DFO to recheck water depth near Savage Harbour

·2 min read
DFO says officials with the Small Craft Harbour program will do soundings to confirm the depths of the channel near Savage Harbour when the weather suits. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)
DFO says officials with the Small Craft Harbour program will do soundings to confirm the depths of the channel near Savage Harbour when the weather suits. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will recheck the depth of water near Savage Harbour as fishermen continue to complain about difficulties navigating a sandbar there.

CBC reported on those concerns earlier this week.

In an email to CBC on Friday, the department said its Small Craft Harbour program conducted soundings to check on water depth in the area on May 18. But it was determined dredging wasn't required at the time.

However, DFO said in light of ongoing concerns, more soundings will be done to confirm the depths of the channel when "the weather is favourable."

A plan of action will be developed based on the results, the department said.

'We cannot find, you know, any path out through it that's not causing us to hit or bottom out at mid to low tide,' says George Doyle, president of the harbour authority at Savage Harbour.
'We cannot find, you know, any path out through it that's not causing us to hit or bottom out at mid to low tide,' says George Doyle, president of the harbour authority at Savage Harbour.(Brian Higgins/CBC)

George Doyle is the president of the harbour authority at Savage Harbour. He says tides have been high the past few days, and that has been helping some boats get in — but about 10 boats are still using Red Head Harbour at Morell to avoid the sandbar.

"Next week the tide will be low when we are trying to return from fishing," Doyle said.

That means more boats are likely to bottom out — some have already been snagged, he said.

Doyle hopes dredging will happen before the end of lobster season on June 30.
Doyle hopes dredging will happen before the end of lobster season on June 30.(Shane Hennessey/CBC)

He hopes dredging will happen before the end of lobster season on June 30.

"We're still optimistic. We're hopeful that small craft harbours is hearing what we're saying. It's going to take a while to get all this stuff in place. Sooner they do the soundings, the sooner they hopefully will see what we're seeing and move forward with."

Doyle said he wants DFO to put more value in the concerns of fishermen who have been using the area for more than 35 years.

"We know different paths to get in and out, and the fact we cannot find, you know, any path out through it that's not causing us to hit or bottom out at mid to low tide, I mean that's indicative, that speaks volumes that there is a problem out there."

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