DeMamiel Creek dam built by volunteers

Dam will be decommissioned

DeMamiel Creek dam as it was in the 1970s. It was built by volunteers.

Those who are born and raised in the isolated areas on the coast of British Columbia are a self-sufficient and independent-minded lot.

Percy Brown, a descendent of Becher Bay pioneers, was instrumental in building the dam at the head waters of DeMamiel Creek, which the Department of Fisheries and Oceans now wants to dismantle.

Back in the 1970s Sooke people took matters into their own hands. If they saw a need they just got it done. For example, Brown singlehandedly raised funds for the first rescue boat in the area after saving two lives in the stormy waters off Beechy Head on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. He also instigated the building of the DeMamiel Creek dam and enhanced many other waterways to ensure the survival of the salmon. Brown owned the Beecher Bay Marina.

His daughter Louise Paterson is livid that the dam is being decommissioned.

“He believed so much in the fish,” she said. “It’s just wrong. Even if it did collapse it will hurt nothing, nothing.”

Paterson said that the work Percy Brown did was through the assistance of fisheries officer Jack Brooks.

“The DFO fully supported the efforts and as a society, they received funding,” said Paterson.

The society was known as the South Vancouver Island Aid the Fish Society.

She said Percy  Brown enhanced the creek running from Murder Bay to Greens Swamp at the junction of East Sooke and Beecher Bay Road. Also enhanced was Matheson Creek from Roche Cove running into Matheson Lake.