Big changes post-flooding on the Cheticamp River

It has been over three weeks since the severe flooding event on the Cheticamp River, but that doesn't mean people have stopped talking (and writing!) about it.  Most recently, Lewis Hinks, the Atlantic Salmon Federation's Director of Programs for Nova Scotia, blogged about the flood and the dramatic changes to the river. You can read Lewis' blog here (he does a nice job of summarizing the habitat restoration work on the Cheticamp River and the August flooding event.

While the ASF blog highlights some of the changes to river, the following series of before and after shots attempt to further reveal some of the major changes that have taken place on the lower Cheticamp River. As Lewis put it, what a difference a day can make. :)

Work site above Fence Pool (looking downstream) during the construction phase this summer. Notice the shallow, wide channel through this section.

Work site above Fence Pool (looking downstream) during the construction phase this summer. Notice the shallow, wide channel through this section.

Work site above Fence Pool (looking downstream) after the major flood event on August 22nd. Notice the loss of the mid-channel bar, development of the bar on the eastern (near) bank, and the narrowing and deepening of the main channel.

Work site above Fence Pool (looking downstream) after the major flood event on August 22nd. Notice the loss of the mid-channel bar, development of the bar on the eastern (near) bank, and the narrowing and deepening of the main channel.

Work site below Fence Pool (looking upstream) after the installation of rock retarding bars this summer.

Work site below Fence Pool (looking upstream) after the installation of rock retarding bars this summer.

Work site below Fence Pool (looking upstream) after the flood. Notice the massive bar that formed between and over the rock bars installed on the eastern bank. The channel is now considerably narrow and deeper and a nice looking pool has formed mid-way down the bar and extends below the structures.

Work site below Fence Pool (looking upstream) after the flood. Notice the massive bar that formed between and over the rock bars installed on the eastern bank. The channel is now considerably narrow and deeper and a nice looking pool has formed mid-way down the bar and extends below the structures.

Work site above the Cabot Trail bridge (looking downstream) after the installation of rock retarding bars in August, 2014.

Work site above the Cabot Trail bridge (looking downstream) after the installation of rock retarding bars in August, 2014.

Work site above the Cabot Trail bridge (looking downstream) after the August, 2015 flood event. The flooding further narrowed the channel here (the instream structures had already contributed to the narrowing and deepening of the channel in this site) and led to the formation of another new pool.

Work site above the Cabot Trail bridge (looking downstream) after the August, 2015 flood event. The flooding further narrowed the channel here (the instream structures had already contributed to the narrowing and deepening of the channel in this site) and led to the formation of another new pool.


Flash flooding of the Cheticamp River

The Cheticamp River habitat restoration project, undertaken in partnership between the Cheticamp River Salmon Association and Parks Canada, was recently affected by torrential rainfall and severe flooding. Upwards of 150mm of rain fell late Saturday, August 22nd, and resulted in flash flooding that led to the evacuation of the Cheticamp campgrounds. The heavy rains and flooding also impacted the efforts of the habitat restoration team to improve fish passage through a number of overwidened sites on the lower Cheticamp River.

Fortunately, many of the instream structures appear to have weathered the storm reasonably well, and the combination of the structures helping the river to dig and contributing to the formation of bars, has resulted in the river narrowing and deepening in key locations. The flood was also responsible for deepening and extending some of the existing pools as well as forming a number of new pools. Not surprising given the severity of the flood, however, the Cheticamp River also suffered many negative impacts from this most recent natural disaster including extensive damage to banks in places (including the loss of large hardwoods), loss of fish (mostly juveniles), and massive accumulations of trees and other woody debris.

View of the Cheticamp River post-flood with large accumulations of debris along the West bank (Photo credit: Lewis Hinks)

View of the Cheticamp River post-flood with large accumulations of debris along the West bank (Photo credit: Lewis Hinks)

Archie Doucette, with Parks Canada, standing beside a large pile of debris near the outlet of Robert's Brook

Archie Doucette, with Parks Canada, standing beside a large pile of debris near the outlet of Robert's Brook

Massive oak deposited by the flood on a newly formed bar below Fence Pool

Massive oak deposited by the flood on a newly formed bar below Fence Pool

Members of the Cheticamp River Salmon Association have been on the ground since the flood helping to locate fish that were left stranded outside of the main river after the waters receded. In addition to helping to return well over 100 juveniles to the river, the CRSA was also able to help catch a large adult salmon that was trapped in some water off the Salmon Pools trail and release it safely back into the river.

