The Lardeau Valley Historical Society is pleased to receive a large donation in honour of the late Murray Pearson who died last year in a tragic backcountry accident. Following discussions with the museum board, Murray’s siblings, Nona Flemming and Jim Pearson, are directing this substantial contribution as seed money toward creating an outdoor pavilion interpreting the history of fishing and fisheries management in the upper Kootenay Lake region.
“Indigenous peoples depended on local fish since time immemorial, and then European settlers arrived and gradually turned fishing into a tourist resource,” says Peter Jonker, LVHS president. “This museum project aims to interpret and raise public awareness of that history.” The project will bring focus to six themes: (1) Significance of fishing to pre-contact Indigenous peoples; (2) Significance of fishing to pioneers and settlers; (3) The variety of local fish species, their ecology, and historical population trends; (4) Increasing involvement of federal & provincial governments and scientists via egg collection and hatcheries; (5) Impacts of Duncan Dam on fish and fisheries; and (6) History and success of Meadow Creek Spawning Channel. Multiple agencies are expected to provide various levels of support and input, and local volunteers are stepping up to help with the required research. Total project hard costs are expected to be in the $40-50K range.
“Our family is honoured to have a small part in this fisheries history project,” states Jim Pearson. “It will not only summarize events and a description of resources in the area but will also be a legacy for Murray who was involved with the spawning channel for over 30 years. We heard many appreciative comments about Murray’s dedication and hard work at the channel and also his character and involvement in the community. We know he enjoyed his lifestyle with all his friends and would not change it for anything. It meant so much to us to meet many of his co-workers and friends at the channel gathering on September 27 last year.”
History is a community activity, and LVHS welcomes all community members to help gather information, stories, photos and artefacts that relate to the topic.