The first phase of a project that will extend the life and viability of the Hyde Creek Hatchery is nearing completion, though members of the Hyde Creek Watershed Society are still looking for donations.
An insufficient water supply, coupled with a plug in the old well, prompted the need for a new well at the hatchery, and crews have been working throughout the month to install the new piece of equipment.
According to Hyde Creek Watershed Society vice-president Shane Peachman, the first half of the job - drilling the well and installing the necessary pipes - should be finished later this month.
From there, the remaining electrical and plumbing work will be completed next spring.
The society has earmarked about $76,000 to get the job done, of which about 80 per cent is accounted for. Should society members not meet that funding threshold in time, the remaining money will come out of the society's reserve funds.
"We're still fundraising," Peachman said.
"We've still got applications out there and hopefully some of those come together so that we may not need to take all the money out of our reserve."
The well itself serves almost like a safety valve in times of low water levels.
If pollutants enter the watershed, society members shut off access to the creek and augment water levels through the use of the well. That system allows for the pollutants to be purged out of the watershed during the time of year when water levels are their lowest - typically between June and October.
"That's when we're looking at the biggest chance of contamination into the hatchery," Peachman said.
"Because the waters are so low, and with backyards going right to the creek, there's all kind of places where people can introduce chlorinated water and other contaminants through their lawns into the creek. Those turn into big kills."
For more information, or to help out with the fundraising efforts, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call society president Cliff Kelsey at 604-803-0483.