Willow Creek Pink Salmon

30-05-2014
Click here to read more about the Telus cable that is blocking a crucial pink salmon stream.

The city of Campbell River will be making a call to Telus and they'll be asking them to reverse the charges. In fact take it back years.

At issue is a Telus cable across Willow Creek that blocks fish passage. It's not a new issue. Mayor Walter Jakeway in the years past has brought it up and on Tuesday night councillor Larry Samson brought it up once again.

There was the same urgency as before. Soon, the first pink salmon will be returning to local rivers and streams and one of them is Willows Creek.

At one time a producer of chinook, coho and pink salmon and cutthroat and steelhead trout, it is now a remnant of its former glory and reduced to a grandfather/children's fishery.

Much effort has been put into the creek by local streamkeepers. And returns have been improving. The creek is a reminder of the days when culverts and bridges were thought to be an adequate replacement for estuaries.

Not long ago various organizations pitched in to actually re-build an estuary there, that being the L-shaped rip rap that creates somewhat of a transition period from fresh to salt water for incoming and outgoing salmonids.

It is an accepted theory that rebuilding any of the small creeks will involve a sustainable pink salmon run. These smallest of the Pacific salmon are keystones in providing nutrient rich waters that not only aid their own young, but those of other salmon.

But one of the pink salmon's weaknesses is traversing rapids and, in this case, blockages that would have them leap into the air to proceed upstream. The Telus cable is such a blockage and the city, we think, has been overly patient waiting for the corporation to do something about it.

The streamkeepers have complained for years and still we have to make another call to Telus? The problem is that the flows of the creek in the fall are low when the pink start their spawning journey. That makes the blockage even more impassable.

It is strange that a corporation can get away with that sort of thing in this day and age in the Salmon Capital of the World.

It doesn't matter if the repercussions of that cable installation were not known at the time. And there's a precedent.

Few realized what impact BC Hydro's generating system would have on the watersheds it utilized.

The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province, DFO, First Nations and local communities and groups to conserve and enhance fish, wildlife habitats affected by the creation of BC Hydro owned and operated generation facilities. Most, if not all of the money for that program comes from BC Hydro. Is there any difference here in corporate responsibility? No there isn't. And it's a shame that we are forced to call 9-1-1 and get an answering machine.

Campbell River Courier Islander

- See more at: http://www.courierislander.com/opinion/time-to-pay-the-phone-bill-for-willow-creek-cable-1.1096969#sthash.GRZBCb6y.dpuf








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