Kyle Buhler walks past Bridge Creek every day. The small creek tumbles down Mount Revelstoke and flows into the Illecillewaet River near the Industrial Park. Normally it’s filled with little red kokanee at around this time of year.
Buhler, though, had only seen six fish in it, so he decided to see what was going on. What he found on several occasions over the past few weeks is someone had been piling rocks in the creek, blocking the spawning channel.
“They’re completely blocking it so that the fish can’t get up,” he said. “I always keep checking it now and there were three or four spots at the bottom where there were big rocks piled there on purpose. You could tell people had been putting them there.”
The Revelstoke Rod and Gun Club built a spawning channel in Bridge Creek in the past and was allowed to clear it of gravel and pump in water during low-flow years. A few years ago it was decided to operate the channel solely for educational purposes rather than for fish production due to bear concerns, said Conservation Officer Sgt. Adam Christie. Because of that, the Rod and Gun Club is no longer allowed to do the work.
“Persons found placing rocks to interfere with the passage of kokanee could face charges under the Water Act & Federal Fisheries Act,” said Christie.
As for the fish? “I’m hoping that they are just late spawning this year,” said Buhler.