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Westside creek will be revived for kokanee

by Ron Seymour
The Daily Courier
September 2, 1993

A Westside creek that used to be full of fish is being revived as a spawning channel for kokanee.

The provincial government is spending $50,000 to build a new spawning channel alongside Keefe Creek on the Westbank Indian Reserve.

The creek flows under Westside Road into Okanagan Lake about a kilometre north of Okanagan Lake Bridge.

“When I was a kid, I remember the salmon used to spawn in that creek every season,” band councillor Pat Fosbery said today.

“But the creek got silted up, and there hasn’t been any fish there for years,” he said. “It’ll be good to see it brought back to the way it was.”

Local sportsmen welcomed the government’s decision to build the spawning channel, saying it reverses a general decline in concern for the preservation of fish stocks.

“In the last couple years, the government has been really cutting back on their funding for restocking and enhancement projects,” said Dave Newman, president of the 1,000-member Kelowna fish and game club.

“It doesn’t make any sense, because fishing is getting heavier and heavier all the time,” Newman said. “Any money they put into fishing now is money well spent.”

Fisheries Minister Bill Barlee was to present the band with the money needed to build the 100-metre spawning channel today.

“This is an investment in community spirit and local volunteer effort that will generate immediate and long-term benefits for B.C.,” Barlee is quoted as saying in a government press release.

The money comes from a $1-million fund aimed at strengthening kokanee stock across the province.

Fosbery said construction of the channel has already started, and should be completed in time for the mid-September start of the spawning season.