Though a strange year considering what has been going on around us in 2020 it was still a productive year for the Central Queens Branch of the PEI Wildlife Federation (CQWF)! Our crew focused restoration efforts on Quinn’s Brook and Howell’s Brook, the two main tributaries of the West River by aiming to improve the stream meander sequence along with habitat features utilized by salmonids. Our crew also focused on intensively enhancing specific life stage requirements for Atlantic salmon on Howell’s Brook and in the lower section of the West River. In total some of our performance measurements included: 33.4km of stream channel maintained, 3.4 km of newly restored stream, 71 brush mats, 23 spawning enhancement sites, 5,794m 2 of juvenile riffle habitat enhanced, 4 pool creating structures, 110 cover structures, 1,145 native trees and shrubs planted covering 4,626m 2 and much more other productive work was carried out! In addition to our restoration activities we dug out three of our sediment traps located at: Ross Rd, Mill Rd and the upper end of Carragher’s Pond for a total of 2,000m 3 of sediment permanently removed from the stream channel.
CQWF partnered with UPEI on a Graduate research project regarding Atlantic salmon on the West River. This project is still in the data collection phase and will be ongoing into 2021. Other collaborations that CQWF had during 2020 was with the PEI Watershed Alliance’s Habitat Stewardship Program , which also involved Atlantic salmon expect it involved working with other salmon rivers across the Island and implementing Best Management Projects for salmon habitat restoration. To complement the ongoing salmon habitat restoration work on the West River we had another successful year stocking juvenile salmon in the head water regions of Brookvale and Howell’s Brook with the goal of having these juveniles return as adults to spawn and increase local populations. We had the opportunity to host three volunteer days where our eager volunteers had the chance to plant ~200 trees one day, build one enormous brush mat another and on the last day they learned about redd identification and related restoration work.
The work we accomplished during our field season wouldn’t be possible without certain partner collaboration and financial funding support. The following are partners and programs we would like to acknowledge: Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery, Canada Summer Jobs fund, Department of Communities Land and Environment, Department of Fisheries and Ocean, Department of Transportation Infrastructure and Energy, Parks Canada, Post- Secondary Student Support Program, Jobs for Youth Program , University of Prince Edward Island, and the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund, along with other Watershed groups and many individuals who donated their time and knowledge!