Group has money
Montague/Valleyfield watershed group back in business
Watershed enhancement group energized.
Imagine the glint of the fly whipping over the spirited waters of the Valleyfield River and hooking an Atlantic salmon.
Once upon a time you could. But today, the river is more like a trickle and a salmon wouldn’t survive in such a crumbling habitat.
However, resurgence is underway and the newly energized Montague/Valleyfield watershed enhancement group is armed with something it hasn’t had in 20 years — funding.
And now with some money to invest, the group is hosting a session of public meetings to gather input on ways to bring the rivers and streams in the southeastern region of the province back to glory.
“The Valleyfield River used to be a prime spot for salmon,’’ says member Jackie Bourgeois. “We’d like to see that happen one day again.”
Bourgeois admits it could be a pipe dream, but you have to start somewhere.
“There’s a ton of things out there in the watersheds that need to be done and we want landowners, residents and environment supporters to provide their opinions.”
Board member Ian Petrie says people have become used to seeing the Montague River turn red after a heavy rain.
“But it doesn’t have to be that way, and part of it will be working with landowners to see if we can solve some issues,’’ he said, noting the fine work done by other watershed and wildlife groups like West River and Souris.
The siltation build up at the Loane Road bridge is a good example of one possible project.
“It’s all silted in now,’’ says Petrie.
“And the river, that once flowed, is now a trickle.”
The group is now working in co-operation with the Southeast Environment Association and has an opportunity to secure about $75,000 in funding from the province.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do and we have to convince people that we’re back in business,’’ said Bourgeois. “We hope everyone offers some insight.”
Dreaming of river improvements in the Montague-Valleyfield watershed are members from left, Ian Petrie, Chantal Bourgeois and Jackie Bourgeois ,who are preparing for public meetings.