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

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Cumberland council is backing the business association again. File photo
Cumberland backs homeless veteran count

Briefs: Council continues support for business association

Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Courtenay Nissan eats and runs for YANA

Dealership realized non-profit groups need new ways to raise funds during COVID

Rev. Sulin Milne at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox is part of those helping distribute food to those in need within the town. Photo by Jim Peacock
Comox church serving the community with food through COVID-19

“We knew there were so many people who were facing economic challenges …”

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Courtenay man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Cole Moore’s sister sets up GoFundMe to help father looking after brother

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read