A set of poorly placed culverts on Aucoin Brook has been bothering the Cheticamp River Salmon Association for years. In 2008, the culverts were assessed by Parks Canada staff, and the findings were not good: the positioning and size of the culverts created barriers to fish passage. During periods of low flow, the height of the culverts created an obstacle to migrating fish, and during periods of high flow, the velocity of the water through the culverts also posed problems for fish attempting to move upstream. The trouble with the culverts did not stop there, however. For example, the culverts caused sediment to back up and they were also prone to creating blockages of woody debris that have contributed to flooding over the roadway. So, the culverts had to go.
This year, the Cheticamp River Salmon Association was finally able to obtain the funding necessary to complete this important project. Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation covered the majority of the costs, with the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation and Nova Scotia Salmon Association's Adopt-a-Stream program providing important contributions as well. Local volunteers, including Michel Aucoin and Ernie Ball, were also integral to the success of this project.
The pictures below document some of the important stages of the project, led by Darrell Taylor and Laurie Cranton of MAC Cran Ltd.