Decommissioning dam will cut off crucial flows for coho salmon

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The Times Colonist article Destroying dam will reduce coho provides details on how the planned deomissioning of the Bill James dam will cut off crucial flows for coho salmon.  “The Bill James Dam feeds into Young Lake, which in turn flows into DeMamiel Creek and from there into the Sooke River. The Sooke River hosts spawning chum, spring and coho salmon as well as steelhead, rainbow and cutthroat trout.”

Watershed Watch Salmon Society is pleased that attention is being drawn to DFO’s plans to decommission the dam and cut off crucial flows for coho salmon in De Mamiel Creek. We also recognize that serious concerns have been expressed by Chief Gordon Planes, of the T’Sou-ke Nation, on the lack of DFO consultation with his nation on this issue.

While dams and “enhancement” projects can severely harm wild salmon populations, this is a dam and enhancement project that actually supports wild salmon and the many British Columbians who hold wild salmon as icons of their own well-being.

It’s an increasingly rare treat to see rosy-coloured wild coho spawning on southern Vancouver Island. The public interest will not be served if DFO proceeds with turning off the tap for the 2500-5000 fish that now spawn—thanks to the efforts of the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society—annually in De Mamiel Creek.


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