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Kootenay conservation projects boosted by fish and wildlife fund

Trail Wildlife Association granted $21,000 to monitor Murphy Creek spawning channel
A rainbow trout spawns in Sheridan Lake’s man-made spawning channel. Photo: Patrick Davies

Several local wildlife programs have received funding from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program.

In total, 33 fish and wildlife projects in the Columbia Region are sharing approximately $6.2 million in funding.

The Province of B.C. was given $1.1 million to add nutrients to Arrow Lakes Reservoir. This ongoing restoration program addresses nutrient losses in Arrow Lakes Reservoir resulting from the construction of the Hugh L. Keenleyside, Mica, and Revelstoke dams. Nitrogen and phosphorus will be added from April to September support phytoplankton populations that are suitable for the production of zooplankton, a main food source for kokanee. This project also includes the operational oversight of monitoring several trophic levels, as well as data analysis and reporting.

Kootenay Native Plant Society was given $48,000 for year four of a multi-year project to document native bee identity, abundance, status, and diversity, as well as pollinator and plant relationships and habitat use in wet camas meadows in the West Kootenay.

The Nature Trust of British Columbia was given $37,000 to support conservation field-crew work on operations and stewardship projects that maintain and enhance biodiversity and wildlife values on conservation properties. This year, the project will focus on working with First Nations on all phases of the project. Stewardship will be undertaken on conservation properties such as Waldie Island in Castlegar, the Hoodoos near Fairmont, and the Duncan-Lardeau property near Meadow Creek.

The Province of B.C. was also given $199,000 for the oversight, coordination, and implementation of restoration activities in West Kootenay upland and dryland ecosystems, including prescription development, slashing, piling, prescribed burn-planning, burning, postburn monitoring, and reporting.

The Sylix First Nation and Trail Wildlife Association were granted $21,000 to monitor and maintain the Murphy Creek spawning channel. The channel supports the rainbow trout population in Murphy Creek, which feeds the resident Columbia River population.

Other projects approved for the Columbia Region this year will benefit bats, ungulates, grizzly bears, trout, native plants, and more.

Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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