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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Salmon spawn in P.E.I. creek after province solves erosion problem

CHARLOTTETOWN - Salmon are spawning again in a waterway in central Prince Edward Island after the provincial government closed a clay road that was eroding into a creek.

The provincial government says run-off from Cape Breton Road into Clark's Creek in Queens County produced sediment that is harmful to fish and their habitat.

But since the road was closed in December 2011 to build collection ponds and divert the water, plants have grown on the road surface and reduced the chances of erosion.

The province says that has also led to salmon spawning downstream in the area for the first time since 2008.

It also caused the province to permanently close a 715-metre portion of the road to help Clark's Creek, which is a tributary of the Pisquid River.

The province says there are no homes on the section of the road that was permanently closed in February, but local landowners can still use it to get to their properties.

Transportation Minister Robert Vessey said the government had been trying to find a solution to the problem caused by the muddy sediment that was flowing into Clark's Creek and covering salmon spawning beds.

"Closing a portion of the road proved to be the right environmental choice and the permanent solution we were looking for," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The project could not have succeeded without the co-operation and patience of the neighbouring landowners. This has been a good example of government and residents working together on a solution that ultimately benefits all Islanders."

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