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What do you think is the best option for saving the Thompson River Steelhead?

  • For a hatchery program

    Votes: 21 31.3%
  • Against a hatchery program

    Votes: 12 17.9%
  • Closing the fishery

    Votes: 18 26.9%
  • Imposing tighter regulations

    Votes: 33 49.3%

  • Total voters
    67
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the SSBC does not support hatchery programs,the money raised will go to habitat work.... a hatchery program on the thompson is a waste of time and energy.......why you ask?

Its a proven fact that once you stop the hatchery program the fish stop comming back, a hatchery is a good "band-aid" but not a long term solution.

everyone getting along .....now thats a good start!
Yes I think most here agree with that, including myself...the reason I brought it up is due to a small number of people that did vote for hatchery in the poll above so it is good to briefly address it and clarify, which you've done nicely.
(If anyone who did vote hatchery above wishes to further explore that angle after having read Jim's assessment above, please feel free to visit this thread for more info and discussion: http://www.bcfishingreports.com/forums/threads/17484-opinions-on-hatcheries)

Now as far as the habitat rehabilitation work that these funds are being raised for, is there any more info available on that? (Ie: is it large woody debris, flood and bank erosion control, side channels, flow related...all of the above, something more?)
 

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Just a reminder that we are 2 weeks away from a fantastic event for the benefit of the Thompson River and one of its major steelhead spawning tributaries, Spius Creek... the Pub Night Fundraiser is Wednesday, November 23rd, at The Bourbon in Vancouver on the edge of Gastown.

There will be auction items, door prizes, and raffles which will include:

- guided trips for salmon, sturgeon, steelhead, and trout with top anglers like Brian Chan, April Vokey, Jason Tonelli, and others
- rods, reels, and other gear
- Canucks tickets


This is going to be an awesome night, whether you are a Thompson angler or not, and all the money goes to a great cause.

We hope to see you there.


 

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Yes I think most here agree with that, including myself...the reason I brought it up is due to a small number of people that did vote for hatchery in the poll above so it is good to briefly address it and clarify, which you've done nicely.
(If anyone who did vote hatchery above wishes to further explore that angle after having read Jim's assessment above, please feel free to visit this thread for more info and discussion: http://www.bcfishingreports.com/forums/threads/17484-opinions-on-hatcheries)

Now as far as the habitat rehabilitation work that these funds are being raised for, is there any more info available on that? (Ie: is it large woody debris, flood and bank erosion control, side channels, flow related...all of the above, something more?)
as far as i know the work being done is woody debris and rock/earth work to stabilize and create habitat, bear with me as I have not been upto full speed on some of these thing as I have been working out of town.
 

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as far as i know the work being done is woody debris and rock/earth work to stabilize and create habitat, bear with me as I have not been upto full speed on some of these thing as I have been working out of town.
No worries Jim, no worries...you do enough work already without having to get all this info for us as well. Funny, with all the reading I've been doing you'd think I would have found this earlier. Missed it somehow until this morning...

"The Spius Creek habitat restoration project proposes to restore three sites, specifically: 1) 100 metres of stream bank stabilization utilizing rock structures, large woody debris, plantings and fencing; 2) 90 metres of stream bank stabilization using much the same methods and 3) off channel habitat improvements using ballast, planting channel banks with cuttings and installing fencing intended to exclude cattle. A full project description can be downloaded at http://db.tt/tlcj9Th"

...and for anyone who is interested in rumaging around for more info, it was at the Thompson Blog all along under the announcement earlier this year that the BCFFF was donating funds to the Steelhead society to get the project rolling:

http://thompsonfisheries.blogspot.com/2011/08/bcfff-announces-funding-for-spius-creek.html


http://www.steelheadsociety.org/news/categories/articles
 

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Now back to our regular programming...
(thanks to all of you who gave money or attended the SSBC fundraiser)


Remember the points on groundwater usage that were made earlier in this thread?

Here are some quotes regarding some of the impacts of water usage on Thompson steelhead and salmon spawning and rearing habitat in recent times, and a pretty serious example of how poorly water usage is managed in BC when it comes to agriculture.

...the fish flow study suggested that the production of salmon and steelhead could be substantially increased by almost 200% and 400%, respectively, simply by increasing discharges for juvenile rearing during the low flow periods (Tables 4.5, 4.6)...

...One of the more sensitive issues affecting fish and flows in this and other watersheds throughout British Columbia relates to non-compliance of water licensees who extract more water than is stipulated in their license...

...Hubert et al. (1990) showed that water license diversion rates for agriculture are often not adhered to, and this has probably been the case as well in the Nicola River basin...


...Over the years a number of individuals in the Coldwater Valley had complained that a particular license holder had been diverting more water than was allowed by the water licenses.

...Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks water management staff began to investigate the complaint in 1991, it became clear that the water extraction taking place was substantially more than the diversion volume allowed by the water licenses.

...Then in 1994 a further investigation again determined that the diversion of water at this ranch was significantly out of compliance as per the conditions set by the license; the non-compliance estimate was about double that of the permitted volume. Subsequently, in 1995 there was a public request that enforcement personnel investigate the same license holders, and in 1998 a Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks memo described the situation as a gross over-use of water. The matter still continued to remain unresolved.
Finally, in 2001 the Province’s Water Engineer met with the license holder and sent a letter stipulating that a cumulative-flow-measuring device be attached to the facility and that the licensee submit records of water use to the Water Management Branch. The data provided by the measuring device showed that by August 1, 2001 almost 160 acre-feet had already been pumped and by August 29 over 250 acre-feet had been used; the license only allowed 115 acre-feet per annum. A subsequent flow measurement at the point of diversion estimated that almost 500 acre-feet would have been extracted per year when extrapolated over the season.

