Robertson River salmon get hand from stewards

Efforts to help the Valley's hard-pressed fish population are continuing as the drought goes on and on.

Efforts to help the Valley’s hard-pressed fish population are continuing as the drought goes on and on.

Members of the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society were out again Aug. 18 as part of their Fry Rescue Tuesday program, moving 8,000 to 10,000 fish from drying pools in the Robertson River.

“It’s really more like the Robertson linear gravel pit these days,” the workers posted on the group’s Facebook page.

The fish were released into Bear Lake after they had time to acclimatize to the warmer water there.

“We got about 40 chinook fry and DNA sampled many of them. We now have over 100 DNA chinook samples from the Robertson, Ashburnam and Sutton Creeks. We will be ending the DNA sampling now as we have plenty to work with. Testing will be done soon and we are looking forward to the results. We have lots to learn about our local chinooks,” they said.

Parker Jefferson and Bob Crandall gave a presentation on this year’s fry monitoring and rescue operations at the Cowichan Stewardship Roundtable meeting on Thursday morning.

Even as far back as May, the problem with fish habitat had emerged.

“We knew what to expect but it was still shocking to see it. The south side tributaries are nothing but huge piles of gravel with a few disconnected pools full of fish,” they posted May 28.