Craig Orr discusses Coquitlam River restoration projects, and funding by BC Hydro, in Tri-City News article

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Coquitlam SockeyeThe Tri-City News article BC Hydro funds Coquitlam River salmon projects gives an overview of projects to restore the Coquitlam River that are being funded by the BC Hydro Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program. Watershed Watch Executive Director, Craig Orr discusses the challenges of restoring sockeye salmon stating, “The real problem that we have is getting smolts [young salmon] out of the system because the structures aren’t really conducive and only a handful of smolts exit. The question is, do we have to put in a hatchery or not?” He goes on to acknowledge that “a hatchery comes with its own set of issues, such as cost and sustainability because it has to be maintained. The project is supported by the Kwikwetlem First Nation and other groups that want to see the traditional sockeye return as it was once an important species for the river, which was named for the red-scaled fish.”

The article continues, “The project is part of a 10-year study to see if it’s practical to bring back the run to the reservoir and river, which is also used for hydroelectric power and drinking water. Orr said studies have shown that a small run could be accommodated without causing any problems with drinking water. Currently, only a handful of sockeye return each year and are trucked from a fish trap to the reservoir. BC Hydro is considering putting in a fish ladder to help the fish make their exit and return but the study will see if there are any other impediments to the plan.”

 

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