Historical logging throughout the watershed and valley floor in the 1940’s and 1950’s caused significant impacts to the Zeballos River watershed. The logged and unstable slopes increased the frequency of rock slides and erosion increased the amount of rock entering the river to the point that Zeballos River ‘filled in’ becoming wider and shallower.
The elevated streambed has led to an increased frequency the river flooding over its banks and flooding the Forestry Service Roads nearby. In 2010 the communities of Zeballos, Ehattesaht, Nuchatlaht and Fair Harbour were cut off for approximately 10 days due to road damage caused by flooding of the FSR.
In response, the Provincial Government raised the elevation of the road, which required a large supply of gravel material. This presented an opportunity to excavate a low elevation area near the river for gravel, while at the same time creating a pond and stream channel for fish habitat.
Students from Zeballos Elementary Secondary School participated in the planting of trees and shrubs around the newly constructed habitat as a way of learning about the connection between riparian area vegetation and fish. Using the NCompas Photo Station Monitoring app, students visited the site over time to build up a series of pictures showing how the pond was going through ecological succession.