Jerry LeBlanc, with Parks Canada, releasing a large salmon that was found stranded off the Salmon Pools trail

Jerry LeBlanc, with Parks Canada, releasing a large salmon that was found stranded off the Salmon Pools trail

Jillian Baker, with the Cheticamp River Salmon Association, helping release a large adult salmon

Jillian Baker, with the Cheticamp River Salmon Association, helping release a large adult salmon

Although the August flooding will create delays and necessitate some modifications to the work plan, the restoration team is already making plans to proceed with the instream work.

What's happening at Wreck Cove?

Representatives from the Cheticamp River Salmon Association made their way to Cheticamp Lake this week to attend a meeting with NS Power staff concerning the Wreck Cove project. The meeting was timely given that Wreck Cove, Nova Scotia’s largest hydroelectric plant, is undergoing a major refurbishment and overhaul (click here for a link to a recent news article covering the plant upgrades).

Specifically, the event, which was initiated by the Cheticamp River Salmon Association, was an opportunity for NS Power to provide information and answer questions concerning the D1 Refurbishment Project and Wreck Cove Approval negotiations.  Ray Sampson, the D1 Dam Refurbishment Project Manager, and Paul Breski, the Operations Superintendent of Wreck Cove, were among those present to provide information and answer questions.

Representatives from the Margaree Salmon Association were also in attendance and have written up a nice summary of the meeting and shared it on their website, here. In addition to reading about the Wreck Cove project update meeting, you can also visit the Margaree Salmon Association’s website to learn about what our neighbouring salmon association has been up to recently. 

Rene Aucoin, President of the Cheticamp River Salmon Association, on a tour at the Wreck Cove facility

Rene Aucoin, President of the Cheticamp River Salmon Association, on a tour at the Wreck Cove facility

Construction taking place at the D1 site   

Construction taking place at the D1 site

 

Weeks 3 & 4 with the student work crew!

The summer is going by quickly for us on Aucoin Brook! The past two weeks have been our last with the  YSI Water parameter probe, generously loaned to us by the SMU Environmental Monitoring Network, and we completed all of the data collection for 2015. We are glad to be testing the water at various sites along the brook, all the way from the rocky First Barrier falls to the silty and slow-flowing sections near the Cabot Trail bridge. Prior to any data analysis, the water temperatures throughout the water course are steady and range between 11 degrees (upstream sections) and 17 degrees Celsius (downstream sections). 

A stunning view from our first monitoring site at Aucoin Brook!

A stunning view from our first monitoring site at Aucoin Brook!

We have also been assisted by local chainsaw expert Albert Deveaux in removing the alders that have grown down into the flow of the brook. We decided to begin this project by the suggestion of  Daryl Guignion, a river sedimentation specialist and biologist from UPEI, who came to visit both the Cheticamp River Project and Aucoin brook in Week 3. 

Jeremy Camus and Stephane Muise work on filling the data collection forms.

Jeremy Camus and Stephane Muise work on filling the data collection forms.

We are looking forward to the remaining three weeks of our summer and have lots of work planned. Stay tuned for more updates!

Cheticamp River habitat restoration team receives national award

The habitat restoration work being completed on the Cheticamp River in partnership between the Cheticamp River Salmon Association and Parks Canada received national recognition this year with the receipt of a Parks Canada CEO Award of Excellence. 

 The Parks Canada CEO Awards of Excellence recognize Parks Canada team members and partners who have demonstrated a high level of excellence or achieved outstanding results. This year’s award for Engaging Partners was presented to the Cheticamp River restoration team, made up of members from the Cheticamp River Salmon Association and  Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Team members who received the award here Rene Aucoin and Jillian Baker (Cheticamp River Salmon Association), and Archie Doucette, Claudie Maillet, Jacques Chaisson, Willie Deveau, Jerry Leblanc, Kelly Deveaux, James Bridgeland, Chris Bellemore, and Coady Slaunwhite (Cape Breton Highlandlands National Park).

