Miscellaneous Works


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You have selected this document because your project involves one or more activities classified as Miscellaneous Works in or about a stream. Miscellaneous Works include:

  • flow or water level measuring device construction, maintenance or removal;
  • fish fence, screen or fish/game guard construction or removal;
  • fence installation repair or maintenance near a watercourse; and/or,
  • temporary ford construction or removal.
When planning your project develop designs and select locations to minimize potential impacts to fish and fish habitat. If your works are outside the scope of this Guidebook then a MOE Approval application must be completed and DFO contacted to determine if a review and/or Authorization under the Fisheries Act is appropriate.

How to proceed with your Miscellaneous Works Project

The following steps will help guide you through the provincial and federal Notification, Approval and/or Authorization process for Miscellaneous Works:

Does your project involve Water Measuring Devices, Fish Screens, Fish Fences, Fish/Game Guards or Fences in or about a stream?
Proceed to Introduction to reselect project appropriate activity
or
Contact your local MOE and/or DFO representative for assistance.
Have you considered all applicable Legislation, Regulations and Policies?
Proceed to Introduction for further details on Legislation, Regulations, Policies, Avoidance of HADD under the Fisheries Act and applicable Region Operational Statement(s)
Does your project meet all of the Water Act Standard Conditions (see Step 3 Addendum)?
Proceed to BMP Section of this document and apply relevant BMPs and Conditions to help your project adhere to the required Standards and Conditions.
Proceed to BMP Section of this document and apply relevant BMPs and Conditions to help your project adhere to the required Standards and Conditions.
Proceed to BMP Section of this document and apply relevant BMPs and Conditions to help your project adhere to the required Standards and Conditions.
Proceed to BMP Section of this document and apply relevant BMPs and Conditions to help your project adhere to the required Standards and Conditions.
No DFO Notification or Authorization Required
Submit MOE Notification
No MOE/DFO Notification, Approval or Authorization Required

Temporary Ford Construction

i. construct temporary fords at the time in the year during which the construction can occur without causing Harmful Alteration, Disruption or Destruction (HADD) of fish habitat, harm fish or wildlife and wildlife habitat;
ii. design fords to accommodate the 1 in 10 year maximum daily flow without the loss of the ford or scouring the stream;
iii. design stream culverts, if used, to pass the average low flow during the period of use (see Culverts section for further information);
iv. protect the channel against any anticipated erosion:
  1. during the period of construction and use of the ford; and,
  2. after the ford crossing is removed;
v. ensure sediment from approach ditches do not enter the stream;
vi. ensure drivable running surfaces are erosion-free;
vii. ensure the stream remains in its channel;
viii. design the ford to enable channel debris to pass; and,
ix. ensure the ford is removed at the end of the period of use at a time, before the next freshet and at a period when removal can proceed without causing Harmful Alteration, Disruption or Destruction (HADD) to fish habitat or harm wildlife and habitat.

Best Management Practices

The following Best Management Practices (BMPs) are methods, that if followed, will help ensure your project minimizes potential impacts to fish and fish habitat and will provide a standard level of protection to the aquatic and terrestrial environment potentially affected by your project.

It is the responsibility of the proponent/developer to ensure that they are in compliance with all applicable legislation. There are three (3) types of BMPs you should consider:

  1. General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations applicable to any project;
  2. Miscellaneous Works specific BMPs (below); and,
  3. Supportive information applicable to project design, implementation and Miscellaneous Works techniques.

General Project BMPs and Standard Project Considerations

Please proceed to the General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations section to review considerations applicable to your project.

Miscellaneous Works Specific BMPs

To achieve the required Standards and objectives that your activity must meet, apply the following BMPs as applicable to your works. To reduce impacts on fish and wildlife habitats and populations, your Miscellaneous Works activities must consider:

A. Flow or Water Measuring Device Construction, Maintenance or Removal

Design

MSC01 ensure General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations have been consulted and appropriately applied prior to, during and after commencement of work;
MSC02 vegetation removal, if required, should be minimized and must adhere to Regional Timing Windows to prevent disruption of fish and wildlife habitat;
MSC03 ensure measuring devices are design by a qualified hydraulic engineer;
MSC04 locate measuring devices such that:
  1. accurate water level reading are obtainable at all stages;
  2. control areas, whether natural or artificial, are stable;
  3. discharge can be measured accurately at all stages;
  4. access to the site is maintained during the operational season;
  5. associated structures are sound and able to withstand being overtopped;
  6. banks and flow are uniform;
  7. banks have a straight alignment;
  8. devices measure a single channel;
  9. channel banks are not undercut;
  10. channel obstructions are minimal;
  11. water turbulence is minimal;
  12. tributaries are not present between gauge and metering sites;
  13. swamps downstream or in vicinity of gauge do not exist; and,
  14. bank integrity is maintained and erosion is avoided.

