Category Archives: News

Salmo River Inhabitants Receive a Gift!

Contributing Stability, Protection and Habitat Enhancement!
Is there any greater Gift to our Community?



After a 3-year delay due to flood, fire and specialized equipment unavailability the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society activated their unique engineered approach to fish habitat enhancement and bank stabilization.

This multi-faceted strategic project, was made possible with the gracious funding from the Columbia Basin Trust Environmental Enhancement Program, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and the Environment Canada Climate Change Environmental Damages Fund.

Three years ago, Streamkeeper Coordinator, Gerry Nellestijn worked with Rodman Hydrotechnical to assess the sites and the engineering evaluation/prescription/permitting needed for the project. Mike Zimmer, Okanagan Nation Alliance and Tim Davis, BC Habitat Biologist toured the site to share ideas/insights.

“Site A” encompasses ~440 metres of instream and bank mounted control. Additionally, a historical 240-metre side channel, “Waterstreet Side Channel” was reconstructed on the east side of the River. The inflow begins about 140-metres upstream of the erosion site and the outflow is 10-metres downstream.

Construction began early September. Henry and Austin Huser built the Channel first, diverting 1.5+ cubic metres of water from the high risk erosion site and easing the difficulty of working instream on Site A. The Channel was carefully built to preserve the typical habitat/cover, and to increase spawning habitat potential and highwater refuge for fish and other aquatic creatures.

“We were on the riverbed most days watching bits of the project from our side of the river and it was nice to see the care that was taken. Gerry and crew were very considerate when working near our property and when accessing the project through our property. An impressive project overall that the community and the SWSS should be proud of!” Janice and Alan Waterstreet

Site A required ~150 loads of rock for bank stabilization and to build/ballast 4-complex large wood W structures, 4-large Triangular structures, 4-Lateral Log structures, a Debris Catcher and 6-Boulder Clusters.

Last year, large rock for discharge control (to slow erosion capacity of the River) was stockpiled at Esovoloff’s place. An interesting aside to this project, last year the distance from a tree on their property to the eroded River edge measured 32 feet. This year, after a relatively insubstantial freshet, that distance was 16 feet. Construction comprised a large team: SilverKing Contracting for rock; trucking was provided by Kenny, Ray and James from Custom Dozing, Rob Lee Trucking, and others.

“It was a pleasure working with Gerry/Streamkeepers and their crew. Special thanks to operators Mitch and Callum for their awesome work. They all worked long hard days to get the job done, and what a great job they did. They should all be proud of the work they have done.”  Lance and Renee Esovoloff

Truckers fed Mountain Movers Excavation’s bank-placed hoe, who in turn fed Over The Edge Excavating’s River-placed spider hoe. The spider hoe worked instream to carefully place riprap and ballast rock for large wood structures; gently ‘walking’ down steep slopes into water and diligently crossing sensitive substrate, hardly leaving a trace.

Streamkeepers’ wood/ballast enhancement team: Lesya Roberts, Paige Mansvelt, and Chris Harkness applied finishing touches. Lisa Pavelich from Masse Environmental provided relief construction guidance. How fortunate to have James Baxter on site for his biological insights and ‘do any job’ attitude. What a crew… long hours of construction for days, completing the job in mid-October!

Click Here To See Spider Hoe In Action!

“In 2017 when we moved to Salmo, our river frontage looked dramatically different. That winter, and the subsequent winters, saw the heavy erosion of our beloved riverbank. About an acre was lost. We contact the RDCK, lobbied our MP; there was no help coming.  Every year more property, large trees, and huge boulders were being washed away. We were concerned about the loss of real-estate, but also, we were very concerned about how the additional sediment and destruction of fish habitat would impact the environment.

The Salmo Watershed Stream Keepers Society took a holistic approach to remediate the problem in 2022. Great care was taken when engineering the project, and the implementation of their plan put our environmental concerns at paramount. They utilized natural materials to stop erosion, build fish habitat and operated in a manner that minimized any negative impact on the environment. Their permaculture approach to remediation ensures as stones shift against the flow of the Salmo River, fish habitat will increase, the river will slow, and erosion will cease.” Casey Dalen

Significant contributions came from Casey Dalen and family, Monticola Forestry Ltd., and the BC Hydro Seven Mile Dam. Lance and Renee Esovoloff hosted Mitch, spider hoe operator from Abbotsford, in ‘Grandpa’s Cabin’. Al Waterstreet provided tools and specialized epoxy when supply chain snags hit at critical moments.

The Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society would like to extend gratitude and congratulations for a huge project successfully coordinated and completed by our long-time coordinator, Gerry Nellestijn.

