The Pacific Salmon Foundation and natural gas pipeline builder TransCanada have provided $5,500 to three fish conservation projects here.
The money comes from a larger donation pool with $8,375 going to projects in New Hazelton, $8,000 to projects in Smithers and $12,000 to projects in Burns Lake.
Of the local dollars, $1,000 comes from the salmon foundation which receives revenue from the sale of salmon tags and $4,500 from TransCanada.
The Terrace Salmonid Enhancement Project is getting a new tank with water alarm at the Deep Creek Hatchery located just off the Nisga’a Highway north of Terrace while the Lakelse Watershed Stewardship Society is receiving assistance for a water quality monitoring program. There will also be upgrades to the Hatchery Creek Trail located at the beginning of the Gunsite Mountain trailhead.
The actual value of the Terrace area projects being undertaken is $20,000 when volunteer time and community donations are taken into account, said Pacific Salmon Foundation representative Stephen Bruyneel.
According to Ian Riemenschneider of the Terrace Salmon Enhancement Project, everything at the hatchery is usually financed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
“The hatchery is 100 per cent DFO funded and they don’t have a ton of money right now to just hand out, so any little bit of help goes a long way,” he said.
The Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Community Salmon Program supports habitat stewardship, Pacific salmon enhancement and watershed education with money primarily from sales of the federal government’s Salmon Conservation Stamp.
TransCanada is in line to build two natural gas pipelines, one of 670 kilometres from northeastern B.C. to the Shell-majority owned planned LNG Canada liquefied natural gas project at Kitimat and the other of 900 kilometres in length to the planned Pacific NorthWest LNG plant on Lelu Island near Port Edward which is majority owned by Petronas.
The money for local fishery projects is not reclamation work to make up for impacts the pipelines may have on fish habitat but rather an effort by the company to support the health of local fisheries, says TransCanada official Davis Sheremata.