I’m passionate about Chilliwack/Vedder River salmon, especially wild steelhead, coho and char. The fact this system continues to produce wild fish being but an hour from almost two million people is amazing. One reason the C V is still productive and may actually have increasing populations of char, wild steelhead, coho, rainbow trout, and possibly whitefish is the fact nutrients have been added to the upper reaches and selected tributaries to replace the chemical value of carcasses from spawned salmon that historically were more numerous.
Looking like garden fertilizer, these slow release nutrients increase periphyton, the food base of invertebrate (meaning fish food) populations.
The group that ran this science-based program is the British Columbia Conservation Foundation. Their funding was government based with financial and in-house contributions from local advocacy groups like the Chilliwack Fish and Game Protective Association, Fraser Valley Salmon Society and the Chilliwack River Action Committee.
Due to a lack of funding, the BCCF can no longer administer this program or for similar programs on other local rivers.
The annual cost on the C/V, the largest and most expensive to service is well under 10 thousand dollars, so consider this: thousands of anglers fish the C/V annually and each pays up to $20 above their basic licence fee for their steelhead and salmon tags; then add in the economic benefits to local Chilliwack business’s who I’m sure all pay taxes, and you begin to see how short-sighted this loss is.
My hope is that some enlightened person from an industry that does well financially from the resource of the Chilliwack/Vedder wild fishery that benefits many businesses in the City of Chilliwack, reads this and decides to champion a “no-brainer’ for producing fish and because money is involved, understands this opportunity for some awesome public relations.
Dave Barnes, Sardis