CWFS conducted a Level 1 Fisheries Habitat Assessment of the Atleo River in 2012. This river was chosen for assessment as a result of a decline in salmon stocks within the Ahousaht's Ha-houlthee and the cultural importance of the Atleo drainage basin. This assessment identified impaired habitat and potential physical limitations to salmonid production and as a result it was determined that restoration within the basin was required to help increase returns of salmon to the system.
In 2013, restoration activities included clearing a 5 km safety trail from the mouth of the river to the Atleo Main bridge using hand tools and chainsaws, riparian restoration, and an upslope assessment and prescription of landslides in the watershed.
Working with the Ahousaht Restoration Crew, CWFS will continue riparian restoration of the watershed in 2014. CWFS is also developing a work plan for the stabilization of upslope areas and the deactivation of roads in addition to providing restoration training courses for the crew throughout the year.
Funding for the project is provided by the Ahousaht-Mainstream Salmon Enhancement Subcommittee and the Training and Education Committee as administered by Mainstream Canada. Mainstream Canada and the Ahousaht Nation have a Protocol Agreement in place that provides funding towards salmon stream restoration within the Ahousaht Ha-houlthee. This program is managed through the Ahousaht Fish Farm, and specifically the Salmon Enhancement Subcommittee.
Interested in the Atleo River Restoration Project, watch the film Restoring the Atleo River.