Fisheries and Oceans Salmon Enhancement Program's Brendan Zoehner working to dismantle the man-made rock pools in Alouette. (Alex Homes/Special to The News)

ARMS and volunteers work to restore river flow at Alouette

Dismantle man-made rock pools on Aug. 31

A bunch of volunteers joined the Alouette River Management Society (ARMS) to dismantle man-made rock pools at the Alouette river, Tuesday.

ARMS’ Alex Holmes told The News, that a small group of volunteers participated in the Rock Pool Dismantling activity in the hopes of restoring the natural flow of the river.

“The goal of dismantling the man-made rock pools is to restore the river back to a more natural morphology. The goal was to restore river width again, as parts of the river had been disconnected, and change the flow of the river back to what would have been there before,” said Holmes.

ARMS Director Cheryl Ashlie, Patty Stanger, Brendan Zoehner and Brian Smith from the Fisheries and Oceans Salmon Enhancement Program, Alex Holmes, and Ahmed Yousef with his family, joined in on Aug. 31 at the worst-hit area of the river, at the North end of 228th Street.

READ MORE: Moving around rocks dangerous for fish habitat, warns Alouette River Management Society

“The flow had been altered due to a narrowing of the river channel from the rocks being rearranged to create two lines within the channel, this alteration increased the flow. The rocks were able to be moved by hand to restore the riverbed and flow. This included creating small riffles with the rocks and decreasing this pinched effect on the flow of the water. These also help create areas for invertebrates to find refuge from the flow, as well as provide areas of calm for returning Salmonid species coming up the River,” said Holmes.

She explained that the science behind hosting this activity was focused on looking at the natural flow of the river, and determining how to move the materials, and how to best service that natural movement.

“The rocks were moved by hand by our amazing group of volunteers and spread throughout that section of the Alouette River,” she said.

Currently there are no signs at the river indicating not to move rocks and Holmes said that since the area was part of City of Maple Ridge property, ARMS is hoping that the city and the Salmon Enhancement Program develop and put up signs in the future.

“We hope we will not have to return to dismantle the area again. With the work done today, and with the upcoming winter river flows, we think the Alouette will do the rest of the work and alter itself naturally how it would like from now on. It will be able to do this because we removed a large bulk of the manipulated rocks, helping to create a natural flow currently,” she said.

ALSO READ: Sockeye salmon return to fish fence in Maple Ridge for the season


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ARMS director Cheryl Ashlie working to dismantle the man-made rock pools in Alouette. (Alex Homes/Special to The News)

ARMS director Cheryl Ashlie working to dismantle the man-made rock pools in Alouette. (Alex Homes/Special to The News)

Fisheries and Oceans Salmon Enhancement Program's Brian Smith helping dismantle the man-made rock pools in Alouette. (Alex Homes/Special to The News)

Alouette River Management Society and a group of volunteers put their hands and heads together to dismantle the man-made rock pools in Alouette. (Alex Homes/Special to The News)

Alouette River Management Society and a group of volunteers put their hands and heads together to dismantle the man-made rock pools in Alouette. (Alex Homes/Special to The News)

Alouette River Management Society and a group of volunteers put their hands and heads together to dismantle the man-made rock pools in Alouette. (Alex Homes/Special to The News)

Alouette River Management Society and a group of volunteers put their hands and heads together to dismantle the man-made rock pools in Alouette. (Alex Homes/Special to The News)

Alouette River Management Society and a group of volunteers put their hands and heads together to dismantle the man-made rock pools in Alouette. (Alex Homes/Special to The News)