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Posted: May 24, 2020

Concerned about jet boats on St. Mary River

Letter to the Editor

The St. Mary River (as well as other East Kootenay rivers) are closed to fishing from April 1 to June 15. These closures are to protect spawning cutthroat trout.

It was with great dismay that on Friday, May 15 we observed two large inboard jet boats charging up the river past Wycliffe. The St. Mary is a small river. What are the effects of the jet prop and bow wake on spawning cutthroat trout? Undoubtedly negative!

Why would we protect cutthroat from angling and not from jet boats? In addition to the probable negative effects on the cutthroat fishery we also observed that the two large jet boats, as they proceeded upriver, forced and harassed goslings to flee for their own safety. The ospreys and heron also scattered.

The St. Mary River and other East Kootenay rivers are important fisheries for both local and visitor anglers and these rivers support numerous outfitters. These fisher people help support our local economy. Why do we let jet boats possibly destroy such an important resource?

On Saturday a couple of river rafts, which were full of people, floated by. The comparison between the two experiences was unbelievable; the roar of the jet boats which we heard long before we saw them compared to the silence of the rafts, which almost snuck by.  We all enjoy nature in our own way; but our enjoyment should not destroy or negatively affect the nature we have come to experience.

Dale and Doug Martin,

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