The DFO worked on the pipe replacement and repairs at the end of July this year. (Alouette River Management Society/Special to The News)

The DFO worked on the pipe replacement and repairs at the end of July this year. (Alouette River Management Society/Special to The News)

Decades-old pipe replaced at spawning channel in South Alouette river

ARMS hoping the tributary in Maple Ridge will improve for Chum and Coho salmon

The South Alouette river saw some major renovations, improving the upstream sections of Latimer Channel.

The channel, which is an overwintering and spawning channel underwent renovations in the week of July 26 to July 30 undertaken by the DFO Ecosystem Management Branch Engineer and Technicians.

A crew from the Fisheries and Oceans Ecosystem Management Branch, Resource Restoration Unit and Mission Contracting worked all week on Latimer Channel, a tributary of the South Alouette in Maple Ridge for the pipe replacement and repair.

Initially, the old pipe was left intact to keep the channel wet while DFO removed the intake and attached it to the new pipeline, said a social media post from the Alouette River Management Society (ARMS). The new line was laid right next to the old one.

The original pipe, which was installed in the late 1990’s, was completely corroded and even had tree roots growing through it.

According to ARMS, these repairs were much needed to help provide necessary access to overwintering and spawning grounds for Chum and Coho Salmon. The pipe replacement was done so that salmon continue to have healthy fish flows from the river to this important channel.

”It was time for the pipe to be replaced. It was first installed in the late 1990’s and had deteriorated over time and large debris had begun to block the pipe intake as well. Both Coho and Chum Salmon use the channel in the fall to lay eggs in their redds, where the eggs develop and hatch the following spring,” said Alexandra Holmes of ARMS. “The new pipe will allow better access for the salmon to swim up the channel to complete their lifecycle.”

”We look forward to the coming spawning season with the new intake pipe, especially for the Chum and Pink coming back. Don’t forget to keep a lookout in September and October!” said Holmes.

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The DFO worked on the pipe replacement and repairs at the end of July this year. (Alouette River Management Society/Special to The News)