For about the past decade at this time of year, the Courtenay Fish & Game conservation committee and the local chapter of the Steelhead Society have been assisting the cycle of nature in the Comox Watershed.
Over the past week, volunteers have transported thousands of chum carcasses from the Puntledge Hatchery to headwaters that feed into Comox Lake. The purpose is to supply nutrients to baby fish in streams and creeks that feed into the lake.
On Friday, Ted Edwards and other volunteers were ‘feeding’ Comox Creek, which runs into the Cruikshank River.
“Nature normally would have a bunch of fish spawning in this river,” Edwards said. “They no longer get here. Years ago they did. They put in the dam and everything has changed. So we have all this potential habitat for fish that doesn’t get fed the nutrients that it normally would the way nature does things. So every year we put carcasses in the tributaries of the rivers that are all flowing into Comox Lake, all building nutrients for the trout, and all the other little fish. The bears come and eat them and haul them off into the trees to fertilize the ground. It’s part of the cycle of nature that has been interrupted. We’re doing our small part to try and bring it back.”
The organizations apply to BC Hydro for funding. Budget also supports the initiative with a discount on truck rentals.