News » Whistler

Local watershed groups spawn new fish projects



The Squamish-Lilllooet Rivers Watershed Partnership Group will receive $290,000 from Fisheries Renewal B.C. this year that will help spawn 15 fish improvement projects in the Sea-to-Sky region.

More than 25 representatives from fish stewardship groups, government agencies, First Nations, local governments and the forest industry met at Mount Currie’s Ts’zil Learning Centre Tuesday, July 10 to discuss the upcoming projects.

"The funding we have received from Fisheries Renewal B.C. over the years has brought many diverse groups together to work for healthy fisheries in our watersheds," said project manager Edith Tobe.

The July 10 meeting was also used to introduce a new group, the Lillooet River Watershed Council, into the partnership.

LRWC was formed earlier this year at a meeting in Pemberton and is being spearheaded by the Lil’wat, N’Quat’qua, Samahquam, X’a’xtsa and In-SHUCK-ch First Nations.

"It’s great to get everyone involved," said stewardship co-ordinator Liz Jones

Carl Sam, a fisheries technician with the Lil’wat-owned and —operated Creekside Resources Inc., told Pique Newsmagazine that the group is looking at the possibility of building a step-pool system to help salmon scale Nairn Falls and swim up the Green River towards Whistler.

LWRC’s main goal is to ensure the long-term economic, social and environmental health of the Lillooet-Birkenhead watershed.

Pacific salmon species – chinook, sockeye and coho – use the Lillooet-Birkenhead watershed as spawning and rearing habitat, while resident populations of trout and char make the rivers, creeks and lakes their year-round home.

"Salmon are inherent to this part of B.C.," said Marion Town, FSRBC’s salmonoid renewal program director. "It’s an incredibly rich area."

"There are so many different kinds of fish here," added Jones.

Originally formed in 1998, the Squamish-Lillooet partnership group has been awarded more than $800,000 and has undertaken 57 fish renewal programs.

FSRBC is a Crown corporation that was created in 1997 to lead the renewal of the province’s fisheries and fish-dependent communities.