The Birkenhead River, then and now

This weekend, celebrate BC Rivers Day, and the return of the salmon, with these 2 updates on the Birkenhead River, one from September 18 2014, from Lil’wat Fisheries Manager Maxine Joseph-Bruce, and the second, the video, from 1978.


September 18, 2014 Salmon Update

Ama sqit Nsneknukwa7,

We estimate 20,212 sockeye past the Birkenhead DIDSON up to and including September 16. The migration seems to have leveled off, with no large schools of fish moving in. The river sites where we have our Underwater Camera installed and the counting fence are still stable, so not a lot of erosion, as in previous years.

The lower areas of the Birkenhead (Areas 1to3) from Suspension Bridge to Seymour Road area were dead-pitched on Tuesday (Sept 16), only 30 carcasses were pitched. We will dead-pitch the upper areas on Friday (Sept 19). We are not yet near peak of spawn, but we will begin collecting Pacific Salmon Commission samples next week.

We were pleased to be able to finally check the flood mitigation site – you might recall that back in March 2014, we removed 18,000 m3 of gravel from the Birkenhead River, just behind the pole yard, and so we wanted to see if the returning sockeye salmon utilize that section of the river… so as of September 16 we observed that there are a good amount of sockeye salmon building their spawning redds in that location. We are relieved that the mitigation efforts were done with the least amount of impact to the salmon.

Attention Fishers! If you notice a fish carcass on the river banks, please don’t throw it back into the river. Once we’ve thrown (or dead-pitched) the carcasses onto the river banks, that’s our indicator that we’ve counted it. Kukwstumulhkalap (we thank you folks).

On Monday (Sept 15) we surveyed Pemberton and Miller Creeks. No sockeye were observed.
On Wednesday (Sept 17) we surveyed Green River. We observed 23 live sockeye in the side-channel, none in the main channel, and no carcasses.

And finally to conclude my weekly update with some very positive updates around our Chinook salmon; on our Annual Birkenhead River Chinook Salmon Walk, we counted 379 Chinook salmon in the spawning grounds.

YAY \o/ Cheers to all our FISH TECHS, you are doing a fantastic job!

Ts’ila ati? Nilh ti

Maxine Joseph-Bruce <*)}}}><
Fisheries Manager

Published on Aug 24, 2012 by UBCIC, thanks to Johnny Jones for sharing:

We’ll Do Our Fishing (UBCIC, 1978). This is one of two fishing films commissioned by UBCIC in 1978 and were originally used in the UBCIC’s work at the West Coast Oil Ports Inquiry, an inquiry to investigate the environmental, social and safety implications of an oil port and increased tanker traffic on the West Coast of B.C. The UBCIC was a major participant at the Inquiry hearings. Directors and Producers: James Bizzocchi and Peter Kellington Rick Salter and Lillian Basil represented UBCIC as executive producers.

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