In 2021, DFO completed a primary culvert assessment (desktop review) to identify culverts in the North Thompson River watershed that could potentially affect salmonid species migration. These sites were reviewed and visited by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Secwepemc Fisheries Commission (SFC), and Estsék’ Environmental Services LLP’s (Estsék’) to confirm the presence of the culverts, evaluate site conditions, determine fish passability, and develop a list of sites posing barriers to upstream migrations. This list of sites was then analyzed to determine a refined list of potential sites for remediation, by weighting and comparing site conditions as described in Parker (2000).
In 2022, Estsék’ completed secondary assessments at these potential remediation sites, to determine prioritization of sites for consideration under the Aquatic Habitat Restoration Fund (AHRF) for 2023. As a result of the primary and secondary assessments, seven candidate sites were selected. Of the seven candidate sites, all presented a barrier for juvenile fish passage (Parker, 2000) either seasonally or annually. Due to late field visits during winter and/or frozen conditions, two sites (NT-229 and NT-383) were not fully assessed upstream or downstream of the crossing and require future assessment, therefore, require revisitation. As such, further discussion about NT-229 and NT-383 will be deferred to future reports and no further mention of these two crossings and streams will be made in this report. The remaining five candidate sites were assessed in late fall in snow-free conditions.