About 60-70 attendees heard from different government representatives and the Peninsula Streams Society on Oct. 14. (Hugo Wong/News staff)

Salmon in Prospect Lake up for discussion

The Peninsula Streams Society (PSS) hosted a Tod Creek Watershed panel and information session on restoration and progress on Saturday at the First Unitarian Church of Victoria.

Displays and posters informed attendees on the progress of several restoration projects around the area, but a large portion of the session focused on the introduction of salmon into Prospect Lake.

Attendees heard from representatives from the Peninsula Streams Society, the District of Saanich, an expert on inland waters, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and a councillor for the Tsartlip First Nation.

At the meeting, Shawn Steele, of the Prospect Lake Preservation Society, said there was a lack of scientific evidence to support introducing salmon into Prospect Lake.

There were concerns that the lake level would be lowered to ensure salmon have access to Tod Creek and the ocean.

In a follow-up interview, Ian Bruce, executive co-ordinator of the Peninsula Streams Society, said the DFO could legally lower the lake level, but said that it was “highly unlikely” given opposition, and said it was possible to introduce fish without lowering the lake.

Bruce said the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been supporting fish in the lake since the 1980s, and felt that introducing salmon would bring economic and ecological benefits to the area.

Bruce emphasized during the meeting that it was a “re-introduction,” citing First Nations history and a fish ladder that was installed in the original Vancouver Portland Cement Company dam in 1917.

Bruce said that one goal of the meeting was to reassure lake residents that the fish were not a threat to the lake.

“We were quite pleased in the sense that there was a good turnout from the overall community,” said Bruce, who counted about 60-70 attendees throughout the afternoon.

In a follow-up interview, Steele said the Prospect Lake Preservation Society wanted to come to a consensus on the issue before making any comments.

An audience member, who said he was part of the Prospect Lake Preservation Society, said there was a misconception that they are against salmon being in the lake and that they were only concerned with property values.

He said: “personally, I’d like to see my property values go down,” which elicited some laughs from the audience.

No representative from the province was present, which Bruce said was disappointing, as a weir on the lake is licensed by the Water Management Branch of the province.

The province also plants rainbow trout in the lake and is responsible for the cutthroat trout in the whole watershed.

— with files from

Travis Paterson/

Saanich News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Excess activity damaging Saanich golf course – despite being closed

Cedar Hill Golf Course manager reminds people of the 170 parks available in Saanich

UVic Vikes new basketball coach on the fast track

At 26, Shalie Dheensaw assumed head coaching role

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

‘Small python’ found in vacant Cook Street apartment

Snake taken to CRD Animal Shelter to be claimed

Greater Victoria liquor stores see spike in sales amidst COVID-19

Customers are buying go-to products in larger quantities

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Nanaimo man arrested after allegedly setting house fire

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road in Cedar on Thursday

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Most Read