Buoyed by the results from the work completed in 2014, the restoration team is enthusiastically undertaking the second phase of the project. 

Derek Quann (Acting Superintendent for Cape Breton Highlands National Park) presenting CEO Award of Excellence to Rene Aucoin, President of the Cheticamp River Salmon Association.

Derek Quann (Acting Superintendent for Cape Breton Highlands National Park) presenting CEO Award of Excellence to Rene Aucoin, President of the Cheticamp River Salmon Association.

Parks Canada CEO Award recipients and presenters, from left to right: Jerry LeBlanc, Archie Doucette, Jillian Baker, Blair Purdy (Field Unit Superintendent for Cape Breton Field Unit), Willie Deveau, Jacques Chiasson, Coady Slaunwhite, Kelly Deveaux, Claudie Maillet, George Green (Parks Canada's Vice-President of Heritage Conservation and Commemoration), James Bridgland, Chris Bellemore, and Derek Quann (Acting Superintendent for Cape Breton Highlands National Park).    

Parks Canada CEO Award recipients and presenters, from left to right: Jerry LeBlanc, Archie Doucette, Jillian Baker, Blair Purdy (Field Unit Superintendent for Cape Breton Field Unit), Willie Deveau, Jacques Chiasson, Coady Slaunwhite, Kelly Deveaux, Claudie Maillet, George Green (Parks Canada's Vice-President of Heritage Conservation and Commemoration), James Bridgland, Chris Bellemore, and Derek Quann (Acting Superintendent for Cape Breton Highlands National Park).

 

Instream work begins on Cheticamp River habitat restoration project!

Last week, the Cheticamp River Salmon Association and Parks Canada started instream work on the Cheticamp River. The second phase of this habitat restoration work will involve installing instream structures at three locations this year: above and below Fence Pool, at Robert's Brook (on the brook itself and above the outlet), and below the Cabot Trail bridge (a continuation of work completed at this site in 2014).

The first week of work focused on the sites above and below Fence Pool. So far, eight rock retarding bars have been installed (three above and five below), as well as five rock deflectors. The structures are designed to improve fish passage by helping to focus the flow, deepen the thalweg, and narrow the overly wide channel. In addition to these structures, a section of vulnerable bank was armoured to reduce erosion. 

Next week, the habitat restoration team will be resuming work and moving to the Robert's Brook sites. More photos and updates will be posted - stay tuned!

Cheticamp River Salmon Association's student work crew setting up sediment control measures before the start of instream work

Cheticamp River Salmon Association's student work crew setting up sediment control measures before the start of instream work

Heavy equipment working to install rock retarding bars above Fence Pool

Heavy equipment working to install rock retarding bars above Fence Pool


Excavator installing rock deflectors above Fence Pool

Excavator installing rock deflectors above Fence Pool

Project consultant points out locations for further instream structures

Project consultant points out locations for further instream structures

Week 1 and 2: June 30th to July 10th

Last week was the training week for the summer students; Stephane Muise, Jeremy Camus and Rachelle Aucoin, who are all high school students who are working with the CRSA.  We had orientation, training on the river and First Aid.  The following Monday was the first day on the job, where we worked on cleaning up the Salmon pool trail. This involved raking, shoveling and clearing the area of broken branches and debris. Tuesday and Wednesday, we partnered with the Chiasson Brothers to prepare for the opening of the Gypsum Mine trail. With the help of small construction machinery, we dug out dirt to create areas for benches. We built frames, poured concrete in those areas and installed seven newly painted benches.  The opening of the trail will be Saturday July 11th!

Jeremy and Stephane with CRSA Executive Director, Rene Aucoin, after a great afternoon of fly fishing on the Cheticamp River.

Jeremy and Stephane with CRSA Executive Director, Rene Aucoin, after a great afternoon of fly fishing on the Cheticamp River.

For the rest of the week, the crew will commence maintenance on Aucoin brook. We must finish some rock piling and fix some structures from last summer that were damaged during the winter months. The weather has been beautiful so far and we hope it will continue so we can work in the sunshine!

