Watershed Watch Salmon Society and its project partners invite you to a site visit and photo opportunity to mark a milestone in the work to restore important fish passage through Bon Accord Creek in Surrey. Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke will be on site with fellow councillors, MLA Bruce Ralston and Parliamentary Secretary Fin Donnelly for a ribbon cutting. They will be available to answer questions about the project and the larger vision for fish habitat in urban environments.
DATE: Friday, Nov. 24
TIME: 2 – 3 pm
LOCATION: Currie Drive. There is no street sign but Currie Drive is located just west of Iqra Islamic School, 14590 116a Ave, Surrey
DETAILS: The installation of a simple, affordable, and effective technology has restored fish passage to Bon Accord Creek after 70 years. The longest flexi-baffle project in North America has reopened 2.5 km of habitat that has been inaccessible to salmon.
RSVP: Lina Azeez (email@example.com) or Liana Ayach (LLAyach@surrey.ca)
BACKGROUND: In the 1950s a number of changes were made to Bon Accord Creek, including creation of a 150-metre-long channelized concrete flume. The speed of water flowing down the flume made it impossible for Coho salmon to access spawning grounds upstream.
Restoration efforts began in 2017. The City of Surrey removed a timber dam structure and a large culvert in Invergarry Park, and reconstructed the stream channel to allow salmon to once again swim through this crucial creek habitat. In addition, new creek habitat was constructed to the north-east, as part of the South Fraser Perimeter Road upgrades.
The final piece of the puzzle was to restore salmon access along the 150-metre-long flume. In August 2023 work began.
The City of Surrey’s Salmon Habitat Restoration Program (SHaRP) field team installed a series of 60 “flexi-baffles” to help salmon swim through this section of channel with ease. Flexi-baffles are flexible pieces of non-leaching, polymer rubber bolted to the channel bottom to slow flow rates and give salmon deep enough water to swim upstream.
There are only 55 flexi-baffle projects in North America and this is the largest to date.
Across the Lower Mainland, salmon are unable to access spawning and overwintering habitat in many areas due to barriers like hanging culverts, dikes, floodgates, and dams. The restoration of Bon Accord Creek is a major milestone in restoring habitat for trout and Coho salmon that once contributed to making the Fraser River one of the most prolific salmon rivers in the world.
This project is a collaboration between Resilient Waters and Watershed Watch Salmon Society, the City of Surrey Engineering Department, and a local landowner along a segment of the creek through their property. Funding support was provided through the joint Federal-Provincial BC Salmon Restoration Innovation Fund.