Snuneymuxw First Nation
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Nanaimo River Gravel Bar Channel Restoration Project

The Nanaimo River Gravel Bar Channel Restoration Project is almost complete. 

Snuneymuxw Marine Division has partnered with The Nature’s Trust and Fisheries and Oceans to:

1. Improve the access to the salmon returning to the spawning grounds in the Nanaimo River

2. Provide a safer and healthier route for the smolts to access the Salish Sea.


Fish travel up the river to spawn, and smolts (young fish) go down the river into the ocean.

In addition to fish, rivers also carry a lot of materials like rocks, gravel and sand. As these materials get closer to the ocean they settle and can block fish access to the upper parts of the river. Urban development has changed the way these materials flow and settle, increasing materials in the estuary.

By digging the 43 ft wide trench and dredging 52 ft at the north end, we are removing the deposited material, giving fish new access back up into the river system. The trench allows for more fish to reach their spawning grounds, giving themselves a better chance at spawning new life. It also deepens the water, helping to prevent fish from being eaten by predators while swimming through waters that are too shallow.