Jeremy and Stephane help move trout at the Margaree Fish Hatchery.

Jeremy and Stephane help move trout at the Margaree Fish Hatchery.

Phase II of the Lower Chéticamp River Project Begins!

Last week the CRSA continued work with Parks Canada on Phase II of the lower Chéticamp River Project. The goal is to improve fish passage in areas that have become too shallow due to overwidening of the channel. Last week's work focused on improving access to the Fence Pool via Salmon Pool Trail in order to bring up large boulders to be used to build deflectors bars which will be put in later this summer. 

Looking down stream at the site where the new deflector bars will be placed.

Looking down stream at the site where the new deflector bars will be placed.

Removing a few trees to make room for the trucks.

Removing a few trees to make room for the trucks.

Laying down a new layer of dirt to even out the trail.

Laying down a new layer of dirt to even out the trail.

Boulders being stock piled at the work site.

Boulders being stock piled at the work site.

Moving boulders into the pile.

Moving boulders into the pile.

Stay tuned for more updates on Phase II of the project!

Annual Spring Fishing Derby in Grand Étang

Last Sunday the CRSA hosted the annual Fishing Derby at Pétit Lac in Grand Étang which coincided with the Nova Scotia Sportfishing weekend. The sportfishing weekend allows both resident as well as non-residents of Nova Scotia to fish without a license and is a great opportunity to get the entire family out for a fun day of fishing!

Abigail Haché smiles for the camera as she waits for a trout to take a bite!

Abigail Haché smiles for the camera as she waits for a trout to take a bite!

Anglers arrived as early as 6 a.m. to get the perfect spot to set up for the morning and kids participating in the anglers under 16 category started to arrive around 8 a.m. This year, thanks to funding from Destination Cape Breton, we were able to incorporate an over 16 category for the adult with the largest fish caught. The CRSA also hosted a free barbeque to fuel the many hungry anglers throughout the morning.

Second prize winner, Luke Aucoin, shows off his big catch!

Second prize winner, Luke Aucoin, shows off his big catch!

The first prize winner of $50 for the anglers under 16 was Christopher Poirier (14) with his 2 pound nine ounce speckled trout. The runners up were Luke Aucoin (6) with a two pound eight ouncer and Ellen Chiasson (12) who caught one weighing one pound four ounces. Prizes for youngest angler and best female angler were also awarded to Luke Aucoin and Ellen Chiasson, respectively. The winner of the adult angler category was Fernand Larade with his 2 pound twelve and a half ounce speckled trout.

A big thanks to everyone who came out and made this year's fishing derby a success and we look forward to seeing you again next year! A special thank you goes out to Wabo's Pizza, Mr. Chicken and the Chéticamp Co-Op for generously donating the prizes.

 

Flycasting Workshop on Thursday June 4th!

The first week of June was a busy one for the Chéticamp River Salmon Association with the Flycasting Workshops taking place on Thursday June 4th and the annual Fishing Derby happening on Sunday June 7th. 

John shows the grade 7 class how to tie some simple fly knots.

John shows the grade 7 class how to tie some simple fly knots.

John Hart, past president of the Margaree Salmon Association, and Lewis Hinks generously offered their time and equipment for the Flycasting Workshop to teach the grade 7 and 8 students from École N.D.A. how to fly cast. The lesson was divided into three different stations, beginning with knot tying and tying flies onto the line demonstrated by John Hart. After practicing tying two different types of simple knots the students moved onto dry casting with Lewis Hinks. Lewis gave the students lots of tips on how to cast a fly rod properly and many of the kids got the hang of it right away! After dry casting the group got to tie real flies to their lines and try to catch one of the rainbow trout swimming about in the pond. Many of the students were able to catch a fish and cheered each other on when they hooked one. Thank you to the students and teachers who participated and made the workshop fun for everyone!

Lewis shows the grade 7's how to dry cast before tying on the real flies.

Lewis shows the grade 7's how to dry cast before tying on the real flies.

John poses with one of the grade 7's with his big catch!

John poses with one of the grade 7's with his big catch!

Thank you to CRSA director Joel Camus for offering his pond and surrounding property to be used for the workshop. 


Spring for the Salmon Association!

