Haig-Brown upgrades in the works

Improvements designed to make visitors more comfortable

SYLVIE PAILLARD / Kamloops Daily News
February 18, 2013 01:00 AM

More than 150,000 people are expected to visit next year's salmon run in Haig-Brown provincial park.

A group of salmon enthusiasts are trying to make one of B.C.'s best-kept secrets less secret.

And they hope park improvement plans underway will help in that effort.

Haig-Brown provincial park along Adams River boasts North America's largest sockeye salmon run every four years.

More than 150,000 people flocked to the park to revel in the natural wonder in 2010 and many more are anticipated in 2014 during the cycle's next boom.

But the park lacks a few of the creature comforts needed to accommodate that many visitors.

Thanks to a collaborative initiative by the province, the Adams River Salmon Society,

Raymond Visser of Kamloops and Downs Project Management, the park could soon provide an interpretive centre and gathering area and enough parking for the hordes.

Another improvement will include flush toilets, because with pit toilets, "155,000 kind of fill things up pretty quickly," said David Baxter of the Adams River Salmon Society.

On Saturday, society members gathered with planners, the area's Columbia Shuswap Regional District representative and a planner to review the plans at the Little Shuswap Indian Band office.

Monty Downs of Downs Project Management said Haig-Brown park must now be considered one of the five major parks in B.C.

But park users won't be invited to stay overnight anytime soon with new camping accommodations, said Baxter.

"The idea is to keep it as pristine as possible, so in and out."

It's unclear what kind of funding will be provided from the provincial and federal governments so the society plans to raise funds and approach Ducks Unlimited, said Baxter.

Darlene McBain, president of the Adams River Salmon Society, said the plans must now move ahead to involve more of the community.

"This is a world class park, we invite participants to join us and contribute to what will be a major event and venue in British Columbia's Interior."

© Copyright 2015 Kamloops Daily News

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