Operational

MSC05 inspect erosion and sediment control measures regularly to ensure proper function and make all necessary repairs if any damage occurs;
MSC06 operate machinery, if required, outside of the stream channel to avoid disturbance to the banks of the watercourse;
MSC07 use inert or untreated materials (e.g. fir, cedar, hemlock) as supports for structures that are to be submerged in water. Treated lumber must not be used as it may contain compounds that are deleterious to the aquatic environment;
MSC08 install fish screens, if required, to ensure fish to not become entrained through intake pipes (see the Fish Screen section in this document for further information);
MSC09 isolate work areas, if required, from all flowing water in a manner that does not cut off flow to downstream portions of the stream at any time during construction (see General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations: Temporary Diversion section for further information);
MSC10 use non-toxic oil, if required, for device maintenance during winter operation;
MSC11 construct weir structures, if required, by sealing the streambed from seepage under the structure with a watertight membrane (plastic sheet or geotextile) on the streambed upstream of the structure;
MSC12 construct wing walls to allow weirs, if required, to maintain minimum pool elevation, ensure the structure is watertight and remains intact in the event of over-topping;

Post Works Mitigation

MSC13 maintain effective erosion and sediment control measures until complete re-vegetation of disturbed areas is achieved;
MSC14 inspect measuring device structures frequently and undertake minor repairs or modifications immediately;

B. Fish Fence, Fish Screens or Fish or Game Guards Construction or Removal

Fish Fence

Design

MSC15 ensure General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations have been consulted and appropriately applied prior to, during and after commencement of work;
MSC16 consult Regional Timing Windows before construction of fish fences;
MSC17 avoid building any structures on meander bends, braided streams, alluvial fans, active floodplains or any other area that is inherently unstable and may result in erosion and scouring of any structures;
MSC18 avoid building on fish spawning habitat or riffle areas where watercourse processes may result in erosion of the substrates or banks;

Operational

MSC19 retain existing instream and riparian vegetation and other features, including trees, bushes, shrubs, weeds or tall grasses along any stream bank, mats of floating vegetation, overhanging vegetation, natural large woody debris and large boulders;
MSC20 isolate your work area, if required, from all flowing water in a manner that does not cut off flow to downstream portions of the stream at any time during construction (see General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations: Temporary Diversion section for further information);
MSC21 if dewatering of the site is required, an Environmental Monitor holding all necessary permits required by fisheries agencies to collect and transport fish, should be on hand to make the final decision regarding the need for a fish salvage program. If a fish salvage is necessary, recovered fish must be relocated to a safe area outside of the influence of the worksite and transport containers must not be overloaded with fish (see General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations: Salvage of Fish and/or Wildlife section for further information);
MSC22 use appropriate netting and fencing mesh sizes for fish capture and holding to minimize fish impingement and gill entrapment;

Post Works Mitigation

MSC23 check and clean instream traps, fences and holding pens frequently, particularly during inclement weather to maintain the working condition of the enumeration structure;
MSC24 maintain effective erosion and sediment control measures until complete re-vegetation of disturbed areas is achieved;
MSC25 inspect fish fence structures frequently and undertake minor repairs or modifications immediately;

Fish Screen

Design

MSC26 ensure General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations have been consulted and appropriately applied prior to commencement of work;
MSC27 consult Regional Timing Windows before construction of fish screens;
MSC28 select screen mesh sizes according to the size and species of fish that the screen is to exclude (see Freshwater Intake End-of-Pipe Fish Screen Guideline (PDF 2.93MB) for further information)
MSC29 design screens to avoid accumulation of debris or to be self cleaning;
MSC30 design screening systems to prevent impingement of small fish against the screen;
MSC31 select screen materials that are free on protrusions, non-corrosive and UV light resistant;
MSC32 use inert or untreated materials (e.g. fir, cedar, hemlock) as supports for structures that are to be submerged in water. Treated lumber must not be used as it may contain compounds that are deleterious and can be released into the water and become toxic to the aquatic environment;
MSC33 locate screens in areas and depths of water with low concentrations of fish throughout the year, no natural or man-made structures that may attract fish that are migrating, spawning or in rearing habitat and at least 30 cm above the bottom of the watercourse to prevent entrainment of sediment and aquatic organisms;

