About the Watershed

News about the Cowichan Watershed and the Cowichan Watershed Board

Fishing stopped on Cowichan River as chinook-salmon rescue starts

Peter Rusland, Cowichan News Leader Pictorial, October 05, 2012

All fishing has been banned on the Cowichan River while officials try to rescue this year's run of chinook salmon from drought conditions.

Gerald Thom, of the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society, stressed the fishing prohibition — including Native spearfishing — was ordered after a conference call between agents with local, federal and provincial governments, Cowichan Tribes, and local stakeholders so fish collection could happen in Cowichan Bay estuary and the lower river.

Flows in the heritage river were also pinched Friday at Cowichan Lake's weir to five cubic-metres per second, from 6.5 cm/sec, to store water for pulse tactics Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We're considering a pulse, a quick release of water over a 36-hour period at about 13 cm/second.

Annual clean-up of Cowichan River goes to two-day, weir-to-bay event

Lexi Bainas, Citizen, August 10, 2012

The old lady is getting a real facelift this summer.

The annual Cowichan River cleanup is being officially expanded to become a two-day event.

Starting with a big effort in Lake Cowichan Saturday, Aug. 25, the work will continue Sunday, Aug. 26 along the eastern portions down to Cowichan Bay.

"We're cleaning the entire river from the weir to the Bay," said Gerald Thom of the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society Aug. 9.

Cowichan watershed clean-up gets $370,000 from federal Gas Tax Fund

By Peter W. Rusland, Cowichan News Leader Pictorial, May 05, 2012

Two-dozen great blue herons fed on Cowichan Bay's low-tide critters while regional brass got $370,000 Saturday to help make the bay's shellfish edible for everyone by 2020.

"This is phenomenal," local Meghan Loop said of the federal Gas Tax Fund money — presented at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre by B.C.'s Minister of Community, Sport and Culture Ida Chong – to help save the watershed's groundwater through pollution detection and prevention.

Invasive algae species overtaking local water systems

By Dorian Geiger, Lake Cowichan Gazette, January 18, 2012

Something slimy and gross has overtaken Cowichan Lake — and it’s not the creature from the Black Lagoon.

Didymo, also known as ‘rock snot,’ is an invasive algae species that has invaded the Cowichan River.

Often mistaken for soggy toilet paper or slime, didymo comes in a variety of unsightly forms.

Although didymo is not toxic and poses no threat to drinking water, the algae growth is extremely repulsive-looking and can take the fun out of aquatic activities such as tubing or swimming.

Officials investigating deaths of thousands of young coho

By Peter Rusland, Cowichan News Leader Pictorial, September 09, 2011

Three salmon kills around Duncan’s Fish Gut Alley this summer are being probed by all levels of government.

The suspected culprit in the killing of thousands of juvenile coho is a possible toxic cocktail of motor oil, dog feces, detergents, and/or pesticides mixing in storm water flushed into the heritage Cowichan River during rains.

Kinsol Trestle marks historic day

Kevin Rothbauer, Cowichan Valley Citizen, July 29, 2011

Hundreds pack inspiring former railroad bridge as people allowed back on span for first time since 1980s

Darin George leads a prayer at the reopening of the Kinsol Trestle

Click here for PHOTO GALLERY

The Cowichan Valley's past, present and future came together on Thursday morning when the restored Kinsol Trestle opened.

The last spike was driven into the span by Mike Coleman, a lawyer and former Duncan mayor whose name was drawn following a raffle. Fittingly, he was aided by his two-year-old grandchildren, Grace and Blake. The Coleman family then had the honour of being the first to walk across, their footsteps becoming the first of millions that will use the bridge over the next century.

"This is a very powerful reminder of our history and what brought us to be the community we are today," said Cowichan Valley Regional District Chair Gerry Giles, who presided over the ceremony.

Lake level looks decent enough to maintain summer river flows

By Tyler Clarke, Lake Cowichan Gazette, July 04, 2011

At this point, it appears as though the Cowichan River’s summer flow won’t dip to below seven cubic meters/second.

This, Catalyst Paper Crofton Division environmental manager Brian Houle said, is thanks to there being more snow pack this year than last.

Catalyst operates the Cowichan Lake weir, which controls how much water flow goes into the Cowichan River, in order to maintain at least seven cubic meters/second flow throughout the dry summer.

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