By the time you hear this, the Ministry of Transportation crew will have left Basil creek. As Cortes Streamkeeper Cecil Robinson observed, prior to this “if the fish came early and the rains were late, they just simply couldn’t get through the old culvert. They died right there.” Now more of them will swim upstream to their spawning grounds. Then he proceeded to describe how the “Basil Creek culvert projectwas over the top from the very beginning. Everything that needed to be done, is done: and then some more, always some more.”
Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure closed a small segment of Whaletown Road on Cortes Island. The impact on the local community is minimal. However British Columbia’s threatened fish stocks greatly benefit from projects like replacing the culvert at Basil Creek.
Narrator: “… Fishing was once a cornerstone of British Columbia’s economy, but we’ve been hearing stories of diminished runs and out of work fishermen for years. Roy Hales lives on Cortes Island, where the fishing industry seems to be mostly spoken about in the past tense. So he set out to find out where have all the salmon gone.”
Though Cec Robinson has been a recognized personality in the logging blockades, he would rather work in his garden, or go fishing. Only there is a lot at stake. Speaking as one of Cortes Island’s stream keepers, Cec said you need cold, clean water for healthy streams. Cool clean water comes from healthy forests.
Six to eight hundred adult Chum Salmon used to come up Hansen’s Creek. Now there are 30 in a good year and as few as 3 in poor ones. Though we were talking about Cortes Island, this is a common phenomenon along the West Coast of British Columbia. Where have all the Wild Salmon gone?