Streams play very important roles and should receive more emphasis, but sometimes shaded by the caliber of bigger rivers. They provide shelter, feeding grounds, resting areas to several fish species, and places to lay their eggs. Streams primordially belong to the water cycle since they start from fresh water sources and encompass several places that feed reserves that warrant the continuity of the cycle. In their natural or well-managed states, they are veins of freshwater that nourish and cool rivers, contributing to the reduction of undesirable algae, improving habitats for fish and other aquatic species. In addition, they help maintaining water courses in healthy states, as well as contributing favorably to their aesthetic.
Since vegetation helps to keep stream banks stable, reduces erosion and loss of land, it is recommended to keep a vegetative strip (buffer strip) measuring at least 30-meters along the banks. The vegetation also acts as a speed bump to slow down the flow of surface water runoff during heavy rains and during snow melt events. The decrease of the water flow into the streams increases the water absorption into the ground, allowing regular water flows and reducing levels of nutrients and sedimentation. Remember that a healthy stream results in healthy fish habitat.
We can all do our part by adopting best environmental practices such as: protecting the vegetation along streams, use of native shrubs and other bio-engineering methods to control erosion. As well as avoid the use of machinery in streams, discard of chemicals and waste into the streams and being part of a watershed group. The protection and enhancement of riparian strips will ensure that aquatic habitats remain healthy for all of us today and for future generations. May our future generation enjoy beautiful days of trout fishing and profitable returns for the eel fishermen!
The non-profit group, Friends (s) of the Kouchibouguacis, has a mission to promote the protection and sustainable use of the Kouchibouguacis River watershed (also known as the French River and Rivière St-Louis). This group is committed to a project aiming the development of monitoring, stewardship and education activities, demonstrating the importance of streams and aquatic habitat. This project is part of the National Conservation Plan and financially supported by the Government of Canada. This project is considered a success thanks to the participation of the Mgr. Marcel François Richard (Saint-Louis-de-Kent) students. The Friends of the Kouchibouguacis want to emphasize that the interest and involvement demonstrated by the students was greatly appreciated! This program is a good investment towards the youth of our region and the health of our environment! If you want more information please contact The Friends of the Kouchibouguacis at 506-876-3474 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.