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By Amy Fendley Last year the Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group did some major stream rehabilitation works on the River of Golden Dreams. And last week, the group caught a kokanee in one of their fish traps, a reliable indication that the river is in good health. But on Wednesday, Aug. 4, the WFSG’s trap was vandalised. "Two of our volunteers discovered the vandalism," said Channa Pelpola of the RMOW Parks department, who thinks that whoever vandalized the traps may have been uninformed about the purpose of the traps. "The two big traps at the top of the old fish ladder were toppled over, uprooted, and the stakes used to secure them were pulled out and thrown down the river. The sandbags were all stacked up on the weir. I think what people have to understand is that no one’s having a barbecue with these fish." The WFSG installed a fish migration fence in the River of Golden Dreams in early June, 1999, to monitor migration patterns in a new channel, as well as the fish ladder, for comparison with 1995 data. From that comparison it became clear that small juvenile fish, under 2 inches, were unable to use the existing fish weir that was in place. This was a concern because it meant natural migration patterns of these small fish were being blocked. The juvenile fish were being forcing to rear in the river, which could negatively affecting the fish populations in Alta Lake. With the help of a consultant, Alan Thomson, a new channel between the existing weir and the BC Rail track was constructed to allow smaller fish passage. And then last week the trap used to collect data was vandalized. The trap has been replaced and although data is now missing from those two days, it is still in good working order. The WFSG, established in 1996, conducts stream habitat projects in order to improve fish stock populations in the valley’s watercourses. It currently includes members of the Whistler Rotary Club, the Whistler Angling Club, the RMOW, Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler Golf Course and the Chateau Whistler Golf Course. During the next two weeks, the Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group will be completing all in-stream work for this summer. They will work on six different sites, including the River of Golden Dreams, Millar Creek, Lakeside Creek, Crabapple Creek, Scotia Creek and Eva Lake. The rehabilitation efforts will begin on Monday, Aug. 16 at Lakeside Creek as a continuation of an overall management plan for Alta lake. Spawning, rearing, and migration patterns will be improved on the major inlets and outlets of Alta lake. The section of The River of Golden Dreams, between the fish ladder and 21-Mile Creek, will be closed for two days for restoration, starting Aug. 23. Canoeists are encouraged to put in at the bottom of Lorimer Road. Heavy machinery will be working in the creek from the valley trail, and there will be short delays between Lorimer and the fish weir. The rock weir that was placed in Millar Creek in Function Junction a few summers ago will also be adjusted. There will be heavy machinery around the creek at the Millar Creek Cafe parking lot Aug. 16, 18 and 19.

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