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Fraser River - Stream Makers

Preparing a nursery for salmon

More on the Fraser River:
Fraser River:
Caring for a Great Resource

Osprey health indicates water quality

Cariboo Road:
Gold seekers open the interior of British Columbia

Enhancing Creek to Creek:
Uniting to save the Fraser River

Changing Faces:
Immigration trends in British Columbia

Fowl Territory:
Farmers profit by feeding migrating birds

Mountain Marshlands:
Rehabilitation of interior wetlands

A fine mess:
Restoration of a riparian habitat

Stream Makers:
Preparing a nursery for salmon

Tooth or Consequences:
Making good neighbours of beavers

Troubled Waters:
The struggle over salmon fishing

Waste Not:
Poultry manure is recycled into non-polluting pellets

Sockeye is commercially the most important of the half a dozen species of salmon found in the Fraser River. It is also key to the Native food fishery and accounts for over 50 percent of the Native catch. The Alouette River once supported wild runs of sockeye and Chinook salmon - both commercially valuable fish. Both are now gone.

Trade and manufacturing, service industries, and tourism all thrive along the river. The region is also known for its marine, road, rail, and air transportation facilities. Much of the development in this environmental neighbourhood is on a floodplain. Diversion of water by the construction of a dam in the 1920s dried up portions of the stream bottom used by salmon to make their gravel nests. The water was diverted to another watershed to produce power.

In a remedial project that is making environmental history, a community of stakeholders, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Ministry of the Environment, Lands and Parks, and BC Hydro have teamed up to put into effect a water use plan. According to this plan, 15 percent of the annual discharge of the river would be returned to the river.

Negotiations have been going on with BC Hydro to return minimum flows for the fish so that a once dried-up channel can be restored to flow year round. It is hoped that hatchery-raised salmon released in the restored channel will soon return to spawn naturally. Other fish such as trout will also benefit.

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