Category Archives: news

Public Meeting on Speckled Dace Recovery, February 16 in Westbridge

Public Meeting: Monday, February 16, 3:30-5:30 pm, at the Westbridge Community Hall, HWY 33.

The Speckled Dace is a small, endangered minnow with an important role in the Kettle River. As part of the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has received funding from Environment Canada and the Okanagan Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada to help restore Speckled Dace habitat near Beaverdell, the Christian Valley, and the upper Granby River.

Please join the RDKB and project partners to learn about the importance of Speckled Dace and their habitat. See options for habitat restoration, learn how to get involved, and share your ideas on stream stewardship in the Kettle River Watershed.

Contact Graham Watt (250.442.4111 / plan@kettleriver.ca).

dace-public-meeting-FEB16

Kettle River Watershed Management Plan Ready to Launch

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is ready to move from planning to action with the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan.

After three years of study and planning, the RDKB will present the plan to the public at the Christina Lake Annual Watershed Review on December 3.

The plan outlines a vision for a “Healthy, resilient and sustainable Kettle River watershed, which functions to meet the needs and values of its communities, who in turn act as stewards of the watershed.” This vision is supported by three goals, four strategies, eighteen management directions and fifty-nine actions that, over time, will achieve real improvements in water conservation, water quality, and the health of aquatic ecosystems.

“There are many really excellent projects that will come from this, with all kinds of support behind the plan,” said Grace McGregor, Chair of the RDKB Board of Directors and Director for Electoral Area C / Christina Lake.

The main areas of focus of the next three years will include filling critical information gaps, coordinating restoration projects, supporting water quality improvements and working with water suppliers and water users to improve conservation.Cover

“There are a lot of opportunities here for working together among everyone with an interest in the Kettle River, whether they are individual landowners and farmers or represent local governments, resource management agencies, conservation groups, or First Nations,” said Graham Watt, Coordinator for the plan.

“This really sets the direction for the Regional District for considering the watershed in many kinds of decisions,” added McGregor.

“The Stakeholder Advisory Group intends the plan to provide guidance for decision makers and set the stage for collaboration and action,” said Watt. “The success of the next three years really depends on the participation of all of the people and groups that play a part.”

The planning process was built around bringing a variety of perspectives to a broad suite of watershed issues.

“We all got to learn from each other, hearing different ways of understanding common interests,” said Watt. “And that learning will need to continue through the next few years, as we all gain experience and capacity through implementing and revising the plan.”

The Advisory Group recommended that the plan be presented to the RDKB for their ‘endorsement’, which was provided at the November 27th Board of Directors meeting in Grand Forks.

“Endorsement means that the RDKB will consider the plan in relevant decisions and services, implement the strategies and actions as appropriate through local planning and services, and promote it for use by other stakeholders, organizations and government agencies,” said Watt. “This is a major statement about the importance of the plan.”

So what’s next? The RDKB will be seeking organizations and individuals to express support and participation in implementation and review. And the plan will immediately shift into action with project proposals and opportunities for the public to get involved.

The plan will be published December 3 at http://kettleriver.ca. Copies will be available at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary offices in Grand Forks and Trail and in other key locations.

 

Thank you for your comments and ideas – and keep them coming

Thank you to everyone who has submitted comments and feedback on the draft Kettle River Watershed Management Plan – your ideas and comments are invaluable and will help us complete revisions to the plan that reflect the interests and priorities of the community. While our deadline for comments was set for today (October 14), we would still like to encourage organizations or individuals to provide their feedback going forward, and we ask that you get in touch if you would like to schedule a meeting or discussion. All feedback will be held for future consideration as the Watershed Management Plan is intended to be a ‘living document’ (more like computer software than a house foundation), with improvements and new components added during scheduled reviews during implementation.

Revisions to the Plan will be discussed at a Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting at the beginning of November, and the Plan will be presented for endorsement by the RDKB Board of Directors at their November meeting. After that, organizations and stakeholders will be asked to receive the Plan and participate in implementing the various strategies and priority actions.

Forester, rancher and land steward Fred Marshall instructs Graham Watt on the ins and outs of riparian protection (Cavan Gates photo).
Forester, rancher and land steward Fred Marshall instructs Graham Watt on the ins and outs of riparian protection (Cavan Gates photo).

