Stop BC Hydro impacts on steelhead and salmon 

LETTER: For the week of Sept. 12

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY GLINT GOYETTE
  • FILE PHOTO BY GLINT GOYETTE

It's time for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Province of B.C. to stop allowing BC Hydro to kill steelhead and salmon. DFO is letting the fox guard the hen house and instead of upholding the job of the regulator of Fisheries Act Authorizations, they let BC Hydro get away with killing large numbers of salmon and steelhead. 

They also have allowed BC Hydro to cancel monitoring programs, which have been used to quantify effects of stranding and minimum flows on egg-fry survival rates for steelhead, and to quantify the production of juvenile steelhead and salmon in the Cheakamus River. How can we manage fish populations, and quantify population-level effects of BC Hydro-caused fish kills, in the absence of these programs?  

DFO continues to allow BC Hydro to use ramping rates higher than the DFO recommended rate of 2.5 cm an hour on the Cheakamus River. BC Hydro is being allowed to set the terms for monitoring and fish mortality levels. 

BC Hydro are mandated to have an operating review of the Water Use Plan flows every 10 years. There was supposed to be a review of the flow regimes, which BC Hydro is way late in doing (for obvious reasons—fox guarding the hen house) so they just dropped crucial areas of the monitoring.

Federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson tells us that salmon are incredibly important to him, so it's time for him to step up and stop this!

 Dave Brown // Whistler

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