Millennium Creek Project

This year marks the tenth year since the final phase of the Millennium Creek Project was completed in its entirety. The restoration program covered a three year phase starting in 2005 and reaching completion in 2008. The next phase was the construction of a spawning channel at a very key location on the system. The main ground water spring’s source, is where the channel was constructed in 2010.

The start of the new year, also stands out, as the eleventh year of a successful incubation and the hatch of brook trout eggs on the spawning channel. This is one of the most gratifying results from our efforts to restore the creek. Plenty of new generations of trout have resulted from a successful restoration program, and more are to come in the future.

A young of the year, Millennium Creek brook trout, after a month of growth in the Creek.

The Spawning Channel

An important addition to the overall restoration program on Millennium Creek, was the constructed spawning channel. This final phase of the creeks restoration was a very productive one for the streams fishery. The channel provides over 80 percent of the creeks reproduction of new generations of trout, by spawning. The ground water spring that feeds the channel, is warmer in the winter and colder in the heat of the summer. Perfect for brook trout and their reproduction.

This is what the spring looked like, before we constructed the spawning channel. You can see it is a rather shallow trickle of water over the gravel.
This is the spawning channels upper reach, just after the construction was completed. The photo was taken from the same position as the before photo, second above.
This is a photo of the lower end of the channel, where it enters a pond.
You can see two brook trout in the spawning channel. They are busy spawning.
This photo shows a pair of brook trout actively spawning in the channels ideal gravel size.
This is the spawning records chart from 2008, just after the restoration project was completed, up to 2018 spawning season. The 2019 season topped out at 18 brook trout redds or egg nests.

The Main Millennium Creek Restoration Program

The four year restoration program on the main-stem of Millennium Creek was a considerable task, with the creation of a new stream channel the most challenging part of the first efforts. Once the new channel was cut, the fish habitat enhancement work could begin. Deflectors, cover habitats and pool habitats were used to make the new stream channel more trout friendly. Spawning habitats were also included, to be available just in case the trout decided to spawn in the new creek.

The pool habitats were constructed, using a log v-weir design that Bow Valley Habitat Development had used in the past, with success. These pools would be utilized by wintering trout of all sizes. Mostly juveniles would be the primary occupants. The low gradient of the stream made a self cleaning pool habitat an engineering challenge, but due to the efficiency of both rock and log v-weir, these were the only options.

This is one of the Millennium Creek pool habitats, constructed 14 years earlier. Note the pool has maintained its depth for all of these years.
Another pool habitat on Millennium Creek.
The willows around the pools were planted.

The Millennium Creek may be a small spring fed, feeder creek to the Bighill Creek, but its importance to the fishery of the Bighill Creek is substantial. Bow Valley Habitat Development will continue to monitor the stream into the future.

The videos of The Millennium Creek Project.

Above: This is the first phase – part one.

Above: This is the Second Part of the program.

Above: This is the final – third part.

All of the necessary permits and authorizations were obtained for the Millennium Creek Project, by Bow Valley Habitat Development.