Sumgas Creek Restoration
In 2023, LNG Canada began a restoration project on Sumgas Creek, in Kitimat.
This restoration will enhance local habitat while improving public pathways and area enjoyment. The enhancements will restore the creek to the natural state it was in prior to alterations made in the 1950s.
If you have any questions, contact us at:
Sumgas Creek Restoration Project Update—December 2023
The Sumgas Creek restoration project is now complete. By removing long-standing barriers to fish access and re-naturalizing the creek, 15,800 m3 of habitat is now accessible to the fish. On September 25th, water was reintroduced to the newly constructed creek. Since then, juvenile salmon have been observed in the creek. Monitoring activities will continue over a 10-year period. Informational signage is being considered for placement along the creek route.
Sumgas Creek Restoration Project Update – August 2023
Sumgas Creek Restoration Project work is divided into three sites, or “sections.”
This section has been dewatered, with fish and amphibian salvage partially complete. Tree removal is complete. Creek rehabilitation has not yet started.
Early in-stream work in progress, including placement of large boulders and logs to stabilize the lower stream bed.
Final creek bed showing rocks for erosion control and creation of pools to facilitate fish movement upstream and as resting refuge. Weir 1 has been removed. Coco fiber netting filled with straw will help to stabilize stream banks, prevent erosion, and promote plant growth.
- All six weirs in Section 2 and 3 (north of Columbia Blvd) have been removed.
- In-stream log, rock and gravel substrate placement complete in Section 3, works ongoing in Section 2.
- Elevated riffle crest downstream of Haisla Blvd culvert.
- Fish salvage complete in Section 2 and 3 and ongoing in Section 1.
- Sidewalk replacement and closures in Sections 1 to begin mid-August and continue to September 30th. Signage will indicate alternative routes while the pathways are closed for replacement.
- New sitting benches and lighting in select areas.
- Placement of new permanent, educational signage of the Sumgas Creek environment
- Tree and shrub planting will begin in Section 3 and end in Section 1 commencing in mid-August and continuing through to October.
- Removal of two weirs south of Columbia Ave.
- In-stream log, rock and gravel substrate placement in Sections 1 and 2. Works currently underway in Section 2. Work to begin soon in Section 1.
- Elevated riffle crest downstream of Columbia Blvd culvert.
TREE CLEARING IS COMPLETE
Brush that remains will be cut by a crew with brush saws. A clean-up of debris and litter will occur in the coming weeks and into early May.
Chip piles have been spread along the banks of Sumgas Creek for erosion control purposes.
We anticipate that restoration project construction activities will commence in mid-May, occurring over a 10 to 12-week period with completion by the end of August. In this phase, the following will occur:
- Removal of stumps from the tree cutting phase
- Removal of cement weirs and fencing, to facilitate the passage of fish between the various reaches of Sumgas Creek that are currently blocked by elevational barriers
- Recontouring of Sumgas Creek banks to more natural forms
- Placement of logs and boulders in the streambed to create natural pools and riffles, enhancing fish habitat and fish abundance
- Replacement of public pathways, installation of new lighting, benches and educational signage
- Planting of native tree and brush species
- Construction of an access trail to allow for future dredging activities at the downstream end of the Sumgas Creek restoration project
During restoration project construction activities, an environmental monitor will be on site daily to monitor the area for any wildlife activity and advise on impacts mitigation. The monitor will oversee any necessary fish and amphibian salvage and relocation as portions of the stream are dewatered to allow for in-stream placement of logs and boulders and stream bank rehabilitation.
TREE CLEARING BEGINS
Some of the trees and vegetation will be cleared out along Sumgas Creek beginning in February. A portion of trees behind First Canada will be retained as no work will be done in that area. This clearing must happen prior to the bird nesting season to limit the impact to local nesting birds. Once the project is complete, there will be significant tree and vegetation replanting along the construction area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is happening to Sumgas Creek?
Sumgas Creek was altered in the 1950s, making it impassable to fish swimming upstream. There are currently 10 barriers between Haisla Blvd and Kuldo Blvd restricting fish passage. The Sumgas Creek Restoration Project will remove those barriers and return Sumgas Creek to a more natural state and allow fish to once again have upstream access. In addition, the project will include a number of improvements for public enjoyment, including pathway reconstruction, the addition of three benches, increased lighting and improved access for maintenance activities.
This is an LNG Canada project and therefore no tax dollars are being used to fund it.
What are you doing to ensure the safety of the community during construction?
Safety is LNG Canada’s top priority.
Extensive fencing and signage will protect and inform the public at all times during Sumgas Creek Restoration Project work. Some pathways will also be closed as work progresses; these closures will be clearly identified. We ask community members to respect all safety barriers and to keep a safe distance from the area during our restoration work. The chain link fence near Kildala Elementary will be replaced once the restoration work is completed.
Security staff will be on-site during each phase of the project and will be monitoring 24 hours a day during construction.
Will local wildlife be impacted?
All efforts will be made to minimize impacts to local wildlife. The Sumgas Creek Restoration Project team includes a professional biologist.
Beavers: The project team is aware of potential beaver activity and has plans in place to respond.
River otters: A biologist will be a part of the team and will look for denning sites and take appropriate action.
Birds: Tree clearing will take place in the creek areas where project work will take place. Riparian vegetation will be replanted, including spruce and cedar. Various brush species will be included; however, berry species will not be replanted as they are a known bear attractant.
Toads, Salamanders and Lizards: The project team will have amphibian salvage staff available to relocate various amphibians to nearby habitats while restoration work is underway. Once work is completed, the various species will be able to return into the habitat.
Will the public still be able to use the pathways?
During the restoration work, some of the pedestrian pathways will be closed at different times but we will make every effort to avoid disruptions. All closures will be indicated with clear signage detailing detours. The pedestrian bridge will remain in place along with the concrete walls and fence.
How will storm drainage and water runoff be managed?
Water volumes will not change as the restoration works will not alter catchment or drainage areas. The restoration design will ensure flow velocities are within acceptable limits. There will be no change to current downstream water levels.