Replacing old (left) culverts with new (right) ones is one of the projects going on at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.

Ducks Unlimted upgrading water control infrastructure at Creston Valley wildlife area

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Water control infrastructure upgrades are in full swing at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.

Ducks Unlimited Canada is investing in upgrading and fixing several water control structures (culverts) and repairing some of the dikes. The work is progressing nicely and is expected to be completed sometime in November.

This work is necessary to ensure the long-term management of this important wetland. The system of dikes and culverts allows the CVWMA to manage the water levels and therefore the wetland habitat. Many of these structures are aging and in need of repair. Thanks to DUC, multiple projects are being done this fall, which does mean some inconvenience to people wanting to use sections of the dikes, but the CVWMA hopes people understand and have patience — things should be back to normal sometime in November.

Areas with construction taking place include the Corn Creek Marsh, located near the Wildlife Interpretation Centre, and the Leach Lake unit, located north of the centre and accessed through the Summit Creek Recreation Area.

Some of the dikes are having the “rodent runs”, made by muskrats and otters, repaired. The holes created by these runs have weakened the dikes over the years. Excavators are digging trenches two metrers deep and 1.5 meters wide, and then repacking the dirt to cut off the tunnels that run from one side to the other. Please use caution if you come across these areas while work is in progress. With the coming rains, these areas are also going to be muddy and slippery until a layer of gravel is added in the spring (settling has to occur before the top layer of gravel is added).

Most dikes will remain open to the public for the duration of the work, but there will be temporary closures to allow the work to be conducted safely. Large machinery and truck traffic will be on the dikes near the construction zones in Corn Creek and Leach Lake. Areas of closure will be of short durations and marked with signage. Pedestrian access will be limited in these areas, so please obey the signs and do not venture into the construction zones.

The CVWMA appreciate everyone’s patience during this upgrade process. It is an investment in the continued future of the CVWMA.

—CRESTON VALLEY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY