ERWRP

There was a full spanning debris jam at survey station 11, a distance of 540 m from the confluence. This jam was approximately 10 m long and 20 m wide filled with 200 to 300 pieces of historic logging debris as well as second growth trees washed in from erosion. There was one full spanning cedar log holding it all together.

Centre Creek Log Jam

Work parties were held during a total of three full days within a period of 10 weeks. We positioned approximately 15 pieces of  large conifer/maple on-site logs and anchored them with 300 feet of 1/2 inch galvanized steel cable and hardware. Volunteers and students moved the rest of the wood to the anchored habitat structures creating log spurs on each bank.  Cable, hardware and heavy tools were purchased with the capital funds.  Due to the volume of wood in this jam, which was much greater than anticipated, this was the only location dealt with in 2011.  

leftbankcable1

 

The chloroplast browse covers on a hundred riparian red cedars previously planted by our volunteers, were removed and saved for re-use. Approximately 90% of the trees survived and were over one metre in height. We also did some grubbing and debris clean up around them. New trees will be planted during the spring planting season.  

jamcleared1

The project was developed from the 2004 Restoration Plan by MVIHES's biological advisors, D. Clough & W. Warttig.

On Saturday, February 19th 2011, a diverse selection of community groups, environmental groups, forest companies, farmers, woodlot managers and representatives from Parksville and Qualicum Beach gathered in one room to discuss the state of the Englishman River watershed and what can be done about it. Presentations during the first half of the session include some background on forest ecology and best management practices to conserve the diversity of values.  Dr. Gilles Wendling presented some of his initial findings on the groundwater and surface water interactions and trends over the years (the water table has dropped by 4 meters in some areas).  DFO presented information on fish population status updates and restoration efforts and results.  Following the presentations, there was an opportunity for the audience to provide input on what they would like to see in a watershed plan and some ideas for workable solutions to current issues of concern.  MVIHES would like to extend that invitation, so that people can email their positive vision for the watershed as well (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Presentations, February 19, 2011 (stay tuned for Groundwater Presentation)

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Englishman River Projects 2010, presented by Dave Davies
Steelhead Snorkle Count Data, presented by Dave Davies
Englishman River Watershed Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM), presented by Bill Bourgeois
Sustainable Management of Multiple Values from the Ecosystems of Englishman River Watershed: Options, presented by Mike Fenger

Patrick Walshe, R.P. Bio.
Biologist, Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society
Phone: 1-250-954-0110

waterchemistrytestresize.jpgMVIHES initiated a multi-phase community-based program with Dr. Gilles Wendling of GW Solutions to characterize and understand the interaction between groundwater and surface water moving in the Englishman River watershed. The report on the first phase can be found by clicking here.

Thanks to the many well-owners who participated in the project we were able to collect information on the presence and behaviour of aquifers in the Englishman River watershed, to define aquifers, to assess the elevation of the water table in the aquifers, to estimate the groundwater flow path and to start defining the interconnection between the aquifers and the river. The more we understand about our watershed, which includes the groundwater, the better we will be able to protect it and all the ecosystem services it provides.

Funding was provided by the Real Estate Foundation of BC, Georgia Basin Vancouver Island Living Rivers and the Regional District of Nanaimo, with in-kind support from the BC Ministry of Environment and GW Solutions.

septer.jpgThe Englishman River Watershed Recovery Plan (ERWRP) was created in 2001 with funding from the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund, through the Pacific Salmon Foundation. The Englishman River was chosen due to the high level of community involvement in the watershed and because the Englishman River was, at that time, ranked the most endangered river in the province.

The ERWRP describes populations of coho and steelhead as key indicators of success. In other words, if these fish species maintain healthy populations then it is likely that the biodiversity and natural processes in the watershed are at healthy levels too. The Plan also describes the need to address issues of water quality and quantity, and development. The Steering Committee work to address these issues in a pro-active and integrated manner.

MVIHES plays a central role in the Englishman River Watershed Recovery Plan. We coordinate projects and community discussions about management of the watershed. We disseminate information regarding the Recovery Plan progress, and provide opportunities for the community to participate in hands on care for the watershed, estuary and shorelines.

Groundwater Mapping and Education Project

The Englishman River watershed is a source of surface and groundwater for the City of Parksville and surrounding areas. The rate of growth in the area creates challenges for land development and the water supply. At this time there is little understanding of where groundwater is flowing and at what rates, where recharge areas are, what the interaction is between groundwater and surface water and where groundwater discharges into the Englishman River, therefore we do not know if the present (already low) summer flow is sustainable in light of an increasing population.