Letters: A legacy betrayed

Decommissioning of Bill James Dam not a popular move with locals

DFO’s decision to decommission the Bill James Dam is not rational, not research based and demeaning to the people of this community. Named in honour of a Sooke pioneer salmon conservationist the dam was constructed in the 1970s by salmon society volunteers.  At considerable expense the dam was improved in 1998. Over $250,000 of public money and donations went into the dam improvement. A control valve was installed to the specifications of DFO  (a valve that DFO now says does not meet specifications). Thousands of hours of volunteer work went into the construction and subsequent maintenance of the site by Sooke Salmon Society volunteers.

DFO’s decision to decommission the dam is based on a dam of similar capacity collapsing in Oliver.  Unlike the Bill James Dam that has a concrete spillway, the Oliver dam merely had a culvert to act as a spillway. Unlike the Bill James Dam that has a relatively gentle slope down to sea level, the Oliver dam was on a high incline with numerous farms and orchards below it. Unlike the Bill James Dam, conditions at the site are regularly monitored by volunteers.

What they did have in common is that in neither case were they monitored by DFO. Indeed officials who informed the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society of their decision to decommission the dam had never been on site.

DFO says the Bill James Dam could be hazard yet they have declined to carry out a study to access the dam’s condition. At considerable public expense they flew into the site to destroy the valve that they said was needed to maintain the dam. If the dam is destroyed thousands of dollars more will be thrown away

While they maintain that the water constitutes a hazard they also insist there is minimal outflow into Young Lake and the maintenance of DeMamiel creek summer levels has no beneficial effect for salmon fry survival or maintaining ground water supplies for householders living close to the creek. Do they have any studies to back this up?

No.

Is DFO concerned about Salmon conservation and the welfare of the people of Sooke?

You already know the answer.

Rob Henderson

Sooke

Just Posted

Sooke zoning bylaw debate devolves into tearful accusations

Mayor Maja Tait stresses bylaw is not about a single business

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Road win moves Wolverines into third place

Sooke squad heads to Nanaimo for weekend tournament

UPDATED: First Nation supporters march to Premier John Horgan’s MLA office in Langford

Upwards of 30 people moved across the West Shore Wednesday morning in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

UPDATE: Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ratfish generates social media buzz on Vancouver Island

Boneless, glowing creature a common bycatch, but it usually stays in deep waters – fish expert

Tilray announces multimillion-dollar deal with U.S. marketing company

Nanaimo-based cannabis producer to partner with Authentic Brands Group

Environmental fixes needed over personal agendas

Re: CRD directors demand declaration of climate emergency (Online, Jan. 14) Sooke… Continue reading

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Pregnant B.C. firefighter tries to save own house that caught fire

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Most Read