Thanks to public pressure, including over 1050 letters sent to decision-makers and the advocacy of local stewards, the province of B.C. has walked back their plans to mine gravel from the Vedder River in a pink salmon spawning year.
Pink salmon return to the Vedder and the rest of the Fraser River system every two years on odd-numbered years, sometimes in very large numbers. Shortly after they spawned in 2021, we were hit by major flooding in the Fraser Valley. How many eggs got washed away, and how many adult fish will return this year? We don’t know yet, but the projections are not looking great. Because of this, it is even more imperative to protect any pink salmon that return to spawn this year.
Suffice it to say, this is the wrong year to be messing around with important pink salmon habitat by removing thousands of truckloads of gravel.
Of course, this is a small win and just pushes the problem into the future. Next spring, advocates will once again need to keep a close watch on how much gravel mining is planned. We will need to negotiate in the best interest of salmon and trout and other species that use the river.