Letter: DFO and the dam

Destruction of the Demamiel Creek dam will impact salmon

I thought Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)  was here to protect salmon and habitat. With the removal of the Bill James Dam on DeMamiel Creek it will destroy and remove vital salmon and trout habitat. Coho adults in the fall like to travel to the upmost reaches of the creeks they inhabit. This will void fish life and kill fry in the summer months, which will reduce the salmon population on DeMamiel Creek.

In 1998-2000, the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society, Pacific Salmon Foundation, volunteers and DFO spent over $250,000 on rebuilding this dam and making it structurally sound. The dam stores water in the winter and this enables a release of water in the dry, summer months. It is controlled by a release valve operated by volunteers.    With this flow in the summer months, salmon fry are able to survive the dry months.  Coho live in the creek for over a year prior to going out into the ocean. It is important that the creek does not dry up in the summer in the upper reaches where these fry are living.

If this dam is removed, what a waste of money and destruction of a valuable fish habitat and it makes me feel like not donating money to salmon enhancement projects where and when DFO is involved. I feel the community-based groups know more about the watersheds in their area than DFO with their budget and liability cutting mentality.

This dam is operated by the SSES volunteers and there is no cost to DFO to operate and maintain it.

Please write to stop this ludicrous idea of DFO.

Rather than sending it in the mail, letters addressed to the Regional Water Manager may be e-mailed to  John.Baldwin@gov.bc.ca. They should be cc’d to Richard Powley (dfo)  Richard.Powley@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Glen Varney

Sooke