Land-based fish farm proposed for Kootenays

Valhalla Aquaculture has applied for a licence to use Trozzo Creek as a water source

A land-based fish farm could soon be operating in the Slocan Valley.

Valhalla Aquaculture, a company owned by Paul and Joan Hampaul, has applied for a licence to divert water out of Trozzo Creek to a facility that would be built between Highway 6 and the Slocan River north of Winlaw.

Paul Hampaul said he considered raising animals such as pigs and cows on the property, but that wildlife use the 67-acre property as a corridor and that such farming might contaminate the creek and river.

Raising rainbow trout in tanks and raceways, however, made sense to him.

“First of all, it’s land based. We can have better control of the water quality, we can manage disease, we can manage biohazard, what goes in, what goes out,” said Hampaul. “It also just provides a better way of controlling the effluent, which unfortunately they don’t do in open water.

“Above all it will provide healthy, nutritious and sustainable food source. We have choices. We can grow our own, as we all want 100-mile radius food sources, or we can import from China as most of our seafood is coming these days.”

The facility will require two nearby intakes from Trozzo Creek at 42 litres per second. Hampaul said no waste will be flushed back into the water source. Instead, the company plans on using filters to clean effluent, tail water will be directed into settling ponds and then into soil infiltration, and fish excrement will be used to make fertilizer.

No provincial Land Act tenure is required to build the facility because it is on private land, but the water licence application requires 30 days of public consultation from the date of its first notice, which was on July 26. A drawing of the proposed site can be found at the bottom of this story.

Related:

Virus found in farmed salmon linked to disease in B.C. chinook

UPDATE: A fish farm on Kootenay Lake?

Province expected to extend fish farm licences another 4 years

Land-based fish farms are increasingly being considered as an alternative to open-water facilities, which are criticized for exposing wild salmon to disease and operating on First Nations territories without a prior agreement.

Alternatively, opponents of land-based aquaculture such as the BC Salmon Farmers Association say such ventures would put thousands of people out of work.

Hampaul, who is principal of the Calgary-based energy consulting company Entramar Ltd., said he has owned the site of the proposed fish farm for over a decade along with a home and a cabin in the area.

“We are very responsible land owners and farmers. We breathe the same air and drink the same water. The last thing we want to do is screw up anything. We also want to live in the community. We are neighbours, we are part of the biome.”

Public feedback can be sent to Tom Cummings at FrontCounter BC’s Nelson office, or to Jen Andrews at FrontCounter BC in Cranbrook.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Rainbow trout like this one could soon be farmed at a site on land near the Slocan River. File photo

Just Posted

15 new mayors to take office across the Kootenays

Here’s a look at the highlights from across the Kootenay region in B.C.

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Why municipal elections are important

Voting helps shape our community

Director happy with referendum results

Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area A residents voted in favour of the… Continue reading

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

BREAKING: Person arrested after motel stabbing in Fernie

Restaurant patron at Fernie Super 8 Hotel injured in random attack

Liberals write off $6.3 billion in loans as part of money never to be collected

That includes student loans and a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada

Category 5 Hurricane Willa threatens Mexico’s Pacific coast

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometres) from the storm’s centre

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

Okanagan parachute accident kills American

Man, 34, dies in skydiving accident Saturday near Westwold, between Vernon and Kelowna

Man who died at BC Ferries terminal shot himself as police fired: watchdog

Officers didn’t commit any offence, says police watchdog office

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Most Read