Rain cools salmon concerns

New regulations recommended: New storage policies, recent rainfall ease chances of repeat crisis

Recent rains doused a local drought, and helped avert another fall salmon kill, a local conservationist says.

“This rain is really welcome,” Joe Saysell of Friends of the Cowichan said Friday after a downpour that yielded about an inch in late August.

“The temperature in the river was so high, but this cooled it down — it was 21.5 degrees C and now it’s 18 C so that’s a real welcome thing to happen.”

Coupled with provincial permission to store more water behind Cowichan Lake’s weir this summer, to help provide water for fall salmon spawning, Saysell signalled the fish have more of a fighting chance.

“The lake was starting to go down from the top of the weir, to keep the river at seven cubic metres (per minute),” he said of flows stipulated by Crofton pulp mill’s two provincial river-water permits.

“Now a lot of that lake water will be replenished.

“If this drought had kept up, with that high temperature that early, it’s really tough on small fish because there’s only so many places in the river those fish can live in.

“They’re all trying to look for cold water. If they can’t find it, they’ll perish.”

Friends of the Cowichan has sent these proposed regulations to forests, lands and natural resources minister Steve Thompson to help rescue the river’s salmon, steelhead and trout stocks struggling with annual droughts.

1. Close the river for fishing from July 1 to Oct. 1 because of high water temperatures, and because fish concentrate in the few pools that are cool.

2. Close the river, from the weir at Cowichan Lake to the 70 Mile Trestle on the upper river, from Nov. 1 to April 1. “That’s the bread basket of the river for spawning,” he said. “It would protect spawning fish, and allow 7/8 of the river to be open during the winter.”

3. Order a daily catch-and-release quota of two steelhead during steelhead season (Dec. 1 to April 1) to protect steelhead stocks. “Two steelhead is plenty.”

4. Enact zero retention of crayfish as they’re food for otters, other fish, herons and other critters.

“They’re the food for everything,” Saysell said of crayfish. “Now, you can kill 25 a day as long as you have a fishing licence.”

 

Just Posted

T.W. Paterson column: McLean brothers’ murderous rampage ended quietly

“Shoot! you son of a ——-, shoot! I’m not afraid of an ounce of lead.”

49ers regroup to hold off Lakehill

6-2 victory not one of Cowichan’s best, says coach

Climate strike draws huge crowd in Duncan

Millions strike for climate worldwide

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Most Read