Here’s a recap of the 2021 work season for the Central Queens Branch of the PEI Wildlife Federation (CQWF). CQWF uses a holistic approach to restoring degraded habitat components for both Atlantic salmon and brook trout. During 2021 CQWF enhanced spawning habitat for Atlantic salmon along the mid-section of Howell’s Brook and also along the lower section of the main West River. The reaches utilized spawning beds which consisted of Nova Scotia river rock in a combination with soft engineered structures that altered the hydraulic parameters in order to draw female salmon to spawn over high-quality spawning habitat. Improving spawning habitat is of a high priority since improving spawning habitat can increase embryo survival and translate into juvenile recruitment. This project was funded by the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation.
CQWF focused more time on the Clyde River during 2021 compared to recent years. CQWF initiated the restoration process along a 2.7 km section of the main branch of the Clyde River. An instream sediment trap was re-excavated in the mid reaches of this newly restored area to help capture and remove mobile sediment. This project was funded by the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund.
CQWF entered the final year of Graduate study with UPEI. Nine redds were monitored throughout the entire incubation period from fall 2020 into spring 2021 and had emergence traps equipped. The results will indicate the emergence period of salmon fry and factors related to a successful emergence. Environmental parameters measured included: flow velocities around the redd, spawning substrate characteristics, and hyporheic dissolved oxygen and temperature.
CQWF took part in the Watershed Alliances Habitat Stewardship Program again in 2021 and installed a wing deflector along the main West River above Black Brook. Other performance measures included: 36 km of river channel maintained, 38 brush mats, 29 spawning areas enhanced, 510 m2 of boulder clusters, 77 cover structures, 1,200 trees/shrubs planted, and a long list of different habitats indicators monitored!
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
- Habitat Stewardship Program
- Jobs for Youth Program
- University of Prince Edward Island
- PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund
- Along with other Watershed groups and many individuals who donated their time and knowledge!