The Kingfisher Interpretive Centre teaches local students about the environment by raising salmon. (photo submitted)

Salmon program at risk

A program that links local school children with the world around them is facing uncertainty.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada recently told the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre, east of Enderby, that the contract for Stream to Sea would not be renewed as part of a national decision.

“In my view, after 35-plus years involved in these exemplary programs this is very short sighted and in fact ridiculous to cut them,” said Kim Fulton, a retired teacher and program supporter.

With $30,000 in funding, the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre provides schools with educational support, in-class aquariums and chillers, technical support, fish food, and field experiences for children when they release the salmon fry back into the natural system.

About 3,000 students a year from Cherryville to Revelstoke are involved, with 52 salmon incubators in schools.

“It gives kids and teachers a live link to the natural world. Raising salmon is a vehicle to learn about stewardship, the environment and First Peoples,” said Neil Brookes, Kingfisher director.

Mel Arnold, North Okanagan-Shuswap MP, wants the program restored.

“There are biologists working in the field who got their first glimpse of salmon through the program,” said Arnold.

Brookes has been speaking with Fisheries and Oceans officials and he believes the agency is facing pressure nationally.

“Things are changing really fast with this. I’m feeling somewhat optimistic,” he said.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it has heard concerns about changes to the salmonid enhancement program.

“We will work with communities to identify opportunities for collaboration to ensure that this important work is not lost and is continued and strengthened for the years ahead,” said Athina Vazeos, communications advisor.

“The educational and technical support contracts for this year will go ahead as planned. The department will work with its partners over the next year to look at new ways to deliver these programs in the future.”

Just Posted

B.C. man convicted in fatal boat crash awaiting appeal date

Leon Reinbrecht maintains rights breached by delays

JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign reaches $4.5 million

Offering ‘home away from home’ for families of KGH patients

Food truck options to expand in Salmon Arm

City council votes in new food truck regulations

New commercial development coming to council

Liquor outlet and 60-seat restaurant among uses proposed by applicant

Kelowna West byelection called for Feb. 14

Four candidate race to replace departed former B.C. premier Christy Clark

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

KIJHL prospects shine in showcase game

Top players for Kootenay and Okanagan conferences put best skate forward.

Challenge issued to ‘Read for 15’

Regional district libraries to compete by asking patrons to read for 15 minutes on Jan. 26 and 27.

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Public asked to report bat sightings

White nose syndrome leads to bats flying in winter or death.

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

Most Read