Hi everyone! My name is Melissa and I'm a student who will be joining the CRSA for the summer to help with the Aucoin Brook restoration project. Things are just getting started up for the season with the annual Fishing Derby still in the beginning stages of planning. Stay tuned for more updates to come about the derby which will be taking place Sunday June, 7th! I'm excited to be working for the CRSA and to spend time in the beautiful community of Chéticamp. We will keep you posted about events and project work to come!

Structures in place for Cheticamp River habitat restoration

The Cheticamp River Salmon Association is happy to report that the rock retarding bars and deflectors have been successfully installed on the lower Cheticamp River. This habitat restoration project, jointly led by Parks Canada, is an attempt to improve fish passage in critically over-widened sites by encouraging the main channel to gradually narrow and deepen.

Archie Doucette (Parks Canada), Jillian Baker (CRSA), and Charles MacInnis (project consultant) displaying official project sign at the end of the construction phase.

Archie Doucette (Parks Canada), Jillian Baker (CRSA), and Charles MacInnis (project consultant) displaying official project sign at the end of the construction phase.

In addition to the contributions from Parks Canada, funds and support from a number of other sources made this exciting project possible. The CRSA would like to give a special thanks to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Nova Scotia Salmon Association's NSLC Adopt-a-Stream program, the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, NS Power, and the Sage Environmental Program.

Charles MacInnis overseeing installation of rock retarding bars.

Charles MacInnis overseeing installation of rock retarding bars.

Completed rock retarding bars in upstream site (above Cabot Trail bridge)

Completed rock retarding bars in upstream site (above Cabot Trail bridge)

With the structures in place, the Association is now looking to do some preliminary surveying of other impacted sites upstream from this year's work sites and develop additional restoration priorities and plans. The CRSA will also be working with Parks Canada to monitor changes to the river and evaluate and report on the impacts of the new structures. 

We are happy to answer any questions you may have on this ongoing habitat restoration work. Please don't hesitate to contact us with your questions, concerns, and ideas. 

Habitat Restoration Project starts TOMORROW!

We are excited to announce that the habitat restoration work on the lower Cheticamp River is scheduled to begin tomorrow! Here are some lovely before pictures of the Cheticamp River taken by Roman Buchhofer. Here is the link to his webpage: http://romanbuchhofer.com/ 

With help from Parks Canada, our partner on this project, we will be installing instream structures that are designed to encourage the main channel of the river to gradually narrow and deepen. This is important as there are sections along the lower Cheticamp River where the main channel has become severely over-widened and fish passage problems result during periods of low flow. Human impacts, including past agriculture and logging, as well as the placement and design of former bridges, contributed to the over-widening.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or if you would like additional information, about this exciting project.

resized 3.jpg

Last week of the project

Sadly, the summer has ended and today is the last day of student work. With the weather this week work has been difficult out on the river but the crew managed to get as much as they possibly could do done. They installed the last two digger logs and installed 4 deflectors. 

We had a few other events happening this week. We had the information session/open house for the Cheticamp River Project. We had our consultants, Charlie MacInnis and Danielle Goff-Beaton, come down to give a presentation in the afternoon. The evening portion was a more informal sessions where people dropped in to ask questions about the project. The event was successful with lots of great questions asked about the project. 

Our second event that we had this week was the river tour and bbq. We were serving free hot dogs and a drink for people to come out and learn about our organization and about the student projects. There was lots of activity around the bbq and the students enjoyed chatting with the public out the projects that they were working on.

This brings us to the conclusion of the summer. After this, Antoine, Rachelle and Jeremy will be returning to High School, Logan will be off to study to become a boiler maker in Sydney, and Lauren will return to St. Francis Xavier University for here 4th year in the Aquatic Resources program. The CRSA would like to thank them for all the hard work that they put in this summer and wishes them the best of luck with the upcoming year!

Week 7! August 11-15

The summer is sadly winding down, with only one more week of work for the students for the Chéticamp River Salmon Association. This week involved a lot more restoration work, monitoring, and the release of our Striped Bass survey! 

On Monday, our chainsaw operator, Albert Deveau, was there to help us cut a few trees for digger logs, and we were able to install one of those on this day. On Tuesday, rock deflectors were installed on Farm Brook. These deflectors help direct the river flow to where it should be going, which also creates stronger water movement. 

