The Coquitlam River may soon have better protection for its wildlife and fish and their habitats.
On Monday, Coquitlam's recreation committee okayed a plan to add about 1,500 feet of chain-link fencing in Coquitlam River Park to safeguard the riparian zone and salmon-bearing watercourse from off-leash dogs - and people.
Last month, the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. ranked the Coquitlam River the 10th most threatened watercourse in the province based on its excessive sedimentation and urbanization.
The cost for the fencing and accompanying signs would be about $47,000, the committee was told; city council is expected to endorse the plan at next week's regular meeting, with funding coming from the trails capital program over a three-year period.
The proposed action comes after the city last fall considered Coquitlam River Park as an off-leash dog area for Town Centre residents, and Fisheries and Ocean Canada officials recently deemed the river's off-channel habitat as sensitive, especially during spawning season.
Committee members also pressed city staff to make sure the new signs explain to visitors about the Fisheries Act fines for disturbing habitat. "They should say, 'Your dog is not going to be fined, you are," committee chair Coun. Doug Macdonell said.