February, 2004 Letter to the Minister of WLAP - Thompson River Recovery Plan

Letter to the Minister of WLAP - Thompson River Recovery Plan
Tyler Kushnir

Honourable Bill Barasoff,
Minister of WLAP

The Thompson River Steelhead is a world famous icon of British Columbia. People come from around the world to challenge these magnificent fish. That this symbol of BC sport fishing is in grave danger is beyond question. This past November your Ministry was about to take the unprecedented step of a total closure of fishing on the Thompson River. This was due to the predictions that only 800 fish were expected to return. Historically the Thompson is thought to have supported some 10,000 spawners. Only intense political pressure and a few late arriving fish kept the closure from being implemented.

The Steelhead Society of BC is very concerned with the future of Thompson River steelhead. The problems of the Thompson are varied and difficult to deal with: from rearing habitat issues in the Nicola and Deadman Valleys, to commercial and native interception in the Fraser - not to mention the apparent apathy of the DFO to steelhead.

Furthermore, ocean survival issues complicate the situation. To this end the SSBC wants to see the creation and implementation of a full-scale recovery plan for Thompson River steelhead.

The Provincial Government needs to take the lead in this process. The Thompson and its steelhead bring worldwide fame to British Columbia. The failure to take decisive action at this time could mean the end of one of British Columbia’s great symbols. We need to act now.

Yours sincerely,

Tyler Kushnir
Director Steelhead Society of British Columbia.

Cc. Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier