Kokish River needs your letter NOW!
The Kokish is a wild river that is on northern Vancouver Island, near Port McNeil.
This 10-kilometre long whitewater river is home to a rare population of wild summer-run steelhead, which are seagoing rainbow trout that migrate to the ocean and return to their river as salmon-sized adults several years later. In fact, the entire length of the Kokish River is important rearing, spawning and migration habitat for summer-run steelhead, other trout, char and salmon.
Due to past habitat destruction and over-fishing only three streams on the east coast of Vancouver Island still have reasonably healthy runs of wild summer-run steelhead.
But now the BC government has just approved a private hydro-power project that would divert much of the Kokish River into a pipe three metres in diameter and nine kilometres long.
We’ve seen these kind of fish-killing projects proposed before – in the Upper Pitt River, Bute Inlet and Glacier/Howser Creeks. But those projects were eventually halted, thanks to widespread public opposition. Shockingly, Victoria has just approved the Kokish project – even though this has to be one of the worst private hydro projects we’ve seen when it comes to impacting fish habitat.
The past month has seen a great deal of media coverage of this controversial project (see this piece in the Victoria Times Colonist, for example).
Before the Kokish can be put into a pipe, however, there needs to be approval from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
There is still hope for the wild Kokish River! Write your letter NOW. Thanks!
For the Wild,
Joe Foy | National Campaign Director