The Horsefly River Roundtable meeting in May was a real eye-opener with many people in attendance at the Horsefly library and many issues discussed.
• Repairs to the sign damaged by the grads last June will be done.
• The Department of Fisheries and Oceans sponsored Public Involvement program for $5,000 was received, with $1,500 being ear marked for conference calls on meeting nights, some for restoration and watershed planning, and the remainder for trail repairs.
• Funding was approved for our co-ordinator.
• The salmon trail was discussed at length, with the new idea of using a used conveyer belt from the mining industry on the centre of the path (about four feet wide), as well as a strip of seven-foot wide belt to the edge of the water up by the boat launch area to allow access for a disabled person.
It could also be used to back down with a trailer. It only remains to be approved by DFO supervisor Don Lawrence.
• $5,000 was received to repair the Salmon Walk from the BC Rehabilitation fund.
• The field work prescription planning for the previously identified projects has been completed; it only remains to secure adequate funding.
A new problem occurred on Kroener Creek which was determined to be from natural causes after investigation.
• The Salmon Festival discussion was deferred since Maureen LeBourdais was not present.
• The cottonwood trees were discussed, as they are a hazard once again to anyone using the campsite.
DFO is responsible. It was suggested there may be funding through sockeye enumeration funding via First Nations.
• The equipment operators workshop was a success by all accounts with about 11 people attending.
• The Goldfield Presentation was discussed. The roundtable will be arranging for a tour in the near future.
• The Farmland Riparian Interface Stewardship Plan was discussed, and it seems there is more funding in the works.
• There are fencing materials available through DFO for set-back barriers to keep livestock out of the water.
This includes barb-wire, posts, staples, etc. Preference is given to those with an Environmental Farm Plan.
This plan is not too difficult, and if it is clear you have been working on it, you will be OK. It is first come, first serve. Call DFO directly at 305-3015 to access.
• There were two First Nations representatives present, and the net fishing last year in Quesnel Lake was discussed in some small part, but mostly deferred until Gordon Sterritt is able to be present.
Sterritt is head of the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council.
The roundtable feels it should have been consulted prior to the fishery.
A suggestion was made that perhaps First Nations and DFO could work together in maintaining the spawning channel, and diverting some sockeye into the channel every year in an attempt to build up some stock to develop an “Economic In-River Fishery.” Sterritt will be at our next meeting on June 21.
• The Horsefly Seniors Activity and Wellness Society will be having a Salmon Egg Race at our Salmon Festival.
• There was no comment from DFO regarding the change to the wording in the fishery act regarding the word “habitat.”
A senior representative will attend our next meeting in June to answer questions.
The following is a link to a one-hour presentation by Alexandra Morton on how fish farms are impacting our wild salmon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veP67z-wBh8. The next roundtable meeting will be on June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Horsefly Library.