Skip to content

Burnaby begins work creating 'fish passable' culvert so they can survive

Guichon Creek has had several projects that aim to restore the wildlife habitat

Work by the City of Burnaby is now underway to replace the old Guichon Creek pipe culvert that runs under the Deer Lake Parkway so fish can actually pass through it.

That’s according to Burnaby resident Mark Angelo, a renowned Canadian conservationist, streamkeeper and founder of World Rivers Day who has cared for Burnaby water systems for decades.

The new culvert will have a natural bottom that will be fish passable.

“Re-establishing fish passage has always been a big push of ours – so this is certainly exciting to see and is another good step forward for the creek,” said Angelo. “To date, the needed prep work has been undertaken, invasive Japanese knotweed has been removed, and sediment control measures are being put in place … This is a major step forward for the creek. Urban streams often face barriers to the movement of fish, be they trout or salmon or other species and poorly designed culverts are often a major reason for this.”

Angelo said he’s been working to restore Guichon Creek, which runs through the North Burnaby campus of BCIT, where Angelo used to run the school’s wildlife management program.

“We’ve made great headway over the years in terms of restoring what was once a dead stream and bringing this creek back to life,” Angelo said. “Over time, we’ve worked on a number of sections, including the lower stretch north of Canada Way - as well as the middle section that runs through the eastern half of BCIT to where it reaches the Deer Lake Connector - and then the upper reaches west of Willingdon. After working to restore and clean up the creek, we then got to a point where we were able to re-establish a significant trout population throughout the creek, while also re-establishing a significant chum salmon run in the lower creek. That success also highlighted the importance of restoring stream connectivity so that fish of all species could move freely up and down the creek, something that we had long wanted to achieve.” 

In 2020, a group of BCIT students built a new wetland area for wildlife of all types near Guichon creek. The newly-built wetland is on the south end of the Burnaby campus of BCIT, near Guichon Creek. It was constructed by students as part of a three-day field course.