The Horsefly Salmon Festival helps to raise awareness about the importance of the Horsefly River as a major fish rearing habitat.

The Horsefly Salmon Festival helps to raise awareness about the importance of the Horsefly River as a major fish rearing habitat.

Horsefly River Roundtable members work to save fish habitat for fishermen

The Horsefly River Roundtable annual general meeting is scheduled to take place at the Horsefly Library on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m.

The Horsefly River Roundtable annual general meeting is scheduled to take place at the Horsefly Library on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m.

Our mission statement is “To be a catalyst to achieve and maintain healthy Horsefly community watersheds, through a co-ordinated management of all resources, respect for all concerns and co-operative positive action.”

Some folk seem to have some misconceptions of exactly who we are; we are pretty well all avid sport fishers, we love the outdoors, and we all have a desire to leave it as we found it when we are camping, tubing, fishing, hiking, or whatever.

We are not tree hugging environmentalists whose aim is to prevent any kind of development.

We are filling a role the government has abandoned and passed on to local people familiar with the neighbourhood, which while we complain about it, is better than Ottawa or Victoria telling us how to improve a given situation.

We have knowledge on our side, and to that end have been able to effect a few local improvements to our watershed.

These projects include the following:

• local salmon trail along the spawning channel across the bridge in Horsefly;

• working with the landowner to restore, rebuild, and redesign the Woodjam Creek to enable trout and salmon to return in numbers as well as prevent loss of land through flooding and erosion;

• restoring lower Patenaude to its natural state;

• bringing in more than $400,000 into the community for various other watershed improvements such as building a weir on Sucker Creek to raise the water level so trout can swim through the culvert to spawn in the upper creek;

• doing the same for Black Creek, although the culvert is too small for the water flow and we may still have to install a baffle system to create eddies and resting places.

Steve Hocquard is our coordinator as well as our designer of “natural” habitat for fish in damaged streams.

To this end we have been able to do some habitat improvements on Lower Tisdall Creek.

Another huge accomplishment was cleaning up the old Horsefly dump site on the Black Creek Road.  Find it today and you would never know that everybody dumped their garbage over the cliff on the river bank including old cars and trucks.

Considering 70 per cent of the trout in Quesnel Lake hatch in the Horsefly River, it is in everyone’s best interest to be a little “environmental” about our river, so join us on April 20 for our annual general meeting starting at 7 p.m. in the Horsefly library if you feel you would like to help us out.