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Archive for August 16th, 2011

  This video pretty much tells the story. Sunday I floated the Kettle with my good friend Pete Caron, we were looking at identifying places that might qualify as candidates for our Trout Unlimited restoration project. Just below the put in, Pete and I spotted some anglers on the bank.  As we approached in the raft one of them retreated into the bushes on the bank and hid from view. The other remained at the top of the rip rap bank.  When we floated by we aknowledged the angler, he didn't speak English or didn't seem to understand or hears us. We noticed he held a coke can in his hand and we were able to discern that he had fishing line wrapped around it and some sort of fishing rig attached.  We floated past and watched the guy from the boat.  As we got down stream we witnessed two other men come out of the bushes both with spinning rods in hand.  They returned to the river's edge and started casting. The property they were fishing on is adjacent to the Hansinger Nursery.  The run they were fishing used to be one of the best on the float. But it hasn't produce a fish in a year or two. On the Kettle that means you could literally walk the entire bank for 100 yards, stare perfectly into gin clear water and see NO FISH.  Not one.  Pete and I stopped at the next run, I watched the 3 men on the bank fish.  It wasn't hard to surmise that these men were probably migrant farmworkers and would have no licences and may be fishing with bait and killing fish in a section of the Kettle River that is C&R and has a bait ban in place. The more I watched them, the angrier I became. I must have blew a gasket because the next thing I know I was marching upstream, crossing the river towards the bank they were fishing. I knew I just couldn't live with myself unless I did something about it. The rest you can watch in the video. When I approached the men the admitted to working for the Nursery. My guess is they are living on the property for the summer and fishing on their day off, but my question is, should the Nursery owner be responsible for his workers?  In my mind, their is no question.  Putting an end to this kind of EVERYONE's responsibility. What's that cliche? If you're not part of soultion, you're part of the problem. T>  
    Recently my chapter received a grant for $25000 as part of the Royal Bank of Canada's Blue Water Project.  The money is to be used for  habitat restoration on the Kettle River, BC's Most Endangered River two years running.  TU Canada is looking at the leveraging the initial funding into more by applying for various Match Funding programs. Hopefully we will be able to bank roll this into much more than just $25000. We at TU Okanagan are in the preliminary stages of identifying project locations for this restoration work. This video shows a possible candidate for back channel restoration. It's really nothing more than a spring seepage/backwater ditch right now.  Frank Van Oyen is the rancher who owns this property and he is interested in working with TU on this project, so we have land owner buy in. Frank told me that the channel has several small springs that comprise the flow.  We'll see if it would be a worthwhile candidate. Here is some raw footage out of a Go Pro for an idea of what we are looking at. More Later T>