Middle Barachois Rechanelling
SPAWN plays a part
It came to our attention that one of the favorite little rivers in the Bay St. George watershed Middle Barachois Brook had a severe erosion problem in the area above the Trans Canada highway. Extreme spring flooding was washing away the bank as water rounded a turn before heading toward the highway. The river was very muddy and got worse after every rainfall. Something had to be done.
The Provincial Transportation Department drafted plans for this river and Robinsons. The idea was to divert Barachois to a new channel so little water could reach the eroded area. Then the riverbank would be packed with rip-rap (various sized large boulders) to ensure problems would not reoccur.
A meeting was called and a group made up of DFO, Transportation, SPAWN, and Western Construction engineers and heavy equipment operators met, out of the rain, under the barachois bridge to evaluate the scene.
SPAWN’s involvement would be to electrofish a de-watered area, the remove any salmonids and relocate them back to the main stream. When everything swung into action work went fast. The equipment operators were experienced – that was obvious.
In less than two days the re-direction was completed, and just before the new channel was opened, the banks, plus a good sized area of the bottom were lined with rock to ensure erosion as minimal. Once opened, it didn’t take long for the water to begin flowing clean again.
Later in the spring SPAWN hired a couple of students to seed the river banks and plant jack pines supplied by Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. Once the trees take hold the riverbank will be returned to its natural forested state and food (from dropping insects) for the parr and trout that inhabit that part of the river.
We’ll be checking on the area again this year to see if any extra it required.
As you can see, from the start to finish the project required the cooperation of many people. Let’s all hope it will help make a difference to another Bay St. George River.
Our thanks to everyone who made this possible.