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Current Projects

Current Projects

SIASS asks Premier Horgan to consider a model for Salmon Habitat Stewardship similar to that of his predecessors, "Fisheries Renewal Program".  

The Hon. John Horgan, Premier,                                                                                               Jan. 21, 2019

P.O . Box 9041, Stn. Prov. Gov’t,

Victoria, BC, V8W 9E1

Re: Times-Colonist article Jan. 12. 2019:   “Horgan calls for unity to protect dwindling wild salmon stocks.”

I urge the provincial government to look back to their “Fisheries Renewal Program” of the late 1990’s/early 2000’s.  That program designated delivery partners and it recommended that those societies include commercial fishers, Indigenous people, recreational fishers, environmental organizations and community leaders.

               The South Island Aquatic Stewardship Society (“SIASS”) was one of those delivery partners. SIASS worked extremely well.  There were no disagreements about the projects being done and many are still functioning and providing benefits to the salmon and to the aquatic environment today.  In fact, just shortly after Gordon Campbell cancelled Fisheries Renewal, the Canadian Association of Management Consultants issued a report stating that Fisheries Renewal B.C. was the “best managed public program in Canada”.

               In 1998 when SIASS started, the federal government gave us funding to hire a Habitat Stewardship Coordinator and the provincial government gave us money to distribute to local aquatic stewardship groups.  We had a rigorous project selection process and we held public meetings to have project results known.  We had great community support for the overall process, and if something like these Fisheries Renewal and Habitat Stewardship positions were instituted now, I believe there would be even greater support because the salmon, killer whales and aquatic resource situation is even more precarious now.

               SIASS has continued to function but in a much reduced role.  If there is now the possibility of funding coming to us from the province, and perhaps the federal government, we would look forward to becoming more active again. SIASS has a reputation for doing exactly what the premier stated about bringing all concerned groups together in agreement, to help salmon and aquatic stewardship in general.

                Some people might not see the value of having regional delivery partners such as SIASS.  They might say “why not give the money directly to the community stewardship groups?” The value of the Fisheries Renewal model was that each community group didn’t have to waste valuable effort in duplicating every other group’s work at seeking funding, evaluating results and communicating these results to the public and the government (or other funding source).   Also, having a trained Habitat Steward (or even qualified SIASS board members) available to help community groups design and/or carry out their projects makes these groups much more productive.  The community groups can then do what they want to do,  ie. get their hands dirty  and see all their efforts result directly in improved salmon populations and aquatic health.

To get an appreciation of SIASS’s work you can go to our website at  Thank you.


Michael Corry, President,

South Islands Aquatic Stewardship Society

Can the Endangered Southern Killer Whales Benefit from Chinook Salmon Enhancement in and around the Salish Sea? 

Orcas on the Edge  The National Wildlife Federation

A brutal combination of pollution, global warming, declining prey and heavy boat traffic is sending the Puget Sound orca population to new lows.     

Ken Olsen Oct 01, 2006


An endangered female orca leaps from the water while breaching in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 from a federal research vessel.           ELAINE THOMPSON / AP PHOTO

SIASS's President Michael Corry penned this letter to Fisheries Minister Honourable Dominic Leblanc suggesting that the Federal Government get involved with the endangered Southern Killer Whale decline by funding projects that will contribute more chinook salmon to the food chain of these west coast icons that call Puget Sound their summer home. 

Jan. 16 , 2018

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc,                                                                                                                                           

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard,

House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0A6

Dear Hon. LeBlanc, 


Re:  Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale Populations in Southern Vancouver Island and Southern Gulf Islands region.

It has been shown that one of the major threats to the endangered killer whale populations is the reduced availability of Chinook salmon as a food source.  In light of this, we ask that your ministry provide new funding for Chinook salmon enhancement projects in Southern Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, and also that  our Society be involved in helping to oversee those projects.

Our Society, the “South Islands Aquatic Stewardship Society” (SIASS) has, in the past, received funding from your ministry to hire a habitat steward and to help her assist community groups undertaking various stewardship projects.  We also received funding from the Province of BC., through ”Fisheries Renewal”, to elicit requests for proposals, to evaluate those proposals, and to select and oversee the ensuing projects (many of which involved Chinook salmon enhancement). We assisted and evaluated those projects, and we informed the public and the funding agencies about results.  SIASS has remained active although much reduced since we lost provincial and federal funding in the early 2000’s. WE have been waiting for a change in the federal and provincial governments and finally that has occurred!

Our group has extensive experience in receiving money, in soliciting requests for proposals, as well as in evaluating and assisting in projects, most of which were salmon enhancement projects.  We have members from community stewardship groups, from commercial and sports fishers, from consultants, and from aboriginal communities as well as from educational institutions.  Also our selection committees can co-opt involvement from government agencies as well as private businesses.

