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The 2008 Upper Nass River Watershed Fish Barrier Assessment Project
McCarthy, Mike
The purpose of the 2008 Upper Nass River Fish Barrier Assessment Project was to identify stream crossings within the Upper Nass River Watershed that could impede fish passage. Funding for this project was made available through the Forest Invest Account (FIA, Project # 2813002) and administered through Skeena Sawmills, a division of West Fraser Mills, Terrace, BC (Contract # GS-G.F.A-08-01). For this project the Gitanyow Fisheries Authority (GFA) used the Fish Passage Protocol for Culverted Sites (FPPCS, BC Ministry of the Environment, 2008). The scope of this project includes all accessible (4x4 truck, ATV, foot) forestry-based roads under the jurisdiction of the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range (MoFR) within the territories of the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs (GHC). Efforts began in the northernmost portion of the Gitanyow Territory near Bowser/Bell Irving Rivers and proceeded southwards towards Meziadin Lake, Orenda (Ellsworth) Camp and Van Dyke Camp areas. The Nass River is the third largest in BC and a major salmon producer and a ignificant part of its watershed is located within the Gitanyow Traditional Territory (Sterritt 1998). Since its establishment in 1997, the GFA who represents the GHC on fisheries related issues has been active in the stewardship of the Nass Watershed. The Nass has been heavily impacted by forest development activities. A maze of road networks have been created since logging began in the 1970?s, following the expansion of the Hwy 37 N corridor (Harding and Sebastian 1975, BC Government MapView 5.0.4 Forest Tenure Database March 2009). Most of these roads were built to minimal standards prior to the implementation of the Forest Practices Code in 1995 that introduced more fish-friendly protocols to road building activities. There was no definitive proof available from the MoFR to indicate the exact construction date of many of the road networks. However local knowledge and consultation with remaining licensees indicated that all road networks and crossings assessed under this project were eligible for FIA funding as they were deemed to be built pre-code (<1995) or are Forest Service Roads (FSR?s). Data collected in 2008 will be used to identify and prioritize remedial works of all crossings deemed as fish barriers. ....
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