DFO responds to mine breach

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is supporting the efforts to respond to the Mount Polley Mine tailings breach.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is supporting the efforts to respond to the Mount Polley Mine tailings breach confirmed DFO’s regional director Stu Cartwright.

“We have our science, habitat, conservation and protection measures staff involved and are continuing to play a supportive role as the province is taking the lead with respect to response,” Cartwright said from his Kamloops office.

Cartwright also confirmed that a DFO stock assessment crew continues to monitor the salmon run, and has been working out of Likely since Aug. 14  doing enumeration programs and will remain working there until the middle of October.

While it is too early to give specifics, the sockeye are returning in “good numbers,” to the Quesnel and Horsefly Rivers, Cartwright said.

“The Fraser River Panel is looking at the Quesnel run of a catch plus escapement of 2.2 to 2.25 million as of earlier this week.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 10, 6,000 salmon had arrived at the Horsefly River upper spawning channel, he added.

“We’re expecting hundreds to follow, probably a million and a half. There’s going to be a lot of fish.”

Cartwright said Hazeltine Creek, which received severe damage from the mine tailings spill, did support sockeye and coho in the past, however, not consistently and not in big numbers.

Some years beaver dams blocked the creek or other naturally-occurring factors resulted in the fish going elsewhere.

Coho will stray more than other species, he explained.

They will return to their natal system but may spawn in other systems within the general geographic area.

Sockeye can do the same but not as commonly.

“So far it’s too preliminary to notice how the fish are adapting to the spill,” he said, adding based on the test results and fish flesh sampling there’s nothing to suggest anything outside the levels for human consumption.

“There is a lot of effort going into understanding the immediate and longterm impacts of the spill.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Joe Alphonse
OP-ED: Williams Lake municipal, regional councils lack awareness on historical trauma

Systemic racism isn’t always obvious to those that are not experiencing it

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake GMHL expansion questions, concerns, to be discussed later this month

If approved, the team would begin play in the fall of 2021

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

(File photo)
Kamloops Mountie bitten while arresting woman

The assault on March 1 is the latest in a string of incidents that have left local officers injured

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read