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This week the BC Liberal’s Steelhead Caucus was touring the area including stops along the Fraser, Thompson and Nicola Rivers.

Following a stop along the Nicola, just west of Merritt, Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart joined Q101 to discuss the work being done.

“What we’re doing is building knowledge,” began Tegart. “Trying very hard to understand steelhead, where it fits in the hierarchy of fish, who’s responsible and what actions can be taken to bring the stock back.”

“We talked this morning with a formal provincial employee that looked after fisheries and talking about the watersheds in the Merritt area and how important they are to steelhead. Also, some of the challenges we’re seeing and what kind of action government could take to rehabilitate habitats and to build stocks,” added Tegart.

While the team was in Merritt, Tegart mentioned how it’s an issue across British Columbia.

“It’s an issue across the Province and one of the things we want to understand is what are the things that are affecting the success rate of steelhead and bringing them back into the river and the Interior,” said Tegart.

Tegart continued to say that one of the challenges with steelhead is that it’s one of the few fish that are under provincial jurisdiction.

“We’ll sit down and talk about what did we learn, what were some of the suggestions regarding solutions, and what should we be putting forward to the government. Also, what should we as the BC Liberal Party be contemplating as we look at a platform for election,” said Tegart. “Bottom line is, politics aside, our steelhead are in crisis.”

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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