KAMLOOPS — Thompson River Steelhead (TRS) are spawning at historically low numbers, and something needs to be done about it.
That from Leonard Piggin, president of the Kamloops Fly Fishers Association (KFF), who have demanded an audit by B.C.'s auditor general.
"The most recent report by the auditor general for B.C. entitled 'An independent Audit of Grizzly Bear Management' has the fishing community bewildered as to why a report has been done on Grizzly Bears, which number 15,000, when TRS are only expected to return 133 to the spawning grounds in 2018," said Piggin.
He adds the KFF has submitted an application to have the fish declared an endangered species.
"Our concern is the provincial and federal governments who share the responsibility for managing TRS seem indifferent to their plights," Piggin says, noting they've been "at an extreme conservation concern six times in the last seven years. The fish will be extirpated in the next five to 10 years if something isn't done."
And with TRS numbers dwindling, he says there's a lot at stake for smaller communities in B.C.
"The towns of Cache Creek, Spences Bridge, Lytton are practically ghost towns. There are very few businesses in Spences Bridge anymore. There were like 12 motels and restaurants there and now they're down to one or two. That's it."
Piggin says his group will be in a holding pattern until they hear back from the auditor general.
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