Submission 0049-DANLOCK

Submitter: Tyrone Danlock

Community: port Alberni

Date Submitted: May 22, 2023

Causes for the decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon may include waste from pulp mills, such as sodium hydroxide and powdered tree bark, and overfishing by First Nations.

Honourable Judge Cohen: I have a few observations to mention, from over the years in various parts of BC where i was working on different jobs. The first, which could be very important, was in 1973 at Lytton, in the Fraser River just upstream from where Thompson River enters; it was during low-water i think in March, the strong stench of a liquid chemical, sodium hydroxide, was unbearbale; it is called ‘white liquor’ and/or ‘black liquor’ in pulpmill jargon. It was no doubt coming from the pulpmills at Quesnel and Prince George. I wrote to the then BC govt about it but received no reply. I suspect it is the same chemical that killed those sturgeon a few years ago…it burns the same as acid does. I worked as a lab tech in 1966 at Port Alberni, so know something about pulpmill chemicals. Sodium hydroxide has had a negative effect on all fish in the Fraser and elsewhere,no doubt. While at the P Alberni mill, i also worked on the jackladder, where logs went up into the mill; there, i saw salmon smolts dying from lack of oxygen and also dying from a white jelly-like growth on their tiny bodies; the lack of oxygen was from excessive treebark in very fine powdered form absorbing it and possibly from the sodium hydroxide. Another issue has to do with aboriginals fishing by net and other means along Fraser and elsewhere; i have seen their wastefulness as rotting and mold-covered salmon that they caught in nets, came and checked too late, so the salmon were starting to mold and rot. I have seen them poaching salmon from spawning channels and at fishladders,also. Several times they have approached me, trying to sell salmon to me, when those salmon were supposed to be their ‘food’ fish. I know of a sow grizzly and her two cubs that were shot dead by two aboriginals a few years ago at the Mezziadin River fishladder; she was fishing there but the two men from Kitwancool were also fishing there; one thing that i know for sure, that area was never fished historically by aboriginals due to a 20+ mile long canyon which was impassable,downstream from Mezziadin; so, they may have been legally fishing by some naive recent legality, maybe not legally; i don’t know. So not to stretch this out too much, this is all i will say now, though can give more details if you want. Sincerely, Ty Danlock

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