Watershed Health and You
The future of the Englishman River Watershed is at a crossroads. Many reports and studies have provided a strong foundation in restoring the river's natural features and functions but today's challenge is to develop a framework of restoration and monitoring that will maintain the health of the watershed. Using the Status of the Englishman River Watershed as a starting point, the Englishman River Watershed Health and YOU initiative aims to engage our local community in recognizing the importance of the watershed, and become involved in activities that will help to protect their own watersheds. While MVIHES is focusing on the Englishman River Watershed, any stewardship group could use some of the basics we are developing.
The first thing we did was to commission an assessment of the condition of the watershed at present. Fisheries Biologist, Dave Clough, of DR Clough Consulting, took on the task of providing a Habitat Status Report of the ER Watershed according to the guidelines in the Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy.
From the Assessment we were able to extract a number of indicators of a healthy watershed that would be possible to be monitored by volunteers – given that they would be trained by professionals in procedures, methodology and reporting.
MVIHES is engaging our local community by offering public workshops to grow the local knowledge and understanding of our watershed. Some have already been offered, and as more are planned we will advertise them on the website and in the local papers. Experience has shown that as understanding grows a community's commitment strengthens and they are inspired to act. The program depends on partnerships and various sources of funding. Nearly everything we do feeds into the program because our ultimate goal has always been the protection of this important watershed.
MVIHES also offers training to those interested in taking on an active role in the watershed. Training and volunteer opportunities include:
Operate downstream traps to enumerate salmon smolts
Rescue salmon fry stranded in pools in the river during dry summer months
Observe Record Report
Take the Streamkeepers Certification Course and learn more
Photo Point Monitoring
Take photos at key areas on the river and at special sites like the claybanks
Participate in a systematic review of all fish habitat structures installed since 2002 (Photo at right)
Invasive Species Monitoring
Participate in monitoring and removal of invasive species
We appreciate the support of the following sponsors:
This project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.