Coldwater River Habitat Education and Awareness
The upper Coldwater River watershed is heavily impacted by campers during the months of May to Septmeber. The Coldwater River is one of the most important systems in the Nicola River watershed for Interior Fraser coho (Endangered, COSEWIC), early timed spring chinook (critically low levels), and Thompson steelhead (species of concern). In 2006 and 2007 NTA fisheries crews observed recreational vehicle (ATV, dirt bike, etc.) tracks both crossing and running up and down the river channel. In one case these tracks were over known chinook redds, and most had damaged important riparian habitat. Instream operations of recreational vehicles have a negative impact on the juvenile coho, chinook .and steelhead rearing in the river. The NTA fisheries department initiated an information campaign targeting the recreational vehicle users of the upper Coldwater River watershed to bring awareness of the importance of preserving fish habitat in the Coldwater River. Crews conducted interviews with the recreational vehicle users with the focus being to educate not enforce. Goals for this first year of the project were to:
- protect fish habitat in the upper Coldwater River from damage caused by human activity,
- educate recreational wilderness resource users on the potential for their activities to damage critical fish habitat in the upper Coldwater River, and
- monitor and record the levels of recreational wilderness resource use adjacent to the upper Coldwater River.
- Long Term Goal: to achieve a reduction of human impacts on this environment.