Water Quality Assurance during the Construction of ORRI Spawning Platforms in Penticton Channel.
Organization: Okanagan Nation Alliance
The overall goal of the ORRI restoration work was to regain some of the Okanagan River habitat quality and quantity that has been lost, returning channelized river portions back to more natural conditions. ORRI works involved relocating the dikes, lengthening the channel, re-establishing meanders and pool/riffle sequences, creating nature-like features, reconnecting historic floodplains and replanting riparian vegetation. The ORRI long term purpose is to improve water quality; to create self-sustainable, complex and diverse habitat for fish and wildlife; and to enhance the human relation with the river ecosystem.
Therefore, the project contributes to the re-establishment of Okanagan Sockeye Salmon stock which is currently rebuilding from a dramatic decline in the past decades.
This project has provided salmon spawning viewing opportunities from a hiking & cycling trail very popular among local residents and tourists. The project has increased public awareness of the fisheries issues occurring in the Okanagan Basin via public on-site tours and information signs prepared within this project. The project developed relationships and cooperation between First Nations, provincial and federal governments; and will serve as model for future restoration initiatives at the other drop structures present in the Okanagan Basin.