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Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada

Salmon Stream Restoration FAQ

Overview | Salmon Stream Restoration | FAQ | Sand Dune Restoration | Threatened Plant Species | Volunteer

  1. What kinds of fish live in the Kennedy Flats Watershed?
  2. Why are salmon so important to the Kennedy Flats Watershed?
  3. When can I see salmon in the streams?
  4. What makes certain vegetation a problem for the streams?
  5. How many years will it take for the streams to be restored?
  6. What equipment is used for stream restoration?
  7. How much does stream restoration cost?
  8. What can I do to help?
  9. Where can I learn more about stream restoration?


What kinds of fish live in the Kennedy Flats Watershed?

The streams in the Kennedy Flats Watershed, next to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, are home to both spawning and young coho, chinook, chum, steelhead and pink salmon, as well as cutthroat and rainbow trout. Other species, such as stickleback, sculpin and lampray, also rely on these streams.

Why are salmon so important to the Kennedy Flats Watershed?

Salmon are a traditional food source for both people and wildlife. The Nuu-chah-nulth people of the west coast of Vancouver Island have relied on salmon to feed their families since time immemorial. Bears, wolves, racoons and other wildlife feed on spawning salmon as they return to the streams of their birth. Dead salmon also fertilize the old-growth rainforest as their bodies decay and the nutrients seep into the soil. In turn, the rainforest provides a home for spawning and baby salmon.

When can I see salmon in the streams?

Salmon spawn in the fall, generally between September and December. Coho salmon are the last to spawn and are often seen into late December.

What makes certain vegetation a problem for the streams?

Salmonberry and red alder occur naturally in the coastal temperate rainforest ecosystem and are the first to become established in disturbed areas. As these species grow very quickly and abundantly, they tend to suppress light and restrict conifer growth.

Both plant species share particular characteristics that enable them to thrive in disturbed areas. They are short-lived, fast-growing, densely distributed and have weak root systems. These traits create unstable stream banks and cause heavy erosion which then washes silt into the streams. Silt in spawning streams is detrimental to the entire life cycle of salmon and other stream inhabitants. For instance, if salmon eggs are buried in silt, the flow of oxygen is cut off and the salmon do not survive.

How many years will it take for the streams to be restored?

The improvement will be gradual. It may take over a hundred years for the restoration to be completed.

What equipment is used for stream restoration?

Equipment includes chainsaws, log winches, and shovels. Helicopters are also sometimes needed to move large logs.

How much does stream restoration cost?

Since 1994, over $9 million has been invested into these restoration efforts. These funds have been managed by the non-profit Central Westcoast Forest Society. The majority of these funds go towards salaries since much of the work is done by hand. In the future, further restoration funds will be needed to continue this important restoration work.

What can I do to help?

  • Explore streams and discover their secrets.
  • Listen to the flow of the water and feel how cold it is.
  • View a spawning salmon returning to the stream of its birth.
  • Learn more about salmon streams and why they are important, and share what you learn with others.
  • Volunteer with different organizations to help restore salmon streams, including your local Stream Keepers organization.

Where can I learn more about stream restoration?

Different local organizations contribute to stream restoration in this area. To learn more, please visit their websites: