A new viewing platform near Meadow Creek gives visitors a chance to see the Gerrard spawning run.

New platform up in time for record run

A viewing platform on the Lardeau River was recently finished to welcome visitors and a record run of spawning Gerrards.

A new Gerrard rainbow trout viewing platform on the Lardeau River was recently finished to welcome visitors, and a record run of spawning Gerrards.

The platform was built, with the support of a range of funders, by the Friends of Lardeau River who hosted an Open House on May 12. Approximately 150 members of the public turned-out to appreciate the group’s handiwork and witness the spectacle of more than 900 “giants of Gerrard” spawning in the clear, clean waters at the outlet of Trout Lake.

“We were especially pleased that the new platform was ready in time to coincide with yet another record run,” said Grant Trower with the Friends of the Lardeau River. “We hope that it will help people connect with this amazing fish, and increase awareness of this important spawning site. We feel extremely proud of the end result and I hope the supporting partners also feel proud of what we have achieved together; we could not have done it without their help.”

Those partners included the B.C. Parks, the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (a partnership of BC Hydro, the Province of B.C. and Fisheries and Oceans Canada), Columbia Power Corporation, Columbia Basin Trust, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and FortisBC.

The Open House was held only a few days after a daily peak count of 1,068 spawning Gerrards was recorded on May 9. This was the highest observed since annual daily counts began in 1961, and the third year in a row that the daily peak count record has been broken following peak counts of 995 in 2011, and 725 in 2010.

“The platform is certainly built to last,” added Trower. “The new design incorporates wheelchair access and a viewing tower for the fish counter that will enable more accurate counts of Gerrards in the future.”

The platform is located about 42 kilometers northwest of Meadow Creek and the Gerrard spawning run is expected to finish by the middle or end of May.

For anyone interested in wanting to join the Friends of the Lardeau River call 250-366-4375.