Today’s Poll

Aquaculture company fishing for public opinion regarding facility on Kootenay River

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
June 4th, 2018

It’s either a very, very late April Fool’s joke or a company testing the waters to see if there’s any resistance to a proposed Fish Farm operating near the old Taghum Bridge on the Kootenay River approximately 10 kilometers west of Nelson.

“There’s already a petition started against it,” Regional District of Central Kootenay Area E Ramona Faust told The Nelson Daily.

"After investigation by RDCK and MOTI staff, there is no evidence that a license has been applied for by the supposed applicant," said Area F Director Tom Newell.

"The applicant's website provides no information. It is most unlikely that a license would be granted. I believe that it is not going to proceed. If application is made, RDCK staff and the Board will resist, in all ways available, the granting."

Faust and Newell are just a few of the many residents of both Area E and F of the RDCK scratching their heads over the Notice of Intention application by Albeit Aquaculture Corp. for a Disposition of Crown Land on Kootenay River.

“Take notice that Albeit Aquaculture Corp intends to make an application to Ministry of Transportation for the disposition of crown land, highway right of way,” a sign nailed to a pole near the old Taghum Bridge read. “Propose is situated at the terminus of Taghum Hall Rd. District Lot 5915, Taghum, BC."

The signs said the intent is to establish a freshwater Aquaculture farm, to raise a subspecies of land-locked Atlantic salmon (salmo salar Sebago) native to fresh waters to the Neuquen province of Argentina.

“I’ve been told that company has not applied to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which would be their first step if they plan to use the old Taghum Bridge area because the land is under MOTI jurisdiction,” Faust explained. “They have not applied to BC Lands or Department of Fisheries and Oceans.”

“And the RDCK would also be informed and we have not received any applications,” Faust added.

The sign located on the north side of Kootenay River said written comments concerning this application should be directed to info@albeitaquaculture.com

The Albeit Aquaculture Corp website does not list any phone number or contact person and only has an email box to send comments.

In an email response, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development said no documentation have been received.

“The Province has not received an application about a proposed fish farm on Kootenay Lake/River nor do we have any other information with respect to signs that have been posted,” said a ministry spokesperson.

The same for MOTI.

“We have not had any notice on this (Notice of Intention) on our desk,” said a MOTI spokesperson. “We have no applications at this time, so we are unable to comment.”

Faust said she has heard from Area E residents, who are not at all pleased with this news.

“I think there is fierce opposition to this location or any locations in the area,” Faust said. “My personal feeling is I’ve seen fish containment on land and definitely see that as a better alternative than raising non-native fish in a wild environment in a water way that where resident (fish) population is struggling.”

The sign shows a photo of the proposed location that would see the business install pens in Kootenay River on the downstream side of the old Taghum Bridge — a part of the river that sees a lot of recreation watercraft during the warmer months.

“This area has a strong boating community and strong fishing community so something like a fish farm was operating in the middle of the river, I don’t know how it would work with water recreation traffic going through the area,” Faust said.

“Combine that with the river going up and down the way it does during the spring, and this idea just raises all kinds of questions.”

The sign erected by Albeit Aquaculture Corp said comments will be considered until a June 30, 2018 deadline.

The Nelson Daily attempted to contact Albeit Aquaculture Corp through email, but did not get a response to comment at the time of publication.

Categories: General