For the past few weeks we have been working with BCIT and the River's Institute installing large woody debris in the Seymour River Estuary. We are only able to work during the hours surrounding the lowest tides of the day, so there has been much work effort during the night. It is challenging to work in the estuary in the dark, but it has definitely been an rewarding experience.
The work we are doing is of paramount importance for the continued health of the estuary, as it adds complexity to the stream channel, which provides habitat for salmonid species. The main body of this work includes securing logs to large boulders placed in the stream. The logs are held in place by metal cable that is glued with epoxy into deep holes which we have drilled into the boulders.
Each hole that is drilled into the boulders must be cleaned thoroughly. This ensures that the epoxy fuses to the inside of the rock instead of any dust or grit that may have accumulated inside the drill hole. This is the most important step of our work, as it is imperative to have a firm epoxy connection to ensure the log's stability (We wouldn't want to have any errant logs drifting off downstream!).
After the rock holes are cleaned, we are able to run cable through wood holes which were initially drilled in the logs and into the boulders.
Once the cable is in place, we must then epoxy the cable-ends into the boulder to complete the final step of the process. The epoxy takes about an hour to harden, so we have to make sure this step is completed well before the tide begins to submerge the logs again.
The cabling is fairly unobtrusive, so it blends in well to the natural habitat. You can barely notice we were here at all.
Hopefully the salmon will appreciate all of our hard work!!