Friday, December 16, 2011

Flies For Fins Raising Money for the Thompson

Flies for fins is raising money for habitat restoration on the Thompson River. Specifically, for habitat improvements on Spius Creek an important spawning tributary for Thompson River Steelhead. The Thompson is revered as one of the greatest steelhead rivers on the planet however in recent years the river has seen record low returns prompting serious concerns about the future of the Thompson's storied steelhead. Flies for fins is asking for help from the angling community to meet their goal of raising $12,000 for habitat restoration. Visit their website to buy and/or donate flies, guided trips and a variety of other fishing tackle.

More about their mission:

Over the past 10 years there has been considerable attention paid to the Thompson River and its declining steelhead stocks. In 2010 the Thompson River remained closed to fishing for the steelhead season as a result of an anticipated low return (final estimates indicate that just over 500 steelhead returned to the Thompson to spawn in 2010). This is a troubling circumstance which has resulted in a general cry for help from the angling community and other stakeholders to restore the Thompson River steelhead population to sustainable numbers.

The Steelhead Society of British Columbia (SSBC) has been actively engaging regulatory agency staff and other regional fisheries experts in an effort to determine how we can make a difference for Thompson River steelhead stocks.

During a recent conversation with a Fisheries and Oceans Canada biologist, we were advised of bank stabilization issues on Spius Creek, a tributary to the Nicola River, which is the largest steelhead spawning tributary of the Thompson River.

Restoring and improving spawning and rearing habitat is key to preservation and enhancement of Thompson River steelhead. Unstable and eroding banks are often a natural occurrence; however, severe bank erosion can also result from human activities such as deforestation, as well as from riverbank trampling by domestic range animals.

In the case of Spius Creek, excessive bank erosion has resulted in the infill of important fish habitat such as pools, runs, and viable spawning habitat.

The SSBC contacted an expert to visit this particular site and provide an estimate of costs. The assessment found that the project costs to stabilize and enhance the three sites on the Spius Creek tributary would be $40,000.

The SSBC Directors have approved a motion to support the Spius Creek Bank Stabilization Project with a commitment of $10,000 and we are working hard to achieve the remaining $30,000. Flies for Fins has set a goal of raising $12,000 to contribute to this effort.

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