IMG_0819.JPG

On Wednesday, more digger logs were put in which creates pools downstream and supports a riffles upstream (which is great for the Atlantic Salmon!). On Thursday, another digger log was successfully put in on Aucoin Brook, and Friday consisted of doing some ecological monitoring along Aucoin Brook and finishing up some unfinished structures.

Overall, it was a great week :). Remember to check out our Striped Bass survey! You could win a $100 gift certificate from a local restaurant of your choice. Simply fill it out, and return it to the drop off envelope on the bulletin board at the Chéticamp CO-OP, or email it back to x2011tdb@stfx.ca

Survey link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0zl51r83z2zd5o1/2014%20striped%20bass%20survey%21.docx

2014 Striped Bass Survey!

Are you an angler in the Chéticamp area? Simply fill out our survey for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to a local restaurant of your choice!

Our survey regards the current population of the Striped Bass in the Chéticamp area, and the possible impacts on the Atlantic Salmon and Speckled Trout species. 

Simply fill out the 3-page survey, and send it back to us- or fill it out and drop it off at the marked “drop off” envelope located on the bulletin board at the Chéticamp CO-OP. 

If emailing the survey back, please send it to x2011tdb@stfx.ca 

Thank you for your time!

SURVEY LINK: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0zl51r83z2zd5o1/2014%20Striped%20Bass%20Survey%21.docx   

Week 6: August 4th -8th!

This week was a short one at the Cheticamp River Salmon Association, but it was a very busy one. We had a new student join us, Jeremy Camus, to help out until the end of the summer. Most of this week was dedicated to finishing up some of last week's jobs such as building the 3 log high extension and other bank logs as well as installing new digger logs! The digger log essentially acts the same as a tree would if it fell into the river with the purpose of supporting a riffle upstream and to create a pool downstream that will not fill in in order to enhance trout and salmon habitat and to promote aquatic habitat diversity. This week the students installed three digger logs with more being installed next week.

On Thursday Dr Barry Taylor, a biology professor from St. Francis Xavier University, came up for the morning to teach the students about benthic invertebrates that live in the river. He showed us some common techniques used to collect samples and showed us some of the most common species that are found in most of Nova Scotia's streams. The students were very interested and were surprised about how many small creatures live on the river!

Come back next week as there will be more photo's of digger logs as well as pictures of new deflectors going in!

Week 5! July 28-August 1

Week #5 for the Chéticamp River Salmon Association was very exciting, because we had new tools to work with that allowed us to further our restoration work as well as ecological monitoring along Aucoin Brook.

The week was started off by heading out to a spot along Aucoin Brook, with help from chainsaw operator Albert Deveau, where bank logs were placed last week. Here, we began to build a long log wall along a portion of the bank where there is extensive damage from erosion. The log wall will help stabilize the bank, and help to prevent further damage by erosion.

Dragging a part of the soon-to-be log wall into place.

Dragging a part of the soon-to-be log wall into place.

On Tuesday, we were very excited to try out a tool that Adopt-a-Stream was lending us for the week called a sandwand. The sandwand is a piece of equipment that allows you to clean up unwanted sand and silt from a river or stream when there is large abundances of it. Will, from Adopt-a-Stream came out to show us how to hook everything up, as well as how to use the sandwand. We used the sandwand on Wednesday and Thursday as well, completing 3 large sites along Aucoin Brook. Now, these sites have a clean rocky bottom, which is exactly where fish like salmon seek out to spawn in.

As you can see, there are lots of different parts to the sandwand!

As you can see, there are lots of different parts to the sandwand!

Logan and Matthew enjoying using the sandwand!

Logan and Matthew enjoying using the sandwand!

On Wednesday and Thursday we also did some ecological monitoring along Aucoin Brook, using a probe that measures things such as water pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen, water temperature, etc. We also record things such as water depth, bank width, blockages, vegetative cover, varying substrates, and presence of fish, among other things! We plan on recording this information in different sections in over 10 areas along Aucoin's Brook. Recording information like this is important because it allows us to see the changes that occur each year, and lets us know how we could possibly improve any areas that may need structures put in, or blockages taken out.

