Editorial: Dam debate continues

Salmon will be at risk with closing of DeMamiel Creek dam

Out of touch and out to lunch is what the locals are thinking about when they consider what the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans is contemplating in regard to the Bill James dam on DeMamiel Creek.

When the rest of the world seems to be doing everything in its power to protect fish stocks and food sources, the federal department who is supposed to be looking after the fish — don’t. The dam was built by volunteers and it was overseen by DFO. Now with threats of bursting dams, costs, and law suits, the feds decide the wisest thing is to decommission a dam which has never been a problem, and will never be a problem according to those who live in the area. Seems to us that they are not adhering to their own mandate.

The T’Sou-ke First Nation and local volunteer salmon enhancement groups do a tremendous job in ensuring we have fish for future generations and it appears the feds do not care. The volunteers do not have the money the feds say they need to monitor/maintain the dam. If it is indeed “our” fishery, then let the locals, who know the situation, do the work and let the government compensate them. They can probably do it cheaper than any government department.

With the recent court ruling on protection of the orca habitat and food source,  this DFO action seems to be contrary to the court ruling.

Fishing is a way of life for many on the coast, especially the First Nations people. It is their income and their pleasure and the DFO should be in touch with what is important to those citizens who just want to save a lot of fish so they can catch a few fish. Consultation is crucial.

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