Breaking Water by Building with Rocks

by Brian Koval – PSS Assistant Coordinator

Swan Creek is a beautiful tributary in the Colquitz Watershed. The other day I was there, planning for restoration opportunities with the Friends of Swan Creek Watershed this summer and I couldn’t help but marvel at the babbling of the brook. The water was breaking over the rocks which were put there by the group to provide oxygen to the creek as water breaks over. This is essential to the life that lives within the Swan system and beyond. The work which will be completed this year will involve adding more rock, hence more babble and life. The rock comes from Michell Excavating right here on the Saanich Peninsula. In fact, over sixty metric tons of rock and spawning gravel have been added to the creek since 2014. This is about the weight of a space shuttle! The rock we add to the creek is rounded. As you may have noticed in a natural creek, the rock is rounded from the processes of time. Salmon like to spawn on nice rounded spawning gravel. Could you imagine spawning on the sharp stuff? As you may have guessed, it can badly damage their tails as they dig their redds. (In case you are wondering, redd is essentially another word for salmon nest.)

All our work is made possible by the District of Saanich who provides support and allows us to undertake these activities in their parks. If you are looking to find some salmon spawning this fall, look no further than Swan Creek!