Chilliwack/Gill Bar – Back on Thursday, July 28,the road access gate to Gill Bar, was locked and reinforced to restrict motorized vehicle access into portions of provincial crown land leading to the gravel bar and side channels. Public access to the Bar via foot traffic or small boat remained unaffected.
From the media statement at the time via DFO Department of Fisheries and Oceans: This action is being taken on the advice from DFO’s Conservation and Protection Branch and the Federal Fisheries Habitat Protection Program, in coordination with the City of Chilliwack, the BC Ministry of Forestsand the BC Ministry of Lands, Water & Resource Stewardship. Input into the decision was also given by area First Nations (Cheam First Nations), the RCMP, community stewardship groups, off-road recreational associations, and other stakeholders.
On Saturday October 1, FVN was sent pictures (anonymously) of the gate cut open and cinder blocks moved aside. FVN has also learned that the City of Chilliwack was advised that this happened.
When access to Gill Bar was restricted, a number of ATV users were upset that they lost their location to roll through sensitive fish habitat for the sake of the thrill of speed. There were many social media comments to that effect.
The DFO information signs were defaced shortly after the closure.
More to come as this story develops.