Operational

MSC34 operate machinery on land in a manner that minimizes disturbance to the banks or watercourse bottom;
MSC35 install trash racks upstream of the point of withdrawal to prevent damage from large debris;
MSC36 reduce the incidence of impingement and migration delays of fish by constructing a bypass channel to provide a passage route around the fish screen and back to the main water channel;
MSC37 avoid impingement through the screen by ensuring water velocity do not exceed 0.03 m/s through fixed screens and 0.12 m/s through moving screens;
MSC38 orient screen faces in the same direction as the flow;
MSC39 provide structural support to the screen panels to prevent sagging and collapse of screens;
MSC40 install a manifold on large cylindrical and box screens to ensure even water velocity distribution across the screen surface;
MSC41 cut, seal and stain (non-toxic) all materials outside the riparian area and ensure it is completely dry before used near water;
MSC42 remove fish screen structures by hand, where feasible;
MSC43 remove any old structures to a suitable upland disposal site to avoid waste material from re-entering the watercourse;
MSC44 remove existing structures in a manner that prevents foreshore disturbance and/or sediment generation to the watercourse;

Post Works Mitigation

MSC45 ensure screens with fine mesh (<2.54mm) openings are maintained regularly to decrease fouling with filamentous algae;
MSC46 ensure pumps are shut down when removing screens for inspection or cleaning;
MSC47 maintain effective erosion and sediment control measures until complete re-vegetation of disturbed areas is achieved;

Fish or Game Guards

Design

MSC48 ensure General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations have been consulted and appropriately applied prior to commencement of work;
MSC49 consult Regional Timing Windows before construction of fish or game guards;
MSC50 avoid building any structures on meander bends, braided streams, alluvial fans, active floodplains or any other area that is inherently unstable and may result in erosion and scouring of any structures;
MSC51 use inert or untreated materials (e.g. fir, cedar, hemlock) as supports for structures that are to be submerged in water. Treated lumber must not be used as it may contain compounds that are deleterious and can be released into the water and become toxic to the aquatic environment;
MSC52 design water access, if required, on a straight wide section of the watercourse where banks are stable and have gentle slopes;

Operational

MSC53 operate machinery on land in a manner that minimizes disturbance to the banks or watercourse bottom;
MSC54 construct fence structures that are parallel to the watercourse back from the stream bank to allow free growth of riparian vegetation;
MSC55 construct sections of fence that cross the stream to ensure the lowest fence wire will be above the high water mark (HWM);
MSC56 install an adjustable swinging gate if the fence crosses a watercourse with large water level fluctuations;
MSC57 install and remove fence structures by hand, where possible;
MSC58 remove any old structures to a suitable upland disposal site to avoid waste material from re-entering the watercourse;
MSC59 remove existing structures in a manner that prevents foreshore disturbance and/or sediment generation to the watercourse;

Post Works Mitigation

MSC60 maintain effective erosion and sediment control measures until complete re-vegetation of disturbed areas is achieved;
MSC61 inspect fence structures frequently and undertake minor repairs or modifications immediately to ensure access restriction to game is maintained;

C. Fences Outside of the Watercourse

Design

MSC62 ensure General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations have been consulted and appropriately applied prior to commencement of work;
MSC63 consult Regional Timing Windows before construction of fences;
MSC64 avoid building any structures on meander bends, braided streams, alluvial fans, active floodplains or any other area that is inherently unstable and may result in erosion and scouring of any structures;
MSC65 use inert or untreated materials (e.g. fir, cedar, hemlock) as supports for structures that are to be submerged in water. Treated lumber must not be used as it may contain compounds that are deleterious and can be released into the water and become toxic to the aquatic environment;
MSC66 design fences with adequate strands based on anticipated pressures applied on the fence;

Operational

MSC67 operate machinery on land in a manner that minimizes disturbance to the banks or watercourse bottom;
MSC68 construct fence structures that are parallel to the watercourse back from the stream bank to allow free growth of riparian vegetation;
MSC69 install and remove fence structures by hand, where possible;
MSC70 remove any old structures to a suitable upland disposal site to avoid waste material from re-entering the watercourse;
MSC71 remove existing structures in a manner that prevents foreshore disturbance and/or sediment generation to the watercourse;

Post Works Mitigation

MSC72 maintain effective erosion and sediment control measures until complete re-vegetation of disturbed areas is achieved;
MSC73 inspect fence structures frequently and undertake minor repairs or modifications immediately to ensure access restriction is maintained;

