Salmon stocks in the lower section of the Fraser River got a boost at the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) conference last week.

Blocked salmon habitat in the Lower Fraser gets a boost

More than 1,500 km of potential habitat on the Fraser is blocked by dikes, pumps or flood gates

Salmon stocks in the lower section of the Fraser River got a boost at the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) conference.

A resolution passed last week by 33 municipalities was aimed at improving fish habitat, recognizing that the Fraser is “home to more salmon runs than any other river in the world,” many of which are threatened by outdated flood infrastructure.

So when those outdated flood boxes, diking systems, and pumps get replaced eventually, it should be with fish-friendly equipment, proponents argued.

The resolution is calling on the province to take “ecological connectivity” and “aquatic ecosystem health” into consideration, by providing funding for fish-friendly infrastructure whenever aging or inadequate equipment needs upgrading.

Coun. Jason Lum, who just finished his term as LMLGA president, said he sees the infinite wisdom in this direction.

The fish-friendly resolution passed last week dovetails nicely with the decision to halt gravel removal on the Chilliwack-Vedder River, Lum said.

“We need to work in partnership with other levels of government, to take the environment and the wild fish stocks into consideration. It’s important to strike that balance of the natural habitat, against the importance of flood protection, and keeping people and infrastructure safe.”

Coun. Sam Waddington said with so many fish stocks spawning in the Chilliwack area, the community has a vested interest in seeing its dike infrastructure have multiple purposes.

“Obviously it has become very real as the flood water laps at our shore right now. But it’s not an either-or situation. You can have infrastructure that keeps the river outside the dike, and have the same infrastructure passible for fish, which will certainly help returning salmon stocks,” Waddington said.

It might mean changing things with a policy framework provincially that could involve retrofitting existing infrastructure to allow fish to enter the waterways.

Because of that vested interest, Chilliwack was integral in pushing to have this resolution come forward.

B.C. must take “a leadership role” on this file, according to a Watershed Watch rep.

“At this time of year, juvenile chinook and coho are looking for protected areas in the lower Fraser, rearing grounds where they can feed and grow before they head out to sea,” said Lina Azeez, a Watershed Watch Salmon Society campaigner, in a release.

Habitat is key when talking about rebuilding fish stocks.

“Upgrading to fish-friendly flood infrastructure will open up that habitat to migrating fish. It’s a win-win, for people and for salmon.”

“Washington State has their Floodplains By Design program, improving fish habitat by re-wilding waterways. We need to see B.C. take a leadership role in creating similar programs,” said Azeez.

The LMLGA resolution heads to the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) conference in September to be voted on by all B.C. municipalities.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Salmon stocks in the lower section of the Fraser River got a boost at the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) conference last week.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Call goes out for B.C. wildfire relief supplies

Chilliwack volunteers hope to load a 53-foot trailer with practical donations before heading into the firezone

UFV baseball coach returns to pro ranks

Jordan Lennerton, who also coaches at ‘The Yard’ in Chilliwack, played 1 game for the Quebec Capitales

Camp Ignite aims to inspire future first responders

Four-day camp offers young women a chance to experience the challenges of being a first responder

General aviation traffic down to a trickle at Chilliwack Airport

Minimum visibility guidelines can’t be met when conditions are so smoky you can’t see the mountains

At least 14 illegal fires set between Chilliwack and Hope this month

Conservation officers are fed up with people not listening to the province-wide fire ban

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Date rapist left victims with ‘long-lasting, emotional scars,’ judge says

Klifford Kenyon of Abbotsford sentenced to additional two years in prison

Fire in barn that housed therapy horses has been confirmed an arson

Abbotsford Police Department is now investigating and seeks witnesses

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Most Read