Category Archives: Nature

Impressive Results for Byrne Creek Fish Survey

Volunteers with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society completed a weekend fish survey in southeast Burnaby, BC, today with the third-best result recorded in 13 years of collecting data.  We caught, identified, measured and released 70 juvenile cutthroat trout and three coho.

Please note that this activity is done with authorization from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans SEP Program, and with training by the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation.

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015
The fish survey involves rambling through the bush. Those hi-viz vests really stand out in the forest.

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015
Someone had placed this chair at this idyllic spot. Nice view, too bad whoever was sitting here appeared to have been tossing beer cans in the creek… Sigh

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015
Skunk cabbage popping up in several place. This is a cool plant!

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015
Emptying a Gee trap

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015Checking out the results

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015
Releasing the little guys unharmed

Byrne Creek Fish Survey March 8, 2015
Thanks to all the volunteers!

Crisp, Clear Day at Alice Lake Provincial Park

I took a couple of hours away from the office to zip up to Alice Lake Provincial Park to take some photos today.

alice_lake_sea_to_sky_20150224
Driving north on the Sea to Sky Highway

Alice Lake Provincial Park
Heading out counter-clockwise around the lake

Alice Lake Provincial Park mergansers
Mergansers hanging on the beach

Alice Lake Provincial Park robin Alice Lake Provincial Park mountain view Alice Lake Provincial ParkStream tumbling into the lake

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park Alice Lake Provincial ParkIn the summer these tables would all be full. Today, I saw only three other people over the entire loop around the lake.

Alice Lake Provincial Park Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park
Roots and rocks embrace

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Byrne Creek Fry, Blossoms

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers volunteers found a coho fry (newly hatched with yolk still visible) in a bug sample yesterday, so today on my creek walk I stopped at a few likely places to see if I could spot any in the water. I was happy to see three fry!

Byrne Creek salmon fry
Two fry under the wooden footbridge, and I spotted another about ten meters downstream.

Byrne Creek Ravine Park blossoms

Byrne Creek Ravine Park blossoms

Byrne Creek Bug Counting

It was a lovely day for counting bugs on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby today. Such aquatic invertebrate surveys provide an indication of water quality in the creek, and unfortunately while streamkeeper volunteers have been regularly sampling for over ten years, the quality is nearly always poor to marginal, with just the occasional satisfactory at best.

byrne creek bug count
Using a D-net to gather a sample

Byrne Creek bug counting
Chatting with neighbourhood friends

Byrne Creek bug counting
Volunteers show up with a new generation of streamkeepers 🙂

Byrne Creek bug count

Byrne Creek garbage collection
Volunteers usually combine data collection with ongoing garbage cleanup

Early blooming
It’s been a warm winter!

Early blooming

Strange black substance coating Byrne Creek spillway
I checked the artificial spawning habitat and sediment pond for fish, but saw only two cutthroat. No fry yet. I also found this odd black, flaking coating on the sediment pond spillway. Something yucky came down the creek not too long ago!

Great Birding Day at Reifel Sanctuary

Yumi and I spent three or four hours at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary today. In terms of species seen, it was one of our best days down there. It was great chatting with more experienced birders who were happy to share their finds, point them out, and help us with species identification.

Here are some shots taken today:

black crowned night heron
There were lots of these black crowned night herons — apparently an unusual number.

northern saw-whet owl
Northern saw-whet owl?

american cootAmerican coot

american wigeon
American wigeon

reifel_american_wigeon_head_20150221
American wigeon closeup

bald eagle
Bald eagle

hooded merganser
Hooded merganser

long-eared owl
I’m thinking long-eared owl?

mallard head
Mallard head

mallard tail
Mallard tail

northern pintail
Northern pintail

northern shoveller copule
Northern shoveller couple

red-winged blackbird
Red-winged blackbird

reifel_ring_necked_duck_question_20150221
Ring-necked duck?

sandhill crane
Sandhill cranes

sandhill crane head
Sandhill crane

scaup?
Scaup of some sort?

sharp-shinned hawk
Sharp-shinned hawk? Cooper’s?

Last Day in LA, February 18, 2015

Today was my last day in Los Angeles at the end of a one-week visit to see my sister and her family. I’ll gradually add previous days to this blog as I have time, but here are a few shots from Manhattan Beach where I spent a couple of hours before my flight at LAX.

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sea lion and surfer manhattan beach CA
This sea lion was following a group of surfers near the pier. This was no one-off — the lion repeatedly rode the waves and swam back out for more.

manhattan beach ca

manhattan_beach_ca_2_20150218

manhattan_beach_ca_3_20150218

manhattan_beach_ca_4_20150218

manhattan_beach_ca_5_20150218

manhattan_beach_ca_6_20150218

manhattan_beach_ca_7_20150218

manhattan_beach_ca_8_20150218

pelican
Pelican in flight

BC Govt Steps Up to Protect Our Water. Huh?

So according to an article entitled “No more free water for bottlers in BC” in Business in Vancouver, and another in the Globe & Mail, BC will start charging commercial bottlers for water now taken freely from the commons, put in plastic bottles, and sold.

Yes, our water will now be sold to commercial bottlers for $2.25 per million litres. Ouch, that’s gotta hurt.

That means bottlers like Nestle will now pay 0.00022 cents per litre.  In case you have trouble seeing the decimal point, that’s “point zero zero zero two two” cents per litre.

Er, how much does Nestle charge for a litre of bottled water?