Phase-1 construction of the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) may be complete, but ongoing monitoring and major conservation and restoration planning for lower Mission Creek will contribute to improved ecological, recreational, and economic benefits well into the future.
Monitoring plans for 2020 include assessment of the structural integrity and functionality of the new setback dike and floodplain, and observing potential changes within the main channel and restoration structures resulting from spring runoff.
Fish and fish habitat assessments are also a crucial component of the MCRI monitoring program, helping to identify any refinements that need to be undertaken. A key focus will be the large boulder clusters that were positioned in the creek last year to improve rearing habitat for rainbow trout, kokanee, and other indigenous fish species.
“Since dike realignment and floodplain construction in 2015 and 2016, we’ve been focused on refining the newly established fish and wildlife habitat areas each year so they function more naturally,” says project coordinator Steve Matthews. “Kokanee and rainbow trout monitoring this year will provide important information about habitat benefits resulting from the restoration works, and the impacts from flow-generated changes within the creek channel.”
Building on what they’ve learned during Phase 1, MCRI partners are also working on a detailed plan to guide future conservation and restoration within lower Mission Creek. Partners include the federal and provincial governments, Regional District of Central Okanagan, City of Kelowna, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Friends of Mission Creek, and Central Okanagan Land Trust. The plan will be completed over the next 2 years.
Primary funding support for this year’s activities is provided by the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund and Okanagan Basin Water Board. Additional funding and in-kind support is provided by a wide range of government and community-based organizations.
To learn more about this and other creek restoration work, visit www.missioncreek.ca. For more info, contact:
Joanne de Vries, MCRI Outreach Coordinator, 250-300-8797, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Matthews, MCRI Project Coordinator, 250-809-9840, email@example.com