Riparian & Stream Bank Restoration

With support from the Secwepemc Fisheries Commission, work was carried out in December 2016 to stabilize a series of five small sites, totalling 60m, of eroding river bank along the 320m Interpretive Trail.   The initiative focused on protecting existing riparian vegetation in addition to supporting continued efforts to restore ecological function of the lower and upper Salmon River Delta. The project entailed the installation of a series of willow spilings.

Willow spiling is the most common and best known green solution for bank revetment in the UK. The technique uses woven living willow to form flexible, live, growing structures which resist and deflect water flows, enabling the bank and vegetation to naturally re-generate and stabilize to prevent further erosion.

ws1-bank-erosionws4-digging-trench

ws2-willowsws5-willow-spiling

 

Riparian and stream bank restoration planting has been ongoing since 2012 with support from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as well as the Provincial Environmental Farm Plan, working down stream into the braided non confined section of the Salmon River – Shuswap Lake confluence.  Planting was initiated from the end of the existing shrub line and continued offshore towards the lake. To reduce costs and ensure plant survival, donor stock live cuttings and posts were harvested primarily from nearby riparian community while encouraging thrifty re-growth of the donor stock vegetation. Additional native trees, shrubs and plants have been gathered over the years from sources recommended by the Indigenous Food Systems Network and as identified in “Some Culturally Important Plants of the Salmon River Delta and Floodplain” which is a Secwepemc Plant Knowledge publication, edited by Nancy J. Turner and Marianne Ignace, based on many interviews with the late Dr. Mary Thomas from 1990-2007.   A total of approximately 12000 m2 of riparian area was eventually planted when the plants were dormant in the winters of 2012, 2014 and 2015.