In September and October a massive salmon habitat restoration project was launched by the Department of Fisheries & Oceans in the Hopedale wetlands, between the setback dikes and the Vedder River. The spawning channels being restored are located between the railroad bridge and the Vedder River Campground south of the river. The bulk of the work done in September and October was between the Bergman Road and the Browne Road access to the Vedder.
The aim of the restoration project is to bring the water levels up in the channels, add channels, and provide pocket habitat for salmon—Chinook, chum, coho, and pink salmon as well as steelhead and cutthroat trout. Some 42, 000 square meters of new habitat is being added. A new water intake from the Vedder River will provide additional water to the present groundwater sources.
The spawning channels were constructed circa 1987 to offset the loss of salmon habitat because of the newly constructed setback dykes along both the north and south sides of the Vedder River. The Vedder is considered to be a world-class recreational fishing area and every fall people come to fish from around the world .
Funding for the project is coming from DFO, the Pacific Salmon Foundation, and the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition.
The Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition will be planting native species along the
newly constructed channels in November using volunteers.
Victor Froese, November 2013