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Excavator being used in Blanche Brook upsets Stephenville man

Pottle
Pottle - Frank Gale

Tony Pottle was very upset on Friday morning to see an excavator working in Blanche Brook just a short distance from his Hansen Highway residence.

“I understand that remediation work needs to be done on the banks of the brook, but does it have to be during the peak of the salmon run?” he asked.

Pottle said salmon migrate thousands of miles from Greenland through a gauntlet of obstacles, from seals and other predators to man-made challenges like plastics to finally make it to the river to spawn and now have to face this.

He said we’re in a place now where it’s questionable to cross a stream on an all-terrain vehicle because you’re “molesting a river bed” but yet you can put an excavator in the same place.

Mike Campbell, manager for the Town of Stephenville, confirmed the town is responsible for having the work done by personnel with their own public works department.

He said the work has a twofold purpose – to stabilize an eroded bank from flooding during the winter and reinstating the fossil bed trail.

However, he pointed out the reinstatement of the trail is just incidental.

Campbell said the town got all the necessary permits to carry out the work, which involves three different areas in the town – another below the bridge near Keyano Lounge where a waterline runs under the brook and another place in Warm Creek, where a waterline was actually completely suspended.

He said the Warm Creek job has already been done.

There are other areas of erosion that is hoped to be remediated before the fall if the money becomes available.    

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