Ferry County Coalition Shoreline Master Program Update

Ferry County and the City of Republic are developing updated shoreline regulations for the rivers, streams, and several lakes in the County and Granite Creek in the City of Republic. The Washington State Shoreline Management Act has three purposes:

  1. To protect ecological functions.
  2. To accommodate appropriate uses.
  3. To maintain public access

Ferry County and the City of Republic are holding visioning workshops and invite the public to come and learn about the Shoreline Master Program update, discuss information and learn of future input opportunities.  The dates and locations are:

  •  Oct. 1, 6:00 – 7:30 pm at the Kettle River Grange, 25262 N Hwy 395 in Barstow, WA;
  •  Oct. 2, 2:00 -3:30 pm at the Curlew Civic Hall, 4 Washburn St. in Curlew, WA;
  •  Oct. 2, 6:00 – 7:30 pm at the Northern Inn Conference Room at 852 S Clark in Republic.

For more information, please contact

  • Irene Whipple, Ferry County at (509) 775-5225 x 3101 or
  • Chris Meng, City of Republic at (509) 775-2929.

You may also view any new information and updates throughout the entire process on the website at http://www.ferryccsmpupdate.com

Curlew Creek, Washington
Curlew Creek, Washington

The Kettle River and tributaries are considered in the following technical review: http://www.ferryccsmpupdate.com/_resources/pdfs/App_A_Kettle_2014_0825.pdf

Grand opening set for Sockeye hatchery in Penticton

A very exciting story from our neighbouring watershed to the west, and  one major step of the larger salmon recovery program for the Columbia River Basin. Contributed from Okanagan Nation Alliance, September 17, 2014

Penticton British Columbia, Okanagan Nation Territory: The k] cp?’lk’ stim’ Salmon Hatchery, part of the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) sockeye reintroduction program, will have its Grand Opening on September 20th at 1pm. The hatchery is located on the Penticton Indian Band reserve lands at 155 Enowkin Trail, Penticton, BC.

“The return of Okanagan Sockeye to our fishing grounds used to be only a dream”, says Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, “in the summer of 2010 we witnessed the salmon come back in the numbers not seen for 100 years. The work of supporting the sockeye is ongoing and continues with this new hatchery, another aspect of our collective assertion to have a rightful place in the ongoing stewardship of our lands and resources.” We have demonstrated our approach and success to restore salmon in the Okanagan.  The ONA and Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) will continue our success for salmon restoration in the Upper Columbia above Chief Joseph Dam and Grand Coulee into Canada.

This hatchery is a testament to the perseverance of the Syilx people to realize their dream of restoring the n’titxw (Salmon), one of our Four Food Chiefs, to their original habitat and rightful place in our territory.  This hatchery represents a critical stage of our Nation’s restoration initiative. It is a historical moment for our people.  After many years, this new hatchery on the Okanagan River system is ready for the 2014 broodstock season.

The hatchery facility is part of a long-term program to restore the historical range of Sockeye in the upper Okanagan watershed, Okanagan Lake, and Skaha Lake systems, a region of the Columbia River Basin. This facility is funded primarily by the Grant and Chelan Public Utility Districts, Washington, USA.

The 25,000 square foot salmon hatchery will have the capacity to rear up to eight (8) million eggs, but is currently equipped to handle all fish culture aspects required for five (5) million eggs from brood stock management until fry release. Sockeye salmon eggs will be released annually as fry into the Okanagan system.  Sizing the facility for eight (8) million eggs allows for flexibility in the future or to allow for changes in the fish culture activities.

The Hatchery includes all buildings, equipment, and infrastructure required to collect, incubate, rear and release fish for the sole intent of outplanting sockeye fry for reintroduction and range extension to Skaha and Okanagan Lake. Fish culture also includes all laboratories and associated activities for fish condition and aging, plankton and mysid biometrics, and virology, necessary for the Sockeye Reintroduction Program. During the entire course the hatchery mimics the natural temperatures of the river and no anti-fungal treatments or chemicals are used.

The ONA and its subsidiary company, Okanagan Nation Aquatic Enterprises (OAE) Ltd., have worked in close collaboration with the Colville Confederation Tribes of WA, Grant and Chelan Public Utility Districts in Washington State, the Penticton Indian Band, and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Greyback Construction, among others, to bring this project to reality.

The ONA Chiefs Executive Council acknowledges everyone and everything that helped make this dream a reality; to the water in our streams and the air we breathe, to our Elders and Leaders of yesterday and today, our staff, our technical Teams and partners and through the years our Nation members who have kept the prayers and ceremonies alive, we say, Lim limpt!

TARA MONTGOMERY / Communications Okanagan Nation Alliance 

101 – 3535 Old Okanagan Hwy

WESTBANK, BC V4T 3J6

TF 1 866 662 9609

T   250 707 0095 ext 120

F    250 768 8476 www.syilx.org