In 1996, the TRCD now known as IMWD initiated the Crawford Creek Project, one of its most significant to date. The innovative project included the purchase of the last intact alluvial fan along the Manitoba Escarpment. Over 678 acres of land was protected. Crawford Creek was restored back to its original channel. Previous to this in the early 1900's the creek was diverted into the Ochre River from its natural outlet to Lake Dauphin. The goal of the project was to reduce erosion and sedimentation in the Ochre River and rehabilitate critical fish spawning habitat within Crawford Creek. Today Crawford Creek sustains a thriving aquatic environment and provides a diverse habitat for numerous species of fish and wildlife.
What is an alluvial fan?
An alluvial fan is a fan-shaped deposit that is formed where a fast flowing stream eventually flattens, slows down, and then spreads out at the exit onto a flatter plain. As the stream gradient decreases, the slowing of flow allows coarse-grained solid material carried by the water to be dropped. This in turn will reduce the capacity of the chanel and will gradually build up into a shallow conical fan shape.
The Crawford Creek Alluvial Fan is the last intact alluvial fan along the Manitoba escarpment. As water comes off Riding Mountain along Crawford Creek, the alluvial fan slows the water down and spreads it out. This allows suspended material to drop and the water is filtered as it passes through miles of wetland. This site has a boardwalk and viewing tower where visitors can view this natural phenomenon.
Why protect the area?
The main benefit of protecting the alluvial fan, is its ability to improve water quality downstream after the infiltration process is complete. By protecting this area we can ensure that the habitat for both fish and wildlife species is optimal.