Work on Penticton Creek is finished for 2022, as trout return to the waters. The remaining work will be completed in 2023. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Work on Penticton Creek is finished for 2022, as trout return to the waters. The remaining work will be completed in 2023. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Penticton Creek restoration finished for 2022 because of fish return

Work will start again during 2023 fish window

Trout spawning season is soon to start and that means work on Penticton Creek has come to a close.

The project’s start for the year was initially delayed due to the high creek flows and heavy rainfall in early July.

More than two-thirds of the scheduled work above Nanaimo Avenue was completed, but the remainder will have to wait until the next window in 2023.

“Federal regulations to protect fish and habitat only provides a small window to complete the work and that means restoration of the second section above the pedestrian bridge will now be delayed until the fisheries window in July/August next year,” said Ian Chapman, the project manager for the City of Penticton.

Almost 3,200 fish were netted and relocated safely downstream of the work area, and 220 metres of pipe were installed to carry the flow past where work was being done.

However, Chapman notes that doesn’t mean all work will stop on the project.

“Work will continue outside the creek, around the access points on Nanaimo Avenue, Braid Street, Abbott Street, including the intersection upgrade of Ellis St and Westminster Avenue East,” he said. “As well, new trees and other planting material will be installed along the sides of the creek in the top soiled areas.”

Creek flow is being restored in the new channel and the removal of the current diversion pipe and dam is underway in readiness for the Kokanee and Rainbow Trout to spawn.

Improvements to the walkway are also coming along, as the existing creek side walkway will be widened to match the walkway along the downstream section and include new low level LED lighting designed to illuminate the walkway for pedestrian safety without light spillover to adjacent areas.

This segment of the project was approximately four times larger than previous segments with a smaller timeframe to complete, and 1,200 tonnes of concrete lining was removed, and 6,364 tonnes of rocks placed to create pools and riffles, along with 2,230 tonnes of gravel for fish to spawn in.

READ ALSO: BC Wildfire Service calls out ‘extremely dangerous’ drones near Keremeos Creek Wildfire

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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