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. 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 Carne and Louise Towell, and ZoAnn Morten 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!
This pair may well be our last spawning salmon on Byrne Creek in south Burnaby this year.
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.
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.
We also saw this big coho on its last fins. It was barely moving.
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.
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 creek 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.
Fish ladder at Griffiths Pond
Heading upstream to where the creek comes out of pipes near 16th.
Frosty walk on Byrne Creek in Burnaby, BC. Herons, Teal, Wood Ducks. . . We were looking for salmon, and spotted about a dozen coho and large trout.
Didn’t expect to see spawning salmon on a dark, overcast, rainy day, but I did spot one coho and one chum in the Byrne Creek sediment pond.
It was a lovely walk, though. . .
Was elated to find a pair of chum salmon paired off and spawning in Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, today. The female was flipping sideways and using her tail to dig a nest in the gravel for her eggs, while a male monitored her progress.
This year chum have been late returning, and sparse in numbers.
Volunteer streamkeepers have now seen both coho and chum salmon returning to spawn in Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby.
We were getting a bit on edge, as they usually start showing up in mid-October. Fingers crossed that we’ll still get a decent run.
Yumi and I did a spawner patrol on Byrne Creek in southeast Burnaby, BC, and still did not see a single salmon. That puts them nearly ten days late compared to the usual first sighting each year. But we still enjoyed the lovely colours!
This big shelf fungus almost matches one Yumi found a few years ago.
Volunteer streamkeepers make dog posters that the City of Burnaby’s Parks Department gives us permission to zap-strap to trees to remind dogs to stay out of the creek during the salmon spawning season, and until salmon eggs hatch in the spring.
Byrne Creek Streamkeepers volunteers Maho and Yumi have created several whimsical posters that impart the information with humour.
We’ve been doing this so long on Byrne Creek that dog walkers start asking us in the fall when the posters will be up!
They’re also a conversation piece, and we chatted with several walkers about them today.