Lexi Bainas, Cowichan Valley Citizen, October 15, 2010
Enemy submarines may never invade the Cowichan River but navy technology is helping protect an important food supply.
Counting the run of chum salmon as water levels increase in the Cowichan River is a real challenge for fisheries officials.
According to Wilfred Luedke, fisheries officer from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' Nanaimo office, the work is made easier now by the addition of some really high-tech equipment that is used after high water negates the usefulness of the fish counting fence at Allenby Road.
"We have this thing called a 'didson' camera to help us.
It goes in after the fence is pulled out. A few years ago it was classified. In the U.S. navy, submarines would use this didson sonar to look for mines," he said.
"The sonar actually has so many different beams going on and off that it gives you an outline of the fish. It's really high-tech and was classified 10 years ago or whenever it came out. The Cowichan has a primo counting system compared to most other places in British Columbia," Luedke said.
© Cowichan Valley Citizen 2010