In conclusion, we ask that your ministry provide new funding for Chinook enhancement programs in our region and that our Society be involved in overseeing those projects. We will be applying for provincial money as well. 

You can find the SIASS Constitution and Board of Directors List on the BC Registry of Societies web site. We are in the process of creating a new SIASS web site.

We look forward to your response.



Michael R. Corry,  President, South Islands Aquatic Stewardship Society (SIASS); MSc;  RPBio (ret.); 

                         Chair, Camosun College Environmental Technology Program (ret.).

Past Projects

Past Projects

Charters 2007 013 Site 5 After.jpg


Charters Creek Salmon Habitat Restoration Project


Charters Creek is a fish-bearing tributary to the Sooke River that provides spawning habitat for Chum, Coho, and Chinook, as well as rearing over-wintering for Coho, Rainbow Steelhead and Cuthroat. The 150 m long restoration reach lies in a highly visible area between Sooke River Rd and the popular Galloping Goose bike and hiking trail. Charters River has been negatively impacted by stream channelization for highway construction and a CRD reservoir dam that limits sediment input. The local non-profit Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society along with Hamly Environmental Technology (HET), T`Sou-ke Nation Fisheries (TNF) South Islands Aquatic Stewardship Society (SIASS) and DFO have been working for the past ten years towards the restoration of salmon habitat in the creek. Other partners in the project include CRD Water and Western Forest Products and the new landowner CRD Parks.

The Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society has been working in Charters River since 2002 to create a Salmon Eco-system Educational Park for the Sooke community. Charters River Restoration is a multi-year project that is now entering the final phase of a four phase process.


   The work that has been completed to this point is as follows:

1          Mainstem Fish Habitat Assessment (TNF, SIASS and HET, 1999)

2          Ground Water Survey. (TNF, SIASS, and HET,  2000)

3          Topographic Survey (TNF, SIASS and HET, 2001)

4          Headwater Reconnaissance Lakes Survey (SIASS, JFSRS, HET, DFO, winter 2005)

5          Charters Mainstem Rehabilitation & Design & Restoration (M Gaboury of LGL Ltd., DFO, HET, July 2006)

6          Construction of the Interpretive Centre and Demonstration Hatchery (JFSRS, 2011)

7          Water license with CRD Water for Charters Mainstem

8          Charters Side Channel Restoration Phase 1 (JFSRS, LGL, HET, SIASS, Summer 2013)

9          Charters Side Channel Restoration Phase 2 (Not Completed)


This year, 2013, we are moving forward with Phase One of the side-channel design. Development of the side-channel is important to provide summer rearing and over-wintering refuge for fry from both Charters River and the Sooke River. The side channel development is divided into 2 sections, Phase One Lower and Phase Two Upper. The lower side-channel is an existing side-channel with limited flow. The total length is approximately 100 meters. The upper channel is to be developed from a remnant channel that will add another 300 meters to the total side-channel length.

Copy (2) of Charters 2007 039 Pool Fille
Charters 2007 Before with Ray.jpg

Ayum Creek Riffle Repair Project


Project Title:                                  Ayum Creek Riffle Repair

Project Type:                                  Habitat Rehabilitation

Organization:                                 South Islands Aquatic Stewardship Society

Grant Amount:                               $3000.00

Total  Project Value:                        $14,616.54

Stream Name, Receiving Waters:       Ayum Creek, Sooke Basin and Harbour

Nearest Town/City:                          Sooke

Target Salmonid Species:                  Chum, Coho, Steelhead, Cutthroat

Ayum Riffle Repair Project Summary


This project went perfectly as scheduled with Jim Hamly, Project Manager from the SIASS, kicking it off starting Friday, Aug 30 with fry salvage, and CRD Parks with safe tree evaluation and removal, and material staging. CRD Parks came through with full support. They supplied the excavator and operator, the materials (large boulders and pit run gravel), the trucking of the materials, a faller for tree safety, endangered species botanist, and a coordinator on the ground. Saturday morning, Marc Gaboury (habitat biologist) was onsite to guide the construction process through the day. Jim Hamly (fish tech/project manager) guided the construction process through to completion on Sunday. The material was perfect for the size of the riffle (0.7m – 0.8m). There was plenty of pit run to fill the voids and enough large material to roughen the surface. The new riffle has a better profile than the original and we anticipate no further erosion problems. We also had enough time and material to repair the bank erosion between riffle #2 and #3 and to rip rap and contour the left bank at riffle #2 as well. As of Saturday November 20/11 everything remained fully intact and working perfectly. 


