Volunteers with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society are seeing more coho prespawn mortality this season. That’s when coho that return to spawn die before they can do so.
This has been a recurring problem on the creek over the years, and is likely due to polluted road wash that carries contaminants into the water. There are ongoing studies in Washington State that point to a toxic brew of contaminants in stormwater as being lethal to coho, which seem particularly susceptible to it.
We found this coho male today
And this coho female full of eggs a couple of days ago
We get so few coho back to Byrne Creek that we treasure every one, and it’s so sad to see them die without completing their life cycle.
We desperately need to infiltrate water washed off from roads and parking lots into the ground through swales and rain gardens. The ground acts as a natural filter. Yet the Byrne Creek watershed in Burnaby, BC, is seeing more and more ground paved over despite hundreds of hours of professional and public input into Stormwater Management Plans and a recent Environmental Sustainability Strategy.
Note that it is illegal to interfere with spawning salmon. Streamkeepers have training and permission to process dead salmon to collect data on species, size, spawning status, etc. We return the carcasses to the creek after processing as they provide food and nutrients to other fish, animals and the overall ecosystem.
The volunteer Salmonid Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board to the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans met in Gibsons, BC, for a 2-1/2 day meeting this weekend. Thanks to local stewardship volunteers who showed us around! Here are some shots taken over the weekend.
We had a great working weekend, got lots done, and have lots of things to share with DFO Pacific Regional HQ.
The ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale
Me and Jan on the ferry. Thanks to my wife Yumi for this photo. I represent the North Side of the Fraser River from Burnaby to Mission, and Jan is a rep from the north coast.
Getting down to work
Great presentations from DFO
Some happy guy who just loves meetings! 🙂
A local Gibsons, BC, icon, that will be familiar to lots of Canadians of certain generations.
Now that’s a huge 3D watershed map!
Hopeful heron wishing the nets at the hatchery were not quite so effective 🙂
Gotta goof around a bit to stay sane, eh?
Eagles checking us out as we were checking out the hatchery
Captured these shots on a Byrne Creek patrol for spawning salmon today. What a lovely day!
Several streamkeeper volunteers took advantage of a sunny break and headed out to Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby. We saw six or seven chum, with some paired off and spawning!
Streamkeeper volunteers planted a dozen cedars provided by Burnaby Parks. We placed half a dozen in the Byrne Creek artificial spawning habitat, and half a dozen along the lower ravine trail. Great fun getting cold and wet!
Gotta go to sleep, early shift tomorrow, but hearing what sounds like a few drops outside my window in south #Burnaby makes me happy.
Yes, I’m happy at the chill in the air, and the looming precipitation. Rain means salmon are coming. . .
All ya folks out there sad at the rain and the dark, get thee back outside, and feel, touch, smell the season.
Autumn is glorious, especially here in the lower mainland of BC.
Too early for salmon coming home to spawn, but it was so beautiful outside today that I had to go for a Byrne Creek ravine walk.
We’ve known this is coming for years, but I was still a bit shocked to see City crews putting up these signs on my south slope ramble today. Sigh.
This will be a big hit on urban biodiversity in south Burnaby. The site is just across Byrne Park Drive to the east of Byrne Creek Ravine Park.
Byrne Creek Streamkeepers had our booth at World Rivers Day at the Burnaby Village Museum today. Sunny, warm, and lots of folks to talk about watersheds with.
Our popular 3D watershed map
The City of Burnaby’s huge, walkable watersheds map
An OWL rescue
Volunteers did our early fall pre-spawner fish trapping today and were happy to find lots of coho smolts and cutthroat trout. All released unharmed, of course!
Streamkeepers have permission from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for such activities, and training from the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation.
Placing a retrieved Gee trap in a basinette for enumeration
Volunteer Yumi measures a fish
We use dry cat food for bait
Lovely day to be on the creek!
The above two photos show the general area of the site with the trap that had the most fish. Rough areas for humans to get through, but fish love the complexity and cover.
Lots of cool fungi deep in the bush!