City engineer Ian Chapman during a media tour of the Penticton Creek project in 2015.

City engineer Ian Chapman during a media tour of the Penticton Creek project in 2015.

Penticton Creek restoration project celebrates first anniversary

Kokanee have returned to spawn in Penticton Creek, and that means it’s time for a celebration.

Kokanee have returned to spawn in Penticton Creek, and that means it’s time for a celebration.

“We are surprised to see how many are in the showcase section and how they are using that habitat,” said Bryn White, chair of the Penticton Creek Restoration Committee.

“All the pools, rocks, places for them to hide and rest … is definitely working.”

(read more: Creek undergoes rehabilitation)

After disastrous floods in 1942 and 1948, large portions of the creek were concreted over to speed up the flow and reduce the chance of flooding by channelling the river. Six decades later, that concrete was decaying and breaking up, and in 2013, studies began on how to repair the damage.

The new design, which covers an 80-metre section of the creek is shaped to concentrate the flow to the middle of the channel, ensuring that even at low levels, it will remain deep enough for spawning fish to travel, while larger boulders create resting pools.

The Penticton Creek Restoration Anniversary celebration takes place Sept. 24 with a display in the Community Market (200 block). At 10:30 a.m. the habitat restoration team will lead a walk and talk tour over to the creek to see the Kokanee spawning run.

The master plan for restoring the rest of the creek is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.