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Posted: December 9, 2016

Thinking like a fish and improving highway safety

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs part of ongoing highway safety improvements along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park, Parks Canada needed to stabilize a slope near the Stanley Glacier trailhead.

Part of this work included placing large boulders along the Vermilion River below the high water mark, which is an area that can become fish habitat when water levels are at their peak. When material is placed below this level, it can impact fish habitat.

In order to ensure that this project would not have any long term negative impacts to fish, Parks Canada and their contractors made up for this impact to fish habitat by creating fish spawning habitat in other nearby stretches of the Vermilion River to ensure fish like bull trout, a federally listed Species at Risk, could continue to thrive in the river.

Upon completing these mitigations Parks Canada staff witnessed first-hand bull trout preparing to spawn in this newly created habitat. This is an excellent example of undertaking highway safety improvements for people while also ensuring the long-term protection of aquatic species, Parks Canada reported.vermilion-river-knp

Photos courtesy Parks Canada

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