Squamish to Lillooet SFAC and Others
August 12, 2005
Draft meeting notes
Attendees: (I missed many names sorry about that)
Squamish to Lillooet Sport Fishing Advisory Committee
John Wright member Drift Fishers Assn.; Chair Squamish SFAC,
Dave Brown Whistler Angling Club
Randy Lewis Squamish First Nation
Carl Halverson North Shore Outdoor School
Lower Fraser SFAC
Vance Reach Poco Hunt, Chair
Eric Carlisle Seymour Watershed, BCFDF
Dave Steele Highwater Tackle
Laurie Milligan former chair
Wayne Michie Guides Assn.
Reg Ahearn Steelhead Society
Brian Klassen Tenderfoot Hatchery,
Rob Harris Fishery Officer,
Linda Stevens resource management
Corino Salomi Habitat Biologist, Lead rep for DFO
Steve Ruschetta Province of BC
Dave Jevons Conservation Officer
Greg Wilson Biologist, MoE
Brian Clarke - MoE
Edith Tobe Squamish River Watershed Society
Brent Lee District of Squamish
Chessie District of Squamish
Carrie Berriclaw - Aquatex
Don McClebbing Instream Research
Introduction from John Wright
Introduction from Randy Lewis
- Randy will be forwarding comments to legal regarding what measures the Squamish Nation would like to take.
- Have had discussion with the Pacific Salmon Foundation
- Will use Aquatex or Golder to do any work required
- Instructed by elders and community to be vigorous on this file.
Provincial Perspective from Greg Wilson
- Began immediately.
- Collected samples concentrated on certain areas. Collected scale samples.
- Fish placed in cold storage at Tenderfoot, wanted to collect all fish but not physically possible have about 4 500.
- Collection went on for first 36 hours.
- This info. gives a lot of information on what was in the river and what was killed.
- Second part assessing survivors.
- Used electro-shocking techniques at various open and closed sites, various habitats, control areas.
- Will compare this info with pre-spill data.
- Started on Wednesday
- Looking at food chain and benthic community.
- Benthic analysis used an Enviroment Canada (EC) quick screen assessment which is a model comparison. Density and biomass are compared with samples for a 2000 study.
- Want to quantify species diversity compared to information obtained from other similar rivers.
- Also look at density and biomass, sample every bug in a specific area.
- Most of this work will wrap up on Friday or Saturday.
Next steps are to collate and analyze the data.
Results to date
Long term monitoring will be conducted by CN.
- Have collected 4 500 dead fish all species, all age classes (lampreys, cottids, steelhead, coho fry, pinks, chinook etc.)
- This is a significant kill and may represent 85%-90% of all fish.
- Live fish have been seen, some fry and/or newly emerged fry. Few fish in the backwater channels.
- Benthos lots of dead but lots of living as well.
- Cant quantify percent kill yet need to analyze data.
- Did not look at algae due to difficulty in quantifying amounts.
- Clean-up has removed all residue, vinegar was used to remove all dust. Acid and base combine into water. Area was buffered and 6 probes were in water to ensure no further pH problems due to clean-up.
- Monitoring is being done by EC and CN
- pH, Oxygen, downstream to the estuary, all sights within 100 metres of the watercourse, all wells sampled. All came in at pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and no residue seen.
Action Point: If anyone other than Edith and Chessie took initial samples of pH, please forward your information to Greg Wilson (email@example.com).
DFO Perspectives from Corino Salomi
- EC and Province are doing most of work.
- Tenderfoot hatchery and local community advisor were also involved.
- Expect to be more active in the medium to long term.
- Habitat is still there and is still intact.
- CN is committed to a recovery plan and is committed to meet and discuss next steps.
- Strong stakeholder and community interest in this case.
- Squamish Watershed Plan is in place.
- Invited Randy Lewis to attend meeting on August 12 with CN. The goal of this meeting is to discuss a framework for the recovery plan.
- At this point no changes are planned for the Tenderfoot Hatchery, they are still trying to figure out what could be done. The chinook program is maxed out due to space, may try and do more pinks. Usually do pinks in the first two weeks of Sept.
- Question regarding impacts on Grizzlies due to food source being wiped out.
Squamish River - comments
- Believe that most fish d/s of the confluence were floaters.
- No pinks yet in the Ashlu or Shovelnose
- Flow rates Squamish 340 cms/ Cheakamus 50 cms.
- Finding more survival of fry in Squamish then in Cheakamus, but also reports of stressed fish and fish kill in the Squamish.
- Randy saw fish d/s of the confluence trying to jump out of the water.
- At 1420 h the pH at the entrance to the training dyke was 9.8, at the spit, the pH was 8.3.
Other - Comments
- Concerns raised regarding steelhead, lost 4 years on steelhead.
- Minister commented publically that it was CNs duty to put the river back as it was.
- CN has agreed to be responsible for the spill and remediation.
- Info. will be made public on a regular basis.
- What approval process will the public have for input?
- DFO, Province and Squamish FN will have to sign off on recovery plan.
- Will watershed use plan be re-evaluated? The plan will need to be reconsidered, should hold off making flow changes for awhile.
- Dave Brown has been in contact with folks in Sacremento to find out what they did.
Proposed Regulation Changes from Linda Stevens
- Cheakamus River no fishing until September 30, 2005
- Squamish River downstream of the confluence with the Cheakamus River no fishing until September 30, 2005
- Howe Sound no retention of chinook or pinks in Subareas 28-3 to 28-5 and in that portion of Subarea 28-2 northerly of a line from Halkett Point 62° true to a fishing boundary sign on the north shore of Alberta Bay.
- It was pointed out that the Mamquam should be closed as well for two reasons, one all angling pressure will shift there and the system cannot handle it and two the Mamquam will hopefully be helpful in reseeding the damaged areas.
- A request was made to alter original Howe Sound proposal of Neuman Creek to the boundary sign 62° true of Halkett Point that was used previously for pink closures.
- CN should be asked to help publicize these changes.
- Request for Stevens to contact local papers, guide companies, Fishing with Rod and fishbc.com. Note: Stevens has contacted Communications at DFO and Provincial DFO communication person.
- Stevens committed to a follow-up meeting in September.