Local groups benefit from federal program

North Island organizations receiving money from a federal program for fisheries conservation projects

  • Dec. 1, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society is one of five North Island organizations receiving money from a federal program for fisheries conservation projects.

Government will provide up to $108,011 towards an Airpark lagoon project to restore habitat for salmon refuge, rearing and foraging.

Years ago, the area was diked as a sewage lagoon and later decommissioned. In the 1990s, it was reconnected to the Courtenay Estuary with an outlet (bridge).

The lagoon is used by fish, but in summer the water stagnates and warms to sub-lethal temperatures.

“There isn’t a good circulation pattern through there,” said Jennifer Sutherst, interim estuary co-ordinator and manager at Project Watershed.

The society plans to install a second breach — a culvert near the float plane ramp — to connect the river through the lagoon and out to the estuary.

“It’s going to improve the circulation patterns in there, and allow for better oxygenation and improve the temperatures in the summer,” Sutherst said. “It’s going to allow them (salmon) a chance to grow and develop.”

The entire project is worth about $200,000. The society hopes to secure a second part of funding in the new year.

The Tsolum River Restoration Society, another local group to receive funds through the federal program, will be provided up to $35,840 for fish enhancement and bank protection at the Babcock – Comox water pipeline crossing near the fairgrounds on Headquarters Road.

“Part of the project is to finish off our assessment of the Tsolum River,” society president Wayne White said. “Babcock’s project is seen as one of the higher priorities, just from the channel assessment alone.”

He said erosion behind a rip rap area, were it to relieve itself, could take out the regional district water line, which comes through from Comox Lake and feeds east Courtenay.

The next step is to seek partnerships with the regional district and BC Hydro.

“We have to find matching funding,” he said.

Another local beneficiary is the Little River Enhancement Society, which operates a fish hatchery on private property. The organization is to receive up to $74,875 for river restoration.

“We’ve done most of the restoration now in the Little River, and we’ve started in Scales Creek, too,” said society president Peter Williams, noting the group has received previous funds from the program.

The money will enable the society to finish its work next year.

The federal government has so far invested more than $18 million to restore recreational fisheries habitat through a National Conservation Plan.

The third round of the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program is providing up to $334,626 to conserve fish habitat in the North Island. The window to apply for funding under round four is open. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 12. Details can be found at bit.ly/1o4H9N1.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Vancouver Islanders among B.C.’s most engaged on electoral reform

Parksville-Qualicum and Courtenay-Comox lead the province in voter turnout, Island high in general

Mount Washington Alpine Resort targeting Dec. 7 opening date

Major snowfall in the forecast for this week

A Tribe Called Red, Tanya Tagaq among artists featured in Indigenous music film

When They Awake coming to Stan Hagen Theatre for one night

Comox Valley’s Glacier View Lodge lights up for Christmas

Glacier View Lodge residents and families will gather on Dec. 6 for… Continue reading

CVRD moves to goal-setting stage for sewer service plan

Workshops planned for next week in Comox and Courtenay

VIDEO: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Bear hunt on after man knocked down in Port Alberni residential backyard

Traps set after family posted about bear knocking man to the ground and swatting his leg

Island baseball team builds practice facility inside recycling depot

Nanaimo’s Mid Island Pirates held first training session inside Regional Recycling this week

Koi-munching otter avoids trap in Vancouver Chinese garden

Park staff have set up a trap with chicken and smeared a mat with fish oil, so far to no avail

Feds give formal notice for law to end Canada Post strike

Trudeau government ready to legislate employees back to work after five weeks of rotating strikes

Lower Mainland suspect identified in fatal northern B.C. hit and run

Suspect and seven other individuals believed involved located on Haida Gwaii

‘Bait and switch’ warning ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Competition Bureau of Canada is warning shoppers of illegal sale tactics

Most Read