Antoine recording results from the probe and other important ecological information.

Antoine recording results from the probe and other important ecological information.

Friday consisted of continuing work on the log bank wall that was started on Monday. Overall, it was a great week, and we got a lot accomplished!

Week 4 - July 21st - July 26th

 This week at the Cheticamp River Salmon Association has been a busy week on the river. At the beginning of the week, the students were installing bank logs along the side of Aucoin Brook. Bank logs are important structures because they protect vulnerable and eroding stream banks from further damage. On Monday the students, along with the help of Albert Deveau, our chainsaw operator, continued the project that was started last week.

Rachelle Aucoin and Logan LaPierre securing the bank log in place.

Rachelle Aucoin and Logan LaPierre securing the bank log in place.

Rachelle and Logan drilling the holes for the rebar.

Rachelle and Logan drilling the holes for the rebar.

The finished product.

The finished product.

For the majority of the week, the students have been installing brush mats. Brush mats are installed with the purpose of taking silt out of the water in order to stabilize point bars and eroding banks. Last year, there were many brush mats installed by the CRSA. Going back to those sites we can see the positive impact that these structures have had on improving the river. Over the last few days the students have been hard at work installing 4 more.

Rachelle putting the branches in place.

Brush mats being secured in place by the baler twine.

Brush mats being secured in place by the baler twine.

Day two of brush mats.

Day two of brush mats.

Logan and Antoine Aucoin looking for branches.

Logan and Antoine Aucoin looking for branches.

On Thursday we had the pleasure of having Brendan O'Brian with us from the Clean Foundation helping us out for the day. In the morning we went around to a bunch of different sites, showing him the different projects we have been working on for the last few weeks. In the afternoon the whole crew went out to help clear out some blockages along Fiset Brook.

Albert cutting away at the blockage.

Albert cutting away at the blockage.

Antoine and Matt Burns removing the logs.

Antoine and Matt Burns removing the logs.

Antoine, Brendan O'Brian, and Albert.

Antoine, Brendan O'Brian, and Albert.

Jillian Baker moving the debris further off the side of the bank so it won't get washed back in again.

Jillian Baker moving the debris further off the side of the bank so it won't get washed back in again.

Removing some of the smaller material in the blockage.

Removing some of the smaller material in the blockage.

This spider came crawling out of the blockage.

This spider came crawling out of the blockage.

The area just after we finished for the day.

The area just after we finished for the day.

Keep coming back next week as we have some exciting things in store for you!

Week 3! July 14-18

Logan Lapierre and Albert Deveau removing large dead tree blockages to make way for the walking trail. 

Logan Lapierre and Albert Deveau removing large dead tree blockages to make way for the walking trail. 

Week #3 was another busy week for the Chéticamp River Salmon Association. Early in the week, blockages were removed along the Aucoin Brook, with help from chainsaw operator Albert Deveau. There was lots of large woody debris that needed to be taken out of the brook because it was creating barriers for fish to get around! Some hand-rocking was also done on Monday as well to stabilize banks along the brook. On Tuesday, we began to cut a walking trail near the brook for easier access to do our restoration work as well as easier access for anglers to get to fishing spots in the area. On Wednesday, for the first time in many years, the Chéticamp River Salmon Association did tree planting! We planted 300 trees in different areas alongside the Aucoin Brook where riparian vegetation was thin or absent. The trees consisted of White Spruce and Yellow Birch, and will hopefully help the brook in many ways! On Thursday, the walking trail was finished, and the first bank log of the summer started to be put in place. Bank logs are installed along vulnerable and eroding banks to prevent soil and sediment from entering the watercourse. Finally, today more hand rocking was done to further stabilize the bank. It was a busy week with the Chéticamp River Salmon Association, and we have lots more in store for week #4!

Chainsaw operator Albert Deveau

Chainsaw operator Albert Deveau

Rachelle Aucoin and Logan Lapierre taking a break after completing the walking trail!

Rachelle Aucoin and Logan Lapierre taking a break after completing the walking trail!

Antoine Aucoin and Logan Lapierre removing debris. 

Antoine Aucoin and Logan Lapierre removing debris.