Fourth Level Assessment- Aquatic Habitat Rehabilitation Plan

Bank Stabilization

Pollett, near mouth 2014 (Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance)

The first bank stabilization project documented here on the Pollett River was done by the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance in 2014 near the confluence of the Pollett with the main stem of the Petitcodiac. It is the lower of the two projects shown near the mouth of the Pollett (Figure 19).  This project involved a significant volume of riprap 25 tons of large rock and another 100 tons of smaller rock (Figure 20), after which 100 Silver Maples and 4,000 live willow stakes were planted high on the bank above the rocks. 

Browsing by deer and competition with weeds killed most of the silver maple seedlings within the first year or so, while there was a poor rate of establishment by the willow live stakes perhaps due to issues with quality control during collection, and competition with weeds.  Large vehicle sized chunks of ice tend to get piled up on the site during the winter and stranded across the floodplain during winter storms. It is likely that in previous years scour from this ice played a role in scoring the bank and undermining the large trees present in the first place. Mechanical damage from this ice may also have taken a toll on the woody vegetation planted as a part of this project. However, the rock did its job, the bank remains stable, and the existing large silver maple (Figure 20) that was in danger of being washed out and collapsing into the river carrying much of the bank with it, is now instead helping to anchor and shade the site. While there is not the degree of newly planted robust woody vegetation additionally helping to bind the bank together as would have been ideal, over the years herbaceous vegetation has gradually become well established across the site.

Figure 20: 2014 site before (2013) and after (up to 2019)

After this bank stabilization project was carried out, on multiple occasions salmon redds have been detected below it (in both 2016 and 2019) at several sites approximately 100 m downstream.  These are the final 2 redd sites before the Pollett joins the Petitcodiac shown in Figure 7.