Every fish matters, especially breeding stock of species at risk.
Spencer Schey, fishing guide on the Elk River brought to the attention of the Elk River Alliance stranded westslope cutthroat and bull trout behind a beaver dam in a side channel along the Elk River near Hosmer. These fish are at risk of winter kill when ice forms and the oxygen levels drop.
“We contacted the provincial government and a happen chance meeting with Paul Rasumussen from Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) expedited our permit to move the fish”, said Lee-Anne Walker, executive director of the Elk River Alliance. “Thankfully local firm Lotic Environmental loaned us a seine net.”
Several volunteers made up of fishing guides, fishers, environmental consultants, retired engineers, and mothers, all helped capture and transport 16 inch male and female breeding stock back to the Elk.
“Our biggest challenge was dealing with the ice. The early onset of winter froze the back channel so we could only work in the area that was still open water. If weather warms, we will go back into the channel to rescue more of the fish,” said Walker.
“This effort shows what community can do together to keep the Elk River fishable for future generations”, expressed Walker with gratitude for the community effort.
For more information contact: Lee-Anne Walker, Elk River Alliance (ERA) Executive Director (250) 423-1682 firstname.lastname@example.org