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Restoration to begin on Penticton Creek

Castanet, Deborah Pfeiffer June 2013

Restoring a creek that has seen better days has moved closer to becoming a reality in Penticton. The city has received grant approval from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation in the amount of $63,680 to  begin planning for the rehabilitation of Penticton Creek. The creek runs through the core of the city and is the third largest tributary of Okanagan Lake.

“This is a very exciting initiative, a project needed in the city for some long time,” said acting mayor Garry Litke, at the Tuesday council meeting where the matter was discussed. The creek was channelized in 1950 in response to a major flooding event in 1942. That had a devastating effect on the fish habitat, with major reductions in fisheries values for the creek, in particular kokanee spawning processes.

In addition, the channel is now more than 60 years old and showing signs of decay, such as holes and cracks in the concrete lining and large portions of the lining missing altogether. The restoration will focus on improving kokanee and rainbow trout habitat, with the goal of increasing fish production in Okanagan Lake. Given the large scope of the project, the initiative’s first year will focus on restoration design and finalizing an implementation strategy under the guidance of a committee. All designs will be guided by current and projected flood control requirements.