Penticton and Ellis Creeks are not only spawning grounds for rainbow trout and Kokanee salmon, they play an important role involving flood protection. The natural habitat and flood protection features of the creeks have deteriorated over time and both are in need of restoration. In 2015, the City created a committee to support this important work. This page outlines work underway on both creeks.
For information about work underway on Penticton Creek, visit our Restore Penticton Creek page.
In the 1950s, the Penticton Creek was ‘channelized’ in response to flooding that devastated Penticton’s downtown. While the concrete channel helped with flood management, native fish species struggled with the loss of natural creek habitat and populations dropped. Over time, the concrete channel deteriorated. In 2012, the community identified the restoration of the creek as a priority for the Downtown Plan and in 2018, Council approved a plan to restore the creek in several phases over many years at an estimated cost of $30 million. Two sections of the creek have already been restored between Ellis Street and Nanaimo Avenue.
Ellis Creek flows through Penticton on the east side of the Okanagan Valley. It is a regulated creek meaning its flow is controlled by the Ellis Creek Dam. The flow of the creek beyond the dam has been altered by a number of dam breaches and floods, as well as the construction of a diversion dam. The creek channel has also narrowed significantly in some sections with new developments. These changes have increased the risk of flooding along the creek.