work with the natural conditions to allow fish access into and out of the creek according to their natural migration timing.

Project biologists, including Mainstream Biological, DFO and Willow Creek Streamkeepers will continue to monitor the effect of the weirs and pools.

“The design relies on the fall and winter rains to bring natural debris down the creek as well as tidal action to help naturalize the small spaces in the rock weirs,” says Monica Stewardson from Mainstream Biological.