Bank erosion to blame for narrowing McCallum

Narrowing of main channel has occurred from sediment deposits from bank failures not from landowner infilling

Some say the lower reaches of the McCallum Ditch are natural (1905 map) and should remain that way as it provides habitat for species at risk, frogs and fish. The fact is that on October 9,1895 (yes that’s 18 not 19) a Plan and Memorandum of the Agassiz Ditching Scheme was filed at the Land Registry Office in New Westminster, B.C.  Kent Reeve, Alfred St. George Hamersley set out to ditch and dyke the area for flood control and irrigation purposes; this was the original sole purpose for the McCallum Ditch.

Today it is a collector ditch that collects water from many areas, from the Research Station to Harrison all the way to the base of Woodside Mountain. Over the years other water has been added to the McCallum Drainage System, the Corrections  Canada lands drain into the McCallum as does some Industrial  land and some other hard surface properties. Fish and frogs have probably been in the ditches for a long time and have done quite well, but now there numbers are declining due to low levels of dissolved oxygen. By not removing sediment to increase flows things will get worse for the fish and frogs as well as the farmer. Those involved with the approval process for ditch maintenance are further endangering the habitat for aquatic species. This non-sense of shading ditches to remove reed canary won’t work very well as it grows back rapidly and/or black berry bushes can take over. Then there is the over application of manure. Today there is much more on farm storage than ever before, and farmers see it as a valuable fertilizer than a waste product.

The narrowing of the main channel has occurred from sediment deposits from bank failures not from landowner infilling. Farmers have done land improvements, over the generations, to help insure viability of their farms. I know Biologists who have dumped many large truck loads of wood waste into the McCallum and Mountain watersheds to use in habitat restoration projects which further impede flows. Gravel that has mined off the hillside is solid rock that is then crushed down to smaller sizes and is used in the construction industry. Impervious surfaces don’t have much absorption  or filtering capacities.

I hope that more than just farm practices can be improved to facilitate better drainage, and I hope those involved in the approval process can see that drainage and fish/frog habitat can co-exist together.

Sincerely,

Dairy Farmer,

Species at Risk Habitat Provider,

Agassiz Harrison Mills Drainage Comm. Chair

District of Kent Councillor

Duane Post

Just Posted

LETTER: Thanks to truly angelic Snow Angels

Harrison residents Marg and Ted Doman thank the anonymous snow shovellers who cleaned their driveway

With sport, it’s best to start them young

When facing off on the court as teenagers, some players recall starting their career in elementary

Agassiz churches to come together for night of worship

The joint worship night is an attempt to revive an old event in the community

New Chilliwack YMCA was ‘worth the wait’ say visitors

Family Day will mark officially opening for new building, after sneak peek tours on Saturday

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read