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Floodplain Repair in Kelowna after Higher-Than-Normal Freshet Flows

By Water Canada 10:32AM November 10, 2017

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Higher-than-normal freshet flows in spring 2017 caused changes to Mission Creek in Kelowna, B.C. that require repair and refinement of the floodplain and fish habitat restoration work completed in 2016.

Mission Creek
Mission Creek 2017 Flood. Image Credit: Jan Vozenilek.

The Mission Creek Greenway dike on the south side of the creek between Casorso Road and Gordon Drive will remain open while work is undertaken next week. Work crews and heavy equipment will be on site from November 14–21st. Greenway users are advised to avoid the work area, watch for dump trucks, construction crews, and equipment, and respect the flaggers and signage to ensure the safety of all workers and the public.

“Phase 1 was designed and built recognizing there would be ongoing changes to the restoration components resulting from high freshet flows,” said Mission Creek Restoration Initiative project coordinator Steve Matthews. “As a result, plans to adaptively manage the site over time in response to these changes were developed prior to project implementation. These upcoming works will involve minor adjustments to ensure the long-term health and productivity of the creek.”

“While the works generally performed as designed, this spring’s well-above-average runoff caused changes that need attention,” said Phase-1 project engineer Don Dobson. “We’ll go in to maintain the four meander notches that were built to provide fish spawning and rearing habitat for kokanee and rainbow trout by rebuilding and reinforcing berms along the old dike footprint to minimize erosion and reduce overflow into the side channel and floodplain.”

“As that flow increased and the water level rose, water gradually overtopped the stream banks where the dike had been removed, allowing water to slowly flow across the floodplain,” Dobson told the Kelowna Capital News in May 2016. “The project performed as expected with water flowing onto the expanded floodplain near the upstream end of the project, and flowed back into the creek near the west end.”

All activities will be undertaken as outlined in the project’s Adaptive Management Plan, and according to the requirements specified in all applicable legislation.

To learn more about this and other creek restoration work, visit www.missioncreek.ca.

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