SEHAB Member: Don Lowen

Area: South Vancouver Island/Gulf Islands

Community Advisor: Erica Blake

Date: November 3/12


SEHAB Work Plan 2011-2012

Local Issue, Specific Examples

Actions by Community or DFO

SEHAB Opportunity

Wild Salmon Policy:




Pacific Aquaculture Policy and SEP:

Annual License/ Permit








As of May 24th, SCA has not received permission from Regional Staffing Committee to fill vacant Campbell River CA position.

Tom Rutherford and Erica Blake continue in acting positions. Adam Silverstein’s position has been terminated.

October 23/12 - 50 people turn out for organizational meeting to create new stewardship group for Swan Creek (Drains Swan Lake into Colquitz River). District of Saanich, Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary and Peninsula Streams partners in this initiative. Ian Bruce moderator.

Above average coho returns to several small south island streams provides incentive and focus for stewardship groups.



SCA is receiving 10 to 12 calls per day from Campbell River stewards.







SEHAB Submissions, Comments from Groups:

Report – Howard English Hatchery (Goldstream River

The Goldstream Volunteer Association has been operating the counting fence on the Goldstream since the last week in September with the first fish encounters (CN) 6 October ’12. As has been the practice in the past, the weekly counts will reflect fence counts for chinook and coho and full river counts for chum.

The activity was quite slow at the fence until the 15th October when a low pressure system brought in a large number of coho. Following are the weekly figures:       

17th October:    Chinook – 34 (5 jacks)
                        Coho – 623 (5 jacks)
                        Chum – 1,503 (7 morts)

24th October:    Chinook – 43 (6 jacks)
                          Coho – 823 (5 jacks)
                        Chum – 1911 (76 morts)

The number of coho that have been counted is unusually high for this time of year and the majority are coloured to some degree, which is also noteworthy since the early bump is usually made up of very green hatchery fish.

Another point is the very few Ad/Cwt coho observed (2.48%) so far. This lends credence to our supposition that the majority of the hatchery releases prior to the fuel spill in 2011 were compromised. Not all coho encountered at the fence have been floy tagged due to malfunctioning guns but every fish has been operculum-punched. Our intention is to conduct a comprehensive dead pitch…weather permitting.

Peter McCully

October 29/12





“We're looking at good returns for chum and coho to the Sooke and Demamiel systems, so far. Estimates are for 20,000 chum, well up compared to the last few years, and around 3,000 coho.

We missed our numbers for chinook, due to a freshet that buried the fence and allowed the fish to zip by and go upriver. We have 54,000 eggs on hand, well below our hoped-for numbers and we didn't get much of a chance to estimate numbers very well.

It appears that there are at least 100 adults in the mid-river zone, but that's our best guess.
Big numbers of cuthtroat at the Young Lake weir, more than we've seen for several years.”
Mel Hull

October 30/12



“… the spring and summer run Fraser River chinook issues are having a profound effect on the March to mid-July fishery in areas 18, 19 and portions of 20. I don't want to get into the politics of this but the economic impacts on charter skippers, marinas, tackle shops and related business from Victoria to Sooke has been severe.

Nor do I want to get into the pros and cons of the conservation issue or who should be taking the brunt of the regulatory measures. However, this is the important thing. At meetings in Victoria last year DFO staff and biologists for the area were asked what plans they had in place to deal with water extraction issues, water temperature issues and other environmental impacts affecting these stream type stocks and what enhancement activities they had in the works to provide a boost to production.

The answer was basically "blank faces" with a promise to put a plan in place for 2013. This is not acceptable and if allowed to continue will bear a striking resemblance to the Interior Fraser coho problems which started in the mid 90's and have not been resolved to this date.

Both species depend on adequate stream conditions for their period of time in freshwater and both reacting the same way. DFO appears to have walked away from the coho situation and are content to let the long-standing non-retention restrictions serve as their only remedial tool. I fear they will treat the chinook issue the same way.”

Tom Davis

October 25/12



Fresh start for airport creek

Contaminants cleaned up, new path for stream

(Times Colonist October 23/12)

Reay Creek is taking a new and cleaner path through Victoria Airport Authority lands after a portion has been diverted into a manmade channel.

The purpose of the $220,000 project is to reduce heavy metals and other pollutants flowing from the airport's old industrial lands on its east side into the fish-bearing creek, which runs into Bazan Bay. It crosses both North Saanich and Sidney, home of Reay Creek Park.

"The storm water quality will be greatly improved to the rest of Reay Creek and into Bazan Bay," James Bogusz, airport authority director of airside operations, technology and environment, said Monday.

A new, 210-metre-long winding diversion channel mimicking a natural stream was built this year next to the original creek, now a wetland between the industrial area and the channel. 80 tons of contaminated creekside material removed and replaced…..

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