I just completed a quick tally of email spawner patrol reports (I may be out a fish or two) and it looks like we’re on track for the best spawner year on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, since 2011. So far I think we have processed 28 chum and 4 coho.
It’s a bit hard to compare, because in some recent years we’ve seen many more fish than we’ve eventually found carcasses, even though we’re consistent in areas covered and frequency of patrols. (Extended periods of heavy rain can flush and/or bury carcasses.)
But in terms of comparing carcasses processed (to confirm species, size, sex, and spawning status), we’re looking good.
It also looks good in that most of the female chum found have spawned. Of the two female coho processed so far, one had spawned.
Thanks to all the volunteers going out patrolling, and let’s hope we still get some more fish!
For those curious to know, our best spawner year since fish passage was restored on Byrne Creek at the Fraser outfall about 30 years ago was just over 90 combined chum and coho in 2004.
BTW, volunteer streamkeepers process every salmon carcass found on the creek. We are able to do this because the spawning area can be traversed on foot in an hour to two hours depending on conditions and numbers of fish seen, and because the returns are so low. We do three to five patrols a week from mid-October to late December.