Alouette Adult Sockeye Enumeration Project Receives $16,028 for 2017!
This vital project has been funded by BC Hydro for 10 years, the first 8 years under the Alouette Water Use Plan and the last 2 years by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program. Again, ARMS has been successful in its application to continue this vital work with the generous support of BC Hydro’s Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program.
Each year ARMS and BC Corrections Allco Fish Hatchery staff and inmates, erect a fish fence in the South Alouette River, approximately 5 kilometres below the Alouette Dam in Maple Ridge, to direct and trap any returning adult sockeye salmon. These sockeye adults are then sampled for their DNA and scales, which are then sent to the Fisheries and Oceans’ Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo. The results which come back inform us as to the origin of the sockeye (are they from the Alouette or are they strays into the Alouette system?), their age (how long did the sockeye spend in the marine environment?) and their parentage.
All this information ties in with other studies being conducted on the South Alouette including a long-running project operated by the Katzie First Nation and LGL Limited which traps outmigrating kokanee smolts from the Alouette dam during a spring release of water from April to June each year. The returning adults are a percentage of the earlier runs out of the Alouette system from these spring releases.
The Alouette Adult Sockeye Enumeration Project is continuing to monitor sockeye returns to a system where once this species was thought to be extirpated. In 2007, as a result of an earlier water release over the Alouette dam, ARMS and Katzie First Nation, were delighted by the return of sockeye to the Allco fish fence after an absence of almost 80 years.
ARMS continues to work with many other stakeholders including Katize First Nation, Fisheries and Oceans, Ministry of Environment, LGL Limited, BC Hydro and others in the Alouette River Sockeye Reanadromization Project to see the restoration of sockeye salmon and other salmonid species to the Upper Alouette Watershed via some form of fish passage on or around the Alouette dam.
To help ARMS in its endeavor, please donate through our website’s ‘Donate button’, thank you!