Examples of Past Projects Funded By SIASS


Proponent:           Juan de Fuca Salmon Enhancement Society

Project Name:       Charters Creek Side Channel Restoration

Date Funded:                 July 1, 2013 –  July, 14, 2013

Contact Information:     Wally Vowels

                             Phone 250-642-5132

SIASS funded:         Allocation $3000.00

Total Project Cost:         $18,000

Proponent:           Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society

Project Name:       Bill James Dam Upgrade and Road Repairs – 1999SK00005

Date Funded:                 February 1, 1999 – March 31, 1999

Contact Information:     Glen Varney, President

                             Phone 250-642-5490

FSRBC funded:    SRP Allocation $35,804.00

Total Project Cost:         $87,804.00


Proponent:           T’Sou-Ke First Nation

Project Name:       Sooke/DeMamiel Watershed Landowner Research and Public Education Project – 1999SK00006

Date Funded:                 February 1, 1999 – March 31, 1999

Contact Information:     David Lightly, Fisheries Biologist

                             Phone 250-642-3957

                             Fax     250-642-7808

FSRBC funded:    SRP Allocation $16,786.00

Total Project Cost:         $20,736.00


Proponent:           Stream Line Development Group

Project Name:                Chinook Pen Rearing – 1999SK00007

Date Funded:                 March 16, 1999 – March 31, 1999

Contact Information:     Al Jones

                             Phone 250-642-4739

                             Fax     250-642-4739

FSRBC funded:    SRP Allocation $7,659.00

Total Project Cost:         $7,659.00


Proponent:           Community Fisheries Development Center – South Island Streams

Project Name:       Fish Habitat Signage Program for South Vancouver Island – 1999GF00009 1999SN00009 1999SK00009 1999SJ00009 19999GD00009

Date Funded:                 February 1, 1999 – March 31, 1999

Contact Information:     Gary Taylor, Community Liason

                             Phone 250-744-2727

                             Fax     250-744-5020

FSRBC funded:    SRP Allocation $8,780.00

Total Project Cost:         $9,878.00

Proponent:           Hamly Environmental Technology

Project Name:       Stream Stewardship Network – 1999GF00013 1999SN00013 1999SK00013 1999SJ00013 1999GD00013

Date Funded:                 May 1, 1999 – March 31, 2000

Contact Information:     Jim Hamly, Principal

                             Phone 250-380-7026

                             Fax     250-380-7016

FSRBC funded:    SRP Allocation $18,138.00

Total Project Cost:         $19,038.00


Proponent:           Waterose Environmental Consulting

Project Name:       Baseline Water Quality Study for Lower Sooke River – 1999SK00014

Date Funded:                

Contact Information:     Judith Burk, Principal

                             Phone 250-642-1079

FSRBC funded:    SRP Allocation $25,000.00

Total Project Cost:         $35,560.00


Proponent:           AMW Consulting

Project Name:                Matheson Creek Restoration Project – 1999SK00015

Date Funded:                 May 1, 1999 – August 31, 1999

Contact Information:     Merv Ollett, Partner

                             6758 Grant Road

                             Sooke, BC

                             Phone 250-642-3682

FSRBC funded:    SRP Allocation $18,358.00

Total Project Cost:         $18,358.00


Proponent:           T’Sou-ke First Nation

Project Name:                Sooke Watershed Habitat Surveys and Off-Channel Habitat – 1999SK00017

Date Funded:                 May 1, 1999 – April 31, 2000

Contact Information:     David Lightly, Fisheries Biologist

                             Phone 250-642-3957

                             Fax     250-642-7808

                             Wally Vowles, Band Manager

                             Phone 250-642-3957

                             Fax     250-642-7808

FSRBC funded:    SRP Allocation $30,672.00

Total Project Cost:         $120,172.00


Proponent:           AMW Consulting

Project Name:       Orveas Creek Restoration Project – 1999SK00020

Date Funded:                 September 6, 1999 – January 31, 2000

Contact Information:     Merv Ollett Phone 250-642-3682

Andy Planes

Phone 250-642-5206

FSRBC funded:    SRP Allocation $29,042.00

Total Project Cost:         $38,902.00

Project Name:       Sooke River Headwater Stocking Planning and Assessment – 1999SK00023

Date Funded:                 September 1, 1999 – March 31 2000

Contact Information:     David Lightly, Fisheries Biologist

                             Phone 250-642-3957

                             Fax     250-642-7808

FSRBC funded:     SRP Allocation $23,681.00

Total Project Cost:         $28,463.00


Proponent:           BenVar Holdings

Project Name:       Sooke Watershed Chinook Coded Wire Tag (CWT) Recovery Project –  45A–016(SRP)

Date Funded:                 August 20, 1999 – December 12, 1999

Contact Information:     Glen Varney, Principal

                             Phone 250-642-5490

FSRBC funded:    SRP Allocation $23,237.00

Total Project Cost:         $30,462.00


SIASS spent approximately 1 million in the region in 4 years to contribute to 2 million worth of project expenditures.

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