Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society members Gordon Davidson

Cowichan River signage wraps up 5-year effort

Motorists passing through Lake Cowichan this week may notice two new additions to the car bridge

Motorists passing through Lake Cowichan this week may notice two new additions to the car bridge just past Central Park.

On Saturday, the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society installed signs at both ends of the bridge, recognizing the Cowichan River as a sensitive trout and salmon habitat, and as a heritage river. The signs, which feature the now iconic symbol of a yellow fish, will be familiar to many; there are similar signs posted at creeks and river crossings throughout the Cowichan Lake area.

CLRSS has been installing these signs since 2011. The initiative started with Bill Gibson, George de Lure and the late Gerald Thom who received funding from the Pacific Salmon Foundation for this work. Over the years funds have also been contributed by the Town of Lake Cowichan, the CVRD and the CLRSS itself. TimberWest has also been a helpful supporter of the society’s work through its contributions to the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

There are now close to 50 signs around the lake featuring creek names with the “trout and salmon habitat” designation and the yellow fish graphic.

“It’s really important because it [creates] public awareness,” said Gibson. “I don’t think most people realize the importance of fisheries to this area. And in fact, there’s over 80 named creeks feeding Cowichan Lake that have fish in them.”

Gibson said they hope that with these latest two signs, which are larger than the standard ones elsewhere at the lake, people will appreciate the Cowichan River and its status as one of only three official heritage rivers in British Columbia. (The other two being the Fraser and the Kicking Horse.)

“We want to stress that this is a heritage river,” said Gibson. “It doesn’t get much attention for that.”

The Cowichan River in Lake Cowichan is the last main crossing that CLRSS is marking. These signs going up cap off the five-year signage project the society has been engaged in.

CLRSS chairman Gordon Davidson said most tourists passing through town are unaware of the significance the Cowichan River or its heritage status.

“Tourists that drive through this town… have no idea what they’re driving over,” he said. “So we thought that should be acknowledged.”

He said they hope that this increased awareness, especially among tourists going tubing on the river, will mean less garbage gets dumped in or near the waterway. Fostering a respect for the river is one of CLRSS’s chief mandates, he added.

While the society’s bigger public activities, such as riparian tours and river clean-ups, take place during the spring and summer, CLRSS continues to be busy throughout the fall and winter.

Society members now focus on report-writing, funding applications and continuing to educate property owners on riparian rules and regulations.

Sign upkeep is also an important task that keeps members busy in the off season.

“We go around and trim vegetation so you can see [the signs], otherwise Mother Nature takes over,” said de Lure

Just Posted

Duncan Christian hosts VIU and Camosun for preseason volleyball

Men’s teams play Sept. 26, women’s team play Oct. 2

Subdivision proposal raises densification questions in Maple Bay neighbourhood

North Cowichan’s council votes 4-3 to allow project on Westlock Road

Editorial: Crofton development’s affordable housing component promising

Crofton has long been a slightly more affordable haven for young families and retirees

Kerry Park’s new goalie is perfect in VIJHL debut

Charles-Olivier Lepage shuts out high-powered Storm

Longtime resident and business owner Garry Bruce running for Duncan city council

I have been a resident in the City of Duncan for more than 60 years

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Tempering the B.C. cannabis legalization ‘gold rush’

Retail selling of marijuana offers potential business opportunities and pitfalls

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Most Read