“We would like to pass on our gratitude to Gerry for getting the eroding river bank north of us, under control, with some very professional diking. Multiple emails and phone calls to various government officials resulted in endless buck passing, and going around in circles, with no one willing to help. The river had been shifting towards the Village of Salmo for the last 5 years. Gerry was the ONLY person who cut through the endless red tape and helped out our neighbours.”  Jackie and Mike Hutton

Combining Natures’ Needs with Community Needs.

Please support our important work!

My Friend the River

We are pleased to announce a new artistic project! During these difficult times of health and Environmental crisis, we believe that it is important express our feelings and externalize our emotions. My Friend the River is a project that will connect participants with the Environment and guide them in expressing their thoughts and feelings around that theme. A series of 3 online workshops (via Zoom) are offered to the public.

-Round table discussion around the Environment and Watershed health issues
-Poetry with Mandy Huser
-Photography with Amy Allcock

All of these will be offered in a fun and relaxed environment! Participants will be actively involved, and creative exercises will be offered. All 3 workshops will be delivered to 3 different groups, Youth, *Seniors and a group open to the public. SWSS will collect photos and poems during summer 2020 and will produce a printed version of a booklet.

***Spaces are limited so participants must sign up in advance.***

*An in-person group session with a projection of the workshop will be available for seniors who do not wish to use their own device. Seniors can also join via Zoom.

For more info or signing up contact Nghia Tran at:
(418) 805-4281
Or visit…/my-friend-the-river/

Flood risk: Spring 2020

With strong thunderstorms forecasted for late Saturday followed by significant rainfall on Sunday and a snowpack that is still above average for this time of the year, we received many concerns about flood risks. Here’s a little article summarizing the current situation and how we can mitigate future risks. This article also includes very informative links.

Have a great weekend, stay safe and stay dry!

***Click here to read the article.

Earth Day Celebration Goes Online

Unfortunately for this year we will not be able to physically gather and celebrate the beauties, wonders and gifts of our mother Earth. Don’t worry! have put together a list of online screenings, speeches, Q and A and many more, all available for free! Tune in on April 22nd for messages, performances and call to actions from world renowned personalities. You can browse and Find Digital Earth Day events. You can even filter events by types, age groups, and date ranges so we are sure you will find something you like! Follow this link to start browsing!

Columbia River Treaty Community Meetings

A series of community meetings will be hosted in several locations to discuss about the Columbia River Treaty. The renewal of this treaty is one of the greatest opportunity to make a real change and improve our ecosystems. If you cannot make it to any of these dates, a livestream will be hosted tonight (Novembre 12th, 2019) and will be available later on Youtube.
Click this link for more info.

SWSS’s stream restoration project is going full swing!

Last week SWSS received an important shipment of logs that will be used for stream restoration projects in the Salmo River. These will be used to build bank mounted structures to stabilize banks and enhance fish habitat. Some of the logs have been washed out by the River and were collected at the Seven Mile Dam. So in a way, these pieces of wood will be returned to their home land! Construction at the mouth of Erie Creek is scheduled to start this week and more projects are expected to start next year.

Sourcing wood for this project was not an easy task and we are grateful to our partners. We would like to thank Government of Canada – Environmental Damages Fund, ATCO Wood Products Ltd., Monticola Forest Ltd, BC Hydro and Custom Dozing.

Water is Life – Courthouse rally

Water is Life. It truly is. It is also a fundamental right threatened by inaction and greed. Fortunately, people like Jessica Dawn Ogden have the courage to stand up for our rights and fight to secure clean water and healthy ecosystems. Her actions and courage is taking her in court where she will explain why she, and others, needed to take direct action to stand up and defend the Balfour Watershed, and all watersheds, from further risks and impacts due to destructive logging practices and lack of legislation.

You can support this cause by showing up on Monday, July 22nd, before 9:45am at the Nelson courthouse. Jessica is set to arrive at the courthouse at 9:45 am for her hearing at 10:00 am. Her hearing is expected to take 2 hours.

For more info follow this link.

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Fishy Art Mural at the Salmo Valley Youth & Community Center

Isn’t it beautiful!? We just finished installing this beautiful mural at the Salmo Valley Youth & Community Centre. Chad Thompson, a local artist and long time SWSS friend painted this beauty for Streamkeepers. The fish on top of the mural were painted by Salmo residents during our Salmon painting activity at the Salmo Fall Fair. If you have a chance to see it in real life, pay a close attention to details… you’ll be amazed by the life in this piece of art.

Salmon, Salmon, Salmon!

The Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society will be at Tiny Lights Festival on Sunday, June 9th for a Salmon painting activity. Come by our booth and paint a Salmon. Everyone is welcome and the activity is FREE! This is part of our Imagine Salmon campaign which aims at bringing back Salmons in the upper Columbia River and the Salmo River. We will also be displaying a wonderful Salmon sculpture made by local artist Chad Thompson.