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
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!
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!
That’s a wrap for our 2019 field season and what a productive season it was! During 2019 our field crew maintained 28 km of stream channel and on top of that we restored ~4 km of new sections of river in the West River and Clyde River watershed areas. While working on these sections of river the goal is to allow the stream to flow freely while maintaining productive salmonid habitat components. The techniques our crew used during our restoration process involved 14 brushmats, 5 new flow deflectors, 78 cover structures, 89 riffles enhanced with boulder clusters, 28 spawning sites and two of our sediment by-pass ponds were re-excavated. Along with our instream activities our crew worked to improve riparian habitat and restore the Acadian forest in other upland areas by planting ~1,600 native trees and shrubs. Many partnerships occurred during these tree planting events which involved; UPEI, Hunter-Clyde Watershed Group, and Parks Canada.
Other projects that occurred over the field season included our salmon fry release in June which resulted in ~30,000 juvenile salmon being released in our headwater regions of Brookvale and Howell’s Brook with the hopes they’ll return in the future and increase our local populations. We partnered with Bluefield High and built a new dock/fishing platform at Carragher’s Pond, which was funded by the Wildlife Conservation Fund. We also hosted two volunteer days and one golf fundraising event and we’d sincerely like to thank everyone who came out and helped out!
Our funding partners were: Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Fund, Canada Summer Jobs fund, Dept. of Communities, Land & Environment, and the Dept. of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy. Other project supporters involved the University of Prince Edward Island, the Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery, Parks Canada, and many other watershed groups. Stay in tune for upcoming events for next year and we look forward to another productive year in 2020!
CQWF had quite the productive field season during 2018! Aside from the 21km of normal stream channel maintenance the field crew restored 2.7 km of stream throughout different areas in the West and Clyde river watersheds. These areas were predominately alders with little diversity and excessive sediment. Some 54 brushmats were constructed this summer to help capture and remove some of the mobile sediment. Other structures that crew installed were 33 full length cover logs, 8 boulder clusters, 32 spawning sites, 1 wing deflector, 1 new by-pass sediment trap and 1 other pond excavation project. On top of the in stream structures the crew planted 1041 trees/shrubs to help restore riparian habitat and improve the buffer zone in certain areas.
CQWF hosted 2 volunteer days and we would like to thank everyone who came and helped out! We would also like to thank our funding partners as we wouldn’t have been able to do the work mentioned above! Our funding partners were: Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Fund, Dept. of Communities, Land & Environment, Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Dept. of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy. We look forward to 2019 and doing more great work for our rivers!
That’s a wrap for our 2017 field season! We’ve had a very productive year on the West River and Clyde River. Some highlights of our field season were: ~19km of stream channel maintained clear of major blockages, 23 new brushmats constructed for capturing mobile sediment and restoring proper stream width, 28 full cover logs installed in a variety of locations for salmonid cover, and 22 boulder cluster sites for juvenile and invertebrate habitat. Along with that, we planted ~1200 trees and shrubs along restored sections of river. Our group is very pleased with the work we accomplished over the recent field season, and were even more pleased when we carried out our annual salmon redd count surveys to find 149 redds within our watershed (3 more than last year!).
We’d like to thank and provide recognition to our dedicated and hard working crew and board members, Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Fund, Watershed Management Fund, and Department of Transportation and Infrastructure for everyone’s support and we look forward to continuing such great work in the future!
We would like to send a huge thanks out to everyone who made it out to our 3rd annual golf fundraiser. With great weather and great golfers it was a grand time! We’d like to thank our sponsors for donating prizes: Phillips Feed, Abegweit Animal Hospital, Kent, Home Depot, Lisa Purcell, Eagles Glenn. We would also like to thank the volunteers who organized this event and Strathgartney Highlands golf course for hosting us!
On behalf of the Central Queens Wildlife Federation we’d like to thank all who made this season and previous salmon release seasons happen.
Thank you to the Abegweit Biodiversity and Enhancement Hatchery for their help in capturing multi-sea winter salmon in the Morell River and successfully incubating some 70,000 salmon eggs in their Scotchford hatchery. They also helped with the delivery of the surplus salmon to the West River where the young fish were deposited over 100 selected riffles that fit their preferred habitat with desirable substrate and insect life.
Thank you to the Province for encouraging the re-introduction of surplus Atlantic salmon fry to specially prepared riffle rearing sites.
Thank you to numerous volunteers and summer staff that have helped improve many kilometres of stream to have ideal insect food and substrate to live in.
Thank you to Royce Steeves and his colleagues in D.F.O Moncton who have successfully linked good fry survival to the availability of ideal insect species in ideal habitat.
Our annual in-stream electrofishing sites have shown a dramatic increase in young salmon. This spring salmon smolts from our first salmon release in 2015 departed and started their venture to Greenland, we wish them safe travels with that hopes of a good salmon return in Autumn 2019!
The Central Queens Branch of the PEI Wildlife Federation is hosting a Parent – Youth Outdoor Camp the weekend of May 29-31, 2015, for youth aged 10-13 accompanied by a parent. The camp will be held at the Riverdale Scout Camp on Riverdale Road in Green Bay along the scenic West River.
The West River, Hunter-Clyde and Wheatley River watershed groups are pleased to present the 2015 PEI Winter Woodlot Tour taking place on Saturday, January 31 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at Brookvale Nordic Site, 1800 route 13 in Brookvale. Take part in this free event for individuals and families of all ages – there is something for everyone! See the poster for more information.