Category Archives: Photography

Lovely Day for Byrne Creek Salmon Patrol

We retrieved a pile of dead chum and one dead coho today on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, and processed them for size, sex, and spawning status.

If you see fish carcasses cut in half, don’t worry, that’s done by volunteer streamkeepers after they have assessed the dead salmon. We cut them in half so it’s easy to see that they have been processed and the data collected. Streamkeepers have training and permission to carry out this activity.

Note that it is illegal to interfere with spawning salmon, and that includes removing dead ones.  Please watch from a distance when observing this amazing natural spectacle.

Byrne Creek

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One coho salmon in a row of chum

Chum Run Setting New Records on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby

Wow, what a season it’s shaping up to be! Nearly every day that volunteer streamkeepers patrol Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, new records are set for chum salmon spawner returns. We’re finally seeing a few coho, too!

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This lovely coho shot past us upstream as we were patrolling, and then rested long enough to grab a photo or two.

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Big male chum at the lower end of the culvert, which has become one huge redd.

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Several pairs of chum spawning at lower end of the culvert

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A few of the fish that volunteer streamkeepers processed today for length, sex, and spawning status.

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Lots of chum in the lower ravine.

Dozen+ Chum Salmon Seen in Byrne Ck

Despite the rain and somewhat poor visibility, I went on a spawner patrol on Byrne Creek in SE #Burnaby, and was rewarded by seeing over a dozen chum. It was also exciting to see them moving up into the lower ravine.

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One of a pair seen in the lower ravine

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The other chum in the lower ravine

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Near the stop log in the sediment pond. The area looks like a huge extended redd from the upper end of the pond into the lower end of the culvert

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Three or four in this shot

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You can see the huge area of disturbed gravel and cobble. Lots of spawning action!

Chum Salmon Spawning in Stoney Creek, Burnaby, BC

I’d hoped to attend a celebration of life today for the late Eric Carlisle, SEHAB member and salmon whisperer extraordinaire. However, an oncoming cold kept me closer to home, though Yumi convinced me to get out in the fresh air for an hour and check out the spawners on Stoney Creek.

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Cariboo Dam fish ladder

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Stoney Creek chum in full spawning colours

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Dippers appear with the salmon — they dive for loose eggs

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Rivalry results in explosive action

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Byrne Creek Dike Clearcut Well Underway

Provincial dike regulations are forcing the City of Burnaby to clearcut the habitat along lower Byrne Creek that shades the creek and is home to dozens of species of birds and other wildlife.

You can see in these photos how this stretch is going from lush mixed trees, bush, and other vegetation, to wasteland. I understand the need to inspect dikes for safety reasons, but is it really necessary to clearcut everything?

I know that Burnaby protested, to no avail, but I wonder why the work is going ahead just as salmon are returning to spawn.

And I’m sure that summer water temperature in this lower part of the creek will become lethal to trout and salmon with all the cover gone.

UPDATE: Over the course of the day I was in touch with both DFO and City of Burnaby Environmental staff. DFO will be looking into this, and enviro staff sounded surprised at the extent of plant removal, saying they thought only trees that were impeding vehicle movement along the top of the dike were supposed to be targeted at this time.

However, this still comes down to unbending provincial regulations. Cannot a happy medium be found that allows for inspection and assurance of safety, yet retains critical suburban salmon and other wildlife habitat?

Byrne Creek dike clearcut

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