Seymour River Rockslide UPDATE

From MetroVancouver UPDATE.

“Seymour River rock fall, trails and salmon

In December 2014, a large rockslide partially blocked the Seymour River. Initially the river level rose seven metres, flooding the Fisherman’s Trail and overtopping Twin Bridge, which was subsequently removed. The rockfall is estimated at 30,000 to 50,000 cubic metres. Local experts were engaged to assess rock stability, tree loss, and the potential for relocating trails and a crossing.

From this review, an immediate concern was met; the fallen rock was declared stable, with little risk of flooding downstream.

Once the stability at the rock slide was confirmed, Metro Vancouver, along with our partners (Seymour Salmonid Society and Fisheries and Oceans Canada), assessed the broader impacts of the slide including effects on the Seymour River salmon run.

The best spawning grounds for Coho and Steelhead salmon are above the rockslide. However, the rock slide made it very difficult for salmon to migrate upstream. A tagging program of returning salmon is providing some good information on the changed migration pattern. Metro Vancouver works with its partners to support the salmon run in the Seymour River, cooperating on habitat enhancements and balancing water flows to the river below our dams. Our organization also provides core funding to the Seymour Salmonid Society.

This fall, Metro Vancouver is working alongside numerous organizations including volunteers, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Seymour Salmonid Society, Squamish Nation, Tsleil Waututh Nation, BCIT, and the District of North Vancouver to help ensure that some salmon get above the rock fall. Salmon are being captured near the mouth of the river and then are trucked in water tanks above the rock slide.

Salmon have been returning to this river for thousands of years. While the above organizations assess options for the future, Metro Vancouver staff are proud to offer their support and directly participate in this operation. Find more information on the rockslide, trail improvements and related consultation here.

article by Lucy Duso

 

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