Category Archives: Streamkeeping

Social Distancing with Birds and Salmon Fry

We’re still doing Byrne Creek walks in SE Burnaby, being careful to give others a wide berth on the trails. Lots of wildlife out there to enjoy!

northern flicker nest burnaby bc
We spotted this Northern Flicker in Ron McLean Park checking out some real estate.

green-winged teal byrne creek burnaby

There were lots of Green-Winged Teal in the Byrne Creek overflow pond

hooded merganser burnaby bc
A Hooded Merganser couple hanging out in a ditch near the Baraga Community Gardens in SE Burnaby

sparrow with angles
I like all the angles with this sparrow

golden-crowned sparrow
This Golden-Crowned played hide and seek, but I finally got a few good shots

pileated woodpecker feeder
A Pileated Woodpecker at a backyard feeder

yumi mayfly larva byrne creek
Looking for salmon fry. We spotted a few in the creek over a week ago, but had been skunked ever since.Ā  But today we saw a few more. Yay!

salmon fry byrne creek

Yumi found this mayfly larva

tree python byrne creek
This python nearly dropped on us from a tree in Byrne Creek Ravine Park. Keep an eye out, folks! šŸ™‚


Excellent Invasive Species Council Meeting

I attended another well-organized, efficiently run board meeting of the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver.Ā  It’s a pleasure to participate with these folks!

These people, many of them staff from municipal governments in the Lower Mainland, and staff from Metro Vancouver, share a wealth of experience and knowledge.

When one sees an agenda laid out to the minute, and the chair and executive director power through with time to spare, that’s a great meetingĀ .

board members invasive species council metro vancouver


We’ve Got Fry in Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby!

Yumi and have been doing spot checks for salmonid fry in Byrne Creek in SE #Burnaby where we volunteer as streamkeepers.

Today we spotted two, the first we’ve seen this year. It’s so exciting and uplifting to know that the salmon that returned to spawn in this battered urban creek were successful in starting a new generation.

The last year was not friendly to salmon. Drought conditions last summer resulted in very low, warm flows. Then we had snow and torrential rains in the winter, so much so that we were afraid that nests of eggs may have been blown out.

We’ll be keeping sharp eyes out for more fry in the days and weeks to come!

salmon fry byrne creek burnaby
A poor photo taken with my pocket cam in low light. Will try to get some better shots soon.

Salmon Dreams – a walk through memory in Riley Park/ Little Mt.

Enjoyed this walk ‘n talk with the False Creek Watershed Society.

Here’s the description:

Salmon Dreams – a walk through memory in Riley Park/ Little Mountain Landscape.

Please join us for our 3rd annual ‘Connecting to Place’ gathering.

Our exploration will nurture a connection with the visible and hidden waterways in the Riley Park/Little Mountain Neighbourhood. The guides are Celia Brauer, co-founder and staff of the False Creek Watershed Society and Amy Kiara Ruth, a somatic movement educator. We will continue afterwards with a gathering filled with community connection, scrumptious snacks and hot beverages!

We acknowledge that we gather and garden on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh First Nations.

riley little mt park tour

Salmon Run is Ending on Byrne Creek, Sharing Some Love

As the salmon spawning season draws to a close on urban Byrne Creek in south Burnaby, BC, I have a few thoughts. . .

Thank you to the dog walkers who ask us when the “keep your dogs out of the creek” posters will go up. You’re some of our best eyes on the creek! You’re out there every day.

Thanks to City of Burnaby Parks who approve posting the posters and oversee invasive plant removals, and thanks to City of Burnaby Engineering who follow up when volunteers report issues with water quality.

I also want to thank the increasing numbers of folks who are aware there are salmon in this urban creek, and who stop and chat with streamkeeper volunteers and ask how the run is going.

It’s emotional for me when the spawner run draws to a close. I feel bereft until I start spotting fry in the creek in the spring.

Yes, we do see alevin popping out of the gravel in the spring, and watch as they become fry.Ā  It’s a wonder to behold and cherish.

I’m a prairie boy, Yumi is a northern Japan girl, and we have a common passion in BC salmon that started soon after we moved here some 20 years ago.

A lot of that goes to mentors like Stream of Dreams Murals Society founders Joan CarneĀ andĀ Louise Towell, andĀ ZoAnn MortenĀ of the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation, and our DFO Community Advisors over the years, Maurice and now Scott. . .

Streamkeepers in British Columbia are an amazing community.

We’ve had some hard years, and we’ve had too many low runs.

Here’s to making things better!

Salmon Run Ending on Burnaby’s Byrne Creek

This pair may well be our last spawning salmon on Byrne Creek in south Burnaby this year.

spawned coho byrne creek burnaby

The run started late and is ending late.

Nice to see that the female was completely spawned, not an egg to be found. Look at her totally abraded tail — she’d been digging hard in the gravel, making a nest for her eggs and covering them up . . .

We didn’t spot any live ones today.

NOTE: Streamkeepers have training and permission to monitor spawning salmon and assess them for species, size, spawning status, etc., after they die. Please keep your dogs on leash around creeks and streams, and stay on trails. And remember that the eggs will remain hidden in the gravel until they start hatching in the spring.

Still Some Coho on Byrne Creek

It was a late start to salmon spawning season on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, this year and we have seen very few fish compared to past years. It’s a mystery that’s troubling.

We saw one chum, and several coho today. We also processed — measured and assessed spawning success — a few dead coho we found.

Unfortunately, this coho female did not spawn before dying. That’s sad to see, particularly since we’ve been getting so few salmon back the last few years.

unspawned female coho byrne creek burnaby

We also saw this big coho on its last fins. It was barely moving.

large coho fungus byrne creek burnaby

NOTE: Streamkeepers have training and permission to monitor spawning salmon and collect data when the fish die. It is illegal to interfere with spawning salmon.

The carcasses are cut in half after they are assessed, to ensure we don’t double count, and are returned to the creek to provide nutrients to the ecosystem.

Milky Spill in Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC

Photos of today’s incident in Byrne Creek in SE #Burnaby.

A volunteer streamkeeper on his way to Edmonds Skytrain Station this morning noticed the mess.

Called it in to the City, and hope they can find the source.

From Griffiths Pond near Edmonds Skytrain Station I backtracked it all the way to where the creekĀ first appears above ground near 16th. The flow was from higher than that, and was dissipating by the time I got there.

I have not seen any distressed or dying fish, so we might have dodged a bullet, yet again. This has happened a few times over the last few months. Not good.

We have spawning salmon in the creek, and later I will check the sediment pond further downstream, though if it’s this thick down there I likely won’t be able to see anything.

mikly spill byrne creek burnaby bc
Fish ladder at Griffiths Pond

Heading upstream to where the creek comes out of pipes near 16th.