Review of new book ‘Sturgeon Reach': New book chronicles the effects of gravel removal

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The Chilliwack Times article New book chronicles the effects of gravel removal, provides a review of the book Sturgeon Reach by Terry Glavin and Ben Parfitt. “Sturgeon Reach is a name given by some to the stretch of the river that runs by Chilliwack, from Hope to Pitt Meadows. More than 30 different species of fish are found in this gravel reach. The desire to protect the spawning beds of salmon, sturgeon and other species has long come into conflict with the river’s natural tendency to swell in the spring and flood the land.”

The article states, “that the unquenchable thirst for gravel is only measured by the ecological consequences. For this reason, a “higher purpose” was created as a sort of rationalization: The threat of flood. “The gravel was undoubtedly there in abundance, but the ecological consequences of removing it in any quantity, without robust planning and risk assessment, were dire,” they write. “So, if commercial exploitation of the lower river’s rich gravel bars and islands were to take place, it had to be justified in the name of some higher purpose.”

It continues, “Before 2007, a gravel removal project near Chilliwack in the river caused the death of between 1.5 and 2.25 million pink salmon hatchlings. The debacle at Big Bar in 2006 resulted when a construction causeway was built in the river for gravel removal. “The dynamic events that give birth to these bars and islands also raise serious questions about government policy that encourages gravel extraction operations of the sort that were carried out at Spring Bar,” they write.”

Read more about Sturgeon Reach at New Star Books. The book is also available on Amazon. Partial proceeds from the sale of this book help support Watershed Watch Salmon Society.

One Response to Review of new book ‘Sturgeon Reach': New book chronicles the effects of gravel removal

  1. Peter says:

    I know nothing about the effects of gravel removal from river beds. However Dredging the river of poor draining Muds silts and deepening of main Channels to aid in flood control is required periodically. Perhaps more often than we see it happen now. however the gravel belongs back on the river bed. For many reasons. The silt may contain harmful chemicals and concentrate then. removal is of potential value CARE must applied when close to the shorelines and Effluent outflows of Forest industries. This I am an Expert in. The history of pulping has since 1960 employed the use of wood chips from lumber mills this wood source was surface coated with Chlorinated Phenols. A Persistent skin absorbed chemical In the mid 1970’s the Dioxin contamination of this chemical resulted in the destruction of the Biosphere in the outflow regions of these industries. Disturbing this substrate can have catastrophic effects on all life forms that have recovered on the overburden of new silt. Such build up is natured way of dealing with this devastation. For the rest of the life of this planet such polluted grounds will remain so polluted. NO new Dioxin pollution is known by booth industries since 1986. IT took a my lifetime of research and Sales to bring about the end to this. Now Each 5 year cycle from 1990 has lead to a growing strength in Salmon Returns to our rivers province wide since. some have been monster runs. WE must continue to protect our Planet from MISUSE of Chemicals.

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