Tetayut Creek is largely contained in the District of Central Saanich, one of the fastest-growing districts in the region. The creek plays a fundamental role in preserving the local genetic diversity of native fish species, as it hosts cutthroat and coho salmon.
Urbanization combined with increasing storm intensity caused by climate change has degraded the creek channel and reduced water quality. We initiated a restoration project in 2018 to restore the creek channel and improve fish passage.
Tetayut is a source of water for crop irrigation and for livestock. While most of the water returns from the agricultural fields, it usually carries soil and dissolved compounds. In addition, high velocity water flow through a 54-metre culvert under the Patricia Bay highway had scoured the creek channel, leading to the culvert outlet being perched above the creek. This created a vertical barrier that prevented cutthroat and coho salmon from accessing approximately two kilometres of upstream habitat.
Working in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, we eliminated the barrier by constructing a series of rock riffles in the creek. The riffles act like small dams, raising the water level of the creek to the same level as the culvert outlet. Our timely and cost-effective solution eliminated the perched culvert. We also restored the creek channel by adding woody debris and other features.
We continue to monitor the upstream habitat for native coho salmon and cutthroat, as well as water quality with a regular sampling and testing program.
Tetayut Creek in 2019