Steelhead in the News

Coquihalla: Dynamite to the rescue for a stranded stock of steelhead

 "..Fisheries management here has always been challenged by two factors: the presence of both summer and winter steelhead runs, and Othello Falls, a natural barrier that slows the migration of fish. It’s this cascade that separates the summer- and winter-run fish stocks.In the spring of 2014, the balance shifted - creating an almost impossible situation - when a railway support abutment (a remnant from the now-defunct Kettle Valley Railway) slumped into the river, pushing a particularly large, problematic boulder into the channel .."


See the rest of the story here:

Thompson Steelhead

Northern Branch Telkwa Coho Ponds Update

 The Northern Branch has been hard at work over the last 3 years rehabilitating critical fry rearing habitat on the Telkwa River. This spring was the first time in over a decade that fry were able to enter, and utilize the rearing ponds. The project will be ongoing as site improvements are slated for this coming spring and ongoing routine maintenance is required to ensure functionality.

Below are a series of photos from the last 3 years.

The outflow from the pond complex to the Telkwa River. Note how there is no water.



This is the outflow once a series of beaver dams and other obstructions were removed.


Volunteers repairing fencing used to keep beaver from building dams and blocking fry access to the upper pond complex.



One of the old debris traps.


New debris trap installation. Once installed the water from the ponds was able to flow freely through culverts under a FSR Road to the Telkwa River.


A series of information signs placed around the pond complex to educate visitors on the importance of this unique rearing habitat.




The Northern Branch would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteers and donors for their support:

Oscars Source for Adventure

Silver Hilton Steelhead Lodge

Smithers Secondary School



Fish ID License Paper

SSBC made up and distributed copies of a basic salmon identification document to lower mainland tackle shops. The Northern branch also has a copy for distribution in the northern part of the
province. The idea being that when a customer purchases or renews their angling licence that it is printed on the blank side of this salmonid identification document.

Fertilizers boost declining B.C. fish populations

VANCOUVER - Young steelhead and salmon grew dramatically in streams seeded with sacks of slow-release fertilizer, a method that shows real promise to help rebuild collapsed spawning populations, according to B.C. biologists. The method has proven effective at improving steelhead growth and survival in Vancouver Island streams in programs dating back to 1989.

Steelhead fry in treated areas are typically about 95-per-cent larger than those in untreated streams, while coho fry are about 40-per-cent bigger. Fish counts in the Keogh River found a 50-per-cent increase in the number of coho that survived the freshwater stage of life.

Read full article on the Vancouver Sun website:

Getting the rearing ponds back into action

Telkwa Rearing Ponds

The Northern branch of the Steelhead Society of B.C. spent a couple of cool afternoons working on the Telkwa Coho ponds in mid-November, one of the projects the group has decided to work on this year.

On Nov. 13 and 14 a group of seven people each day went to the ponds, located at the side of the Telkwa River, to set traps to see what state the ponds were in and to tidy the place up a bit.

On Sunday the group began a clean-up to prepare for more work in the spring.

The weekend was headed up by Jessea Grice, the chair for the Northern branch of the society.

When the traps were pulled on the Sunday the group discovered that the ponds were not in use as they found no fish or fry.

Group member Alison Smith said that they spent Sunday putting back up fencing that had come down and got the pond’s culvert working again.

“It was a work bee weekend,” she said, adding that they had to pull a fair bit of garbage from the area, from paint bottles to metal scraps.

Read the full story:

More photos from the day:

Coho Ponds 1

Coho Ponds 2

Coho Ponds 3

Coho Ponds 4

Coho Ponds 5

Coho Ponds 6

Coho Ponds 7

Coho Ponds 8

Coho Ponds 9

Coho Ponds 10

Coho Ponds 11