Category Archives: Streamkeeping

Honoured to Speak on Citizen Science & Community Groups

I was honoured to speak tonight at the Tommy Douglas Library in SE Burnaby in an event organized by the South Coast Conservation Program called Conservation Through Citizen Engagement on BC’s South Coast.

Pamela Zevit and Tamsin Baker of SCCP provided introductions to their program and the speakers.

Then I spoke about citizen engagement in relation to the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society, and shared some thoughts on communicating about local watersheds to citizens, youth, and various levels of government and government agencies.

I didn’t bother with a PowerPoint, just blathered on with my Slavic passion : – ).

Other speakers included DG Blair of the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia, and Monica Pearson of Balance Ecological, who both delivered stimulating, knowledgeable presentations. Great stuff!

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!

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!

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?

City of Burnaby Adopts Progressive, Green Design Standards for Town Centre Streets

The City of Burnaby’s new design standards for streets in its four town centres look interesting. Lots of green including rain gardens. Hope this progresses quickly, as we need all the rainwater infiltration that we can get to keep our urban streams as healthy as possible. Infiltration naturally filters pollution and reduces peak flows.

See the document here.

Speaking Twice at SEP 2015 Stewardship Workshop in May

I’ve been asked to take part in two presentations at the SEP 2015 British Columbia stewardship community workshop in May.

One will be on event and documentary photography, with an emphasis on using photos for effective communication and engagement, be it in paper publications or online. The other is a panel on engaging youth in stewardship activities. Should be fun!

SEP 2015 will take place in Port Alberni, BC, May 15-17, 2015.

More information about the workshop will be posted to this website as details firm up.

Searching Squamish, BC, for Salmon and Eagles

This is a great time of year to see salmon and eagles up the Sea-to-Sky highway heading north from Vancouver to Squamish.

Didn’t see that many of the magnificent raptors today, but enough for some decent photos.

eagle_paradise_valley_road_squamish_20141122Eagle soaring above the Paradise Valley road north of Squamish, BC

eagle_squamish_river__chum_20141122
Lunching on what appears to be a chum salmon on the Squamish River

eagle_squamish_river_20141122
Cruising along the Squamish River

eagles salmon squamish bc
A mass of  biomass. Lots of carcasses near the Tenderfoot hatchery off the Paradise Valley road north of Squamish. It looks gross, but salmon bring nutrients back from the ocean that enrich our coastal forests and other wildlife.

Byrne Creek Moving Water Medley

As I patrolled Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, in search of spawning salmon on Nov. 4, I didn’t see any fish as the water was high and fast. But I did get several video clips of moving water that I edited together into a 2-minute video today.

BTW, nothing fancy. I used my Canon Elph 520HS pocket camera in its 1920 HD video mode. I mounted it on a GorillaPod so that I could get nice and low into the creek, while keeping things steady.

I edited the clips together using the standard Windows Movie Maker that came with Windows 8.1

No music, no narration, just the sights and sounds of moving water in nature.

Enjoy!