Seventeen fly fishers from the Edmonton Chapter of Trout Unlimited/ Northern Lights Fly Tyers along with members of Central Alberta Trout Unlimited/ Central Alberta Fly Tying Club meet at Stainbrook Springs. The North Raven River also called Stauffer Creek needed some instream structure to protect small fry just downstream of the headwaters headwaters at Stainbrook Springs. This is an area that is taken care of by Trout Unlimited Canada. Don Andersen has kept a close eye on this area over many years. The spring is about 400 meters in length and is used by brook trout for spawning. Previously, the Central Alberta Chapter installed willow bundles in this spring when the major works were undertaken in 1997 to narrow, deepen and stabilize the silt from the agricultural activities previously located along the stream. It was hoped that the willow bundles previously installed would last until the natural willows now growing along the banks matured and died. Unfortunately, the bundles did not last quite long enough. It is hoped that natural vegetation will supplement and finally replace the willow bundles installed in 2012 over the next 10 years. SRD, during a one day "snap shot" of fish use in this area in 2011, identified the lack of cover as a possible constraint to fish reproduction.
Why do the project: This spring creek has very little "instream" cover naturally as most of the trees were killed when the farmer feed his cows in this area. Although the stream has been fenced to exclude cows for a number of years, the willows along the bank have not yet reached the "falling" down stage which would naturally provide the instream cover utilized by swim up fry.
Don gave a brief history of what has been accomplished previously at Stauffer Creek and then the gang headed out to get the instream structure installed. We chain sawed down willows, bundled them up and then attached them with wire to T-posts that were sledge hammered into the creek. The group installed about 25 willow bundles that will create cover for the brook trout fry.
Don explaining what has happened in the past and what we are going to do.
Doug and Wes
Off to the creek!
Ensuring the willow bundles stay put!
Michael Dell preparing willow bundles.
Doug dragging willow branches out of the woods after they were chain sawed down.
Michael Dell wiring the willow bundles.