...The license holder appealed the requirement for measuring extraction of water by the Water Engineer to the Environmental Appeal Board, and took the position that local groundwater contributions to the diversion flows were substantially greater than that determined by the agency. The license holder felt that the amount of river water being used was within the limits of the license; note that groundwater extractions do not require licensing in British Columbia. The counter argument by water management staff was that the groundwater contribution was small. The Environmental Appeal Board upheld the Water Engineer’s position based on the evidence provided in the hearing.

I know, I know...it's a lot to read. I've slimmed it down as much as I could.

Here's a link to the original paper:
http://www.fish.bc.ca/files/ConflictsPeopleFish_2003_0_Complete.pdf
(there's tons and tons of good info there, it's not all bleak, but it's also probably not enough)



Ironically, this last defense of the farmer by mention of groundwater use is quite an issue as well. What you must know is that stream/creek/river levels are DIRECTLY DEPENDANT on local groundwater levels, and if the wrong water table is used for extraction of groundwater, then that would also be reducing the levels of the creeks.

Given it is not regulated/licensed what does that say about all these other seemingly increased, (but still insufficient), efforts to regulate water use...?

Lastly, if you don;t bother to read all this or the paper at the above link, at least consider this...WHY DID IT TAKE 10 YEARS TO DEAL WITH JUST ONE SINGLE WATER USE ISSUE?!?!?!???? (and how can we now expect all the other water use issues to be addressed in light of that?)

The more I read on this and look into the water use and potential, the more I see that it could very well be possible to resolve these issues with some private interest investment into groundwater extraction from nearby aquifers that don't affect critical streamflows. At the very least it's worth exploring.

Further to that, here's an excerpt from the ministry:

Nicola River Watershed

There has been only a limited amount of ground water development within this watershed area. A review of the 242 well records on file with the Ministry of Environment indicates that 110 wells were constructed in bedrock (providing sufficient water for domestic needs), while the remaining 132 wells, constructed in unconsolidated deposits, 31 wells have reported yields between 6 L/s and 128 L/s. Most of these higher yielding wells, being utilized for municipal water supply needs and industrial (mining) needs, are located in the Douglas Lake area, Lower Moore Creek area and the Monck Park campsite area on the north side of Nicola Lake.
There are three known aquifers in the Merritt area; two confined aquifers located about 60 m and 100 m below ground. and a third, shallow, but discontinuous aquifer about 16 m below ground in the Nicola and Canford areas and as much as 50 m deep in the Merritt area, where yields from wells constructed in this shallower aquifer have been reported up to 120 L/s.
In the Highland Valley, there is a significant artesian aquifer extending throughout most of the valley, approximately 30 m in thickness and located at a depth of about 75 m. Wells constructed in this aquifer have been reported to yield in excess of 38 L/s, with some wells flowing as much as 6.3 L/s.
According to Brown et al (1980), the quality of ground water in the Highland Valley area can be classified as a moderately hard, calcium bicarbonate type water, low in Total Dissolved Solids (250 mg/L to 400 mg/L) and suitable for domestic and industrial use. Elsewhere in this watershed, the results of very limited chemical analyses of ground water indicates that the water quality is generally good; within recommended drinking water quality standards.
The amount of ground water use within this watershed is not definitely known due to a lack to metered data. However, based on the extent of known and potential aquifers and the limited amount of ground water wells, it appears that there is a significant potential for further ground water development particularly in the Highland Valley, Logan Lake area, Douglas Lake area, Pennask Lake area, Lower Moore area and the area at the confluence of the Lower Coldwater River and Nicola River.


http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/plan_protect_sustain/groundwater/gwbc/C1011_Thompson_Plateau.html


So...

Anyone know any groups or individuals that would be willing to invest in looking for such a solution?
 

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Interesting that people advocate less intervention with the steelhead life cycle but vote for more intervention with the human life cycle. I think that says a lot about us.
 

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[/QUOTE]Yes, i don't fish it anymore but i used to religiously and carefully landed a lot of them and only had 1 die and it was on a suspended jig with hundreds caught on bait. Some of the flyfishers with their inadequate gear playing the fish out too much kill way more than gear does.[/QUOTE]

Really eh? Every person I know thatfly fishes this river use 13-15 ft 8-10 wt rods that make most gear rods look like a toothpick,and stout leader that will turn over big fly's. Most are lucky to touch one fish a day? So how do they kill more fish than gear fisherman? Explain please as I fish for them with all mothods and find gear fishing much more effective and lethal. Especially bait hands down the most effective method. Generally speaking the more fish u catch the more fish u kill.
 

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I don't know why its even open any more, people must have had their fill already, the colder weather will be that much harder on them when there hooked and then held out in freezing air temps for photo ops...it should have closed dec.1 and if they were going to open it, do it oct.1 or earlier so the fish are more spread out....
 

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or not close it at all.... and leave it open like they used to. But lets all join hands and dance while we have openings and closures, and bait ban it or better yet fly only "because its the right thing to do..." Go fish and catch a couple.
 

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why is fly only the right thing to do ?

I'll wager everything I own , there are more "gear fishermen" that are INVOLVED in hands on conservation.....(no not the computer conservation guys)

trust me as i log enough hours doing it to see the people who do it.

one of the biggest contributers to the survival of the thompson for MANY years is a "GEAR" club, and has donated moneys in exess of 50,000$
 
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