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Remembering "The Stellako Incident"

Posted by Brunella Battista on August 2, 2015 at 1:55 AM

In 1965 The Federal D. F. O. allows "log driving " on the whole 20 mile length of the Sockeye spawning Stellako river . This perfect shallow gravel bottom river , for thousands of years has carried the cool waters of Francois Lake into Fraser Lake and on into the Nechako River ! From 1914 to 1948 , log driving was what the Logging companies used the Stellako River for in the spring and summer months ! A federal investigated report released in 1966 prohibiting any future "Log Drives" on the Stellako was released and welcomed by First Nations and others ! In the summer of 1966 the Provincial Dept. of Lands and Forests ignored the report and licenced a log drive on the full lenght of the Sockeye spawning grounds ! Numerous Log jams were reported on the river as the Sockeye desperately tried to spawn ! The historic 1913 railway disaster at Hells Gate all but destroyed the once great runs of Sockeye to the Stellako and it seems this was also a handy excuse to continue destroying the Sockeyes Spawning habitat season after Sockeye season ! These yearly attack on the spawning Stellako River Sockeye seemed never to stop , as governments in 1948 to 1957 allowed freshly creosoted railway ties to be floated down and across the Stellako River Sockeye spawning grounds ! Today the Sockeyes fight for survival continues as the river levels in the Fraser River Canyon and Glenannan on the Stellako River are very ,very low ! The Stellako Sockeye are coming by now in the Lower Fraser River , Lift the nets and let them by , they deserve at least a small chance to make it home this year ! Terry Slack " From the North Arm of the Fraser River" Stellako Sockeye Info from SALMON OUR HERITAGE by CICELY LYONS

Categories: Terry Slack Blog

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