Freshwater fish Natural resource development

WCS Comment - YESAB Executive Committee and Public Comment for Whitehorse Rapids Hydroelectric Generating Station and Federal Decision Bodies

Mantyka-Pringle, C. & Murdoch, A.


Abstract

Recent declines of Chinook salmon in Canadian waters of the Yukon River represent a growing crisis for thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people residing within the Yukon River drainage and beyond. While WCS Canada has expertise in numerous issues relevant to the application for project amendment, we focus our limited capacity at this time on comments related to four areas including:

  1. the significant effects of the fish ladder and other dam facilities,
  2. potential violation of the Fisheries Act,
  3. the consideration of conservation hatcheries as a potential offsetting measure, and
  4. the need for a broad cumulative effects assessment to support the project proposal.

Key points

We recommend that:

  1. the project receives a temporary short-term license given the high uncertainty of project effects on salmon and other fish species in the region
  2. the proponent focuses primarily on effective mitigation strategies to reduce effects on salmon, with offsetting measures only considered as a last resort,
  3. detailed alternative approaches for reducing harm to salmon during their migrations through the dam facilities are provided, including leading-edge technologies,
  4. the role of conservation hatcheries should not be considered as a primary offsetting measure,
  5. the proponent provides a broad assessment of cumulative effects on salmon
  6. offsetting measures are identified in collaboration with interested Yukon First Nations.

Recommended citation

Mantyka-Pringle, C. & Murdoch, A. (2024). WCS Comment - YESAB Executive Committee and Public Comment for Whitehorse Rapids Hydroelectric Generating Station and Federal Decision Bodies. WCS Canada. https://wcscanada.org/resources/wcs-comment-yesab-executive-committee-and-public-comment-for-whitehorse-rapids-hydroelectric-generating-station-and-federal/

Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle

Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle

Co-Director, Northern Boreal Mountains Program

Freshwater fish

Freshwater fish

Safeguarding healthy fish populations for future generations

Public Policy Developments WCS Canada is watching in 2024

Public Policy Developments WCS Canada is watching in 2024

In this rundown of upcoming initiatives, we look ahead at some of the big public policy decisions expected in 2024 and explain what outcomes we will be pressing for from each.