D. Temporary Ford Construction and Removal

Design

MSC74 ensure General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations have been consulted and appropriately applied prior to commencement of work;
MSC75 when constructing temporary fords follow Regional Timing Windows;
MSC76 utilize existing crossings wherever possible to reduce the number of temporary fords;
MSC77 locate crossings at straight sections of the stream with low gradient banks;
MSC78 select ford sites with natural bedrock or coarse rock channel bottoms;
MSC79 avoid crossings on meander bends, braided streams, alluvial fans or any other area that is inherently unstable and may result in the erosion and scouring of the stream bed;
MSC80 size temporary fords to accommodated flows expected during the period of use and provide for fish passage where required;
MSC81 avoid locations directly upstream of wetlands and sensitive fish rearing and spawning areas;
MSC82 ensure an erosion and sediment control plan is developed by a Qualified Professional and implemented prior to site preparation and construction;
MSC83 design the ford approaches at right angles to the watercourse;
MSC84 ensure fords are limited to one location and one crossing (over and back) for each piece of equipment required for construction on the opposite side;
MSC85 consider alternatives to a ford if crossings would be subjected to extensive and/or year round use;
MSC86 ensure fording sites do not contain gravel bars or deep channel sections requiring the manipulation or excavation of channel material;
MSC87 select a site with early stage forest or shrub and grass riparian vegetation and avoid thick riparian canopies and mature growth;

Operational

MSC88 ensure the bottom and banks of the watercourse at the fording site are stable and non-erodible;
MSC89 install temporary bridge structures if watercourse bed and banks are steep and highly erodible;
MSC90 construct the ford to a maximum width of 1.5 times the width of the equipment crossing the structure;
MSC91 utilize stream bank and bed protection methods if rutting is likely to occur, provided it does not constrict flow or block fish passage;
MSC92 ensure chemical sprayers, equipment carrying chemicals or other deleterious materials do not use the ford;
MSC93 ensure nothing is skidded or dragged across the ford;
MSC94 ensure ford approaches are protected from erosion (e.g. covered with geotextile mats, use drainage swales to prevent surface runoff from entering the stream, etc) to prevent Harmful Alteration, Disruption or Destruction (HADD) to the watercourse;

Post Work Mitigation

MSC95 remove any materials used to accommodate temporary fording activities by hand, where possible; and,
MSC96 maintain effective erosion and sediment control measures until complete re-vegetation of disturbed areas is achieved.

Supportive Information

The following sources provide you with additional planning, design, implementation and review advice for a variety of project-specific activities. Please follow the appropriate links to obtain further information on your project specific activity.

General Considerations

Develop with Care: Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural Land Development in British Columbia, B.C. Ministry of Environment (PDF 842KB) Land Development Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Habitat (Section 5 and 6), DFO (PDF 2.8MB) A Guideline to Prepare Best Management Practices to Streamline DFO's Approval Process (PDF 765KB)

Flow or Water Measurement Device Techniques

Manual of Standard Operating Procedures for Hydrometric Surveys in British Columbia, MOE Measuring Water Flow along Streams, From Pipes and From Nozzles, Water Supply Factsheet, MAL

Fish Fence Techniques

Model Class Screening Report for Routine Fish Habitat Restoration Enhancement Projects in BC & the Yukon, DFO (PDF 3.76MB)

Fish Screen Techniques

Best Management Practices for Installation and Maintenance of Water Line Intakes, MOE Okanagan Region (PDF 82KB) Freshwater Intake End-of-Pipe Fish Screen Guideline, DFO (PDF 2.93MB) Fish Habitat Enhancement: a Manual for Freshwater, Estuarine, and Marine Habitats (Chapter 16), DFO (PDF 3.99MB)

Fencing Techniques

Streamkeepers Handbook Module 8: Streamside Fencing, Pacific Streamkeepers Foundation (PDF 489KB) Forest Practices Branch Range Manual, MOFR Fencing Factsheet: BC Agricultural Fencing Handbook, MAL Livestock Watering Factsheet: Why Keep Livestock out of Watercourses?, MAL Riparian Factsheet: Riparian Pasture Design (PDF 303KB)

Temporary Ford

Fish Stream Crossing Guidebook, Forest Practice Code, BC Ministry of Forests (PDF 2.34MB) Guide to the Code of Practice for Watercourse Crossings, Alberta (PDF 152KB)
Where to start?

If you are unfamiliar with Instream Works, please use the interactive Introductory flowchart to help guide you through the process.

Glossary

Important words, denoted byby blue underlined text are defined in the glossary.

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More information...

See the Supportive Information section at the end of this document for links to other websites and documents.