Willingdon Creek Comes To Life!


The recent return of the Chum to Willingdon Creek is the payoff for the hard work done by CUPE local 798 and the Powell River Salmon Society.   Check out the video clip Salmon Return To Willingdon Creek.  Sometimes we forget that hatcheries aren’t just factories for turning out more fish for the hook and net; they’re also critical backstops for wild stocks in trouble.  Several environmental catastrophes at Willingdon over the past few years have threatened the very existence of its Chum, but our protected hatchery environment has made it possible to bring them back. 2010 has seen a record return of 50 Chum and counting! If you have a chance in the coming days, stop by the creek – take the kids – and see the result.  We’re really proud of it. 

Thank you for your continued support

Shane

I’ve asked Paul Nassichuk to put together his thoughts on the Willingdon Project.  Here’s what he has to say:

 It is very gratifying that after 14 years we are seeing a truly historic return of salmon to this creek system. CUPE has worked hard over the years,releasing  close to 500,000 fish with the generous support of the Powell River Salmon society. Recently city workers did some restorative work in the Willingdon Campsite which included pinning logs on the banks to create cover for the fish .Imagine how it must be for people from all over the world who visit our campsite…in the middle of town…to be able to watch these fish fulfilling their circle of life…It must be quite extraordinary. I hope folks also see the positive economic spin offs that this could provide our community. We also did some stream side planting to help increase the cover and reduce erosion in the campsite. One of the big issues with an urban stream are the fluctuations in water temperature. Plant material creates shade which helps regulate the water temperatures in the low water summer months. The combination of efforts and positive environmental conditions has resulted in what i hope will now be a self sustaining run of fish. We are now looking forward in opening up the upper reaches of this system to make way for the return of Coho. We plan to start lobbying Fisheries immediately for the green light to proceed with either a trough system or large releases in Cranberry Lake. This would realize a goal that we have been striving for since the enhancement efforts began. I hope folks come out …bring your kids and grandkids to see  history in the making .

Paul Nassichuk

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