Category Archives: Streamkeeping

Super Wild Research & Byrne Ck Streamkeepers Fish ID Workshop

Wee fishies give  young biologists joy : -).

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and Wild Research members enjoyed a fish ID workshop this morning, and then we went out and retrieved traps from Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby.

Thanks to biologist Jim Roberts of Hemmera, who gave an excellent presentation on the complexities of identifying salmonids and other BC freshwater fish.

Note all fish are released unharmed.

Fish Trapping Byrne Creek

And thanks to Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Raj Chouhan for hosting the morning in-class session in his community office.

Lovely Day at Alta Vista Park Community Picnic

It was a lovely sunny day today at the Alta Vista Park Community Picnic in south Burnaby. This event has been happening annually for, I believe, over 25 years. Just local folks, mostly women, organizing this small fundraiser to keep the park equipment updated and in good shape.

Volunteers from the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society have been attending this event for around ten years or more. We love this event because it’s NOT an environmental event, it’s truly a local community party, and it’s a great chance to talk to folks about their local watersheds and streams.

Here are a few photos from today:

alta vista park picnic
Local faves Rainshadow perform

alta vista park picnic
City of Burnaby Parks and Rec crafts table

alta vista park picnic
Clowning around…

Homelessness task force
Burnaby Task Force on Homelessness

alta vista park picnic
Hot dogs!

alta vista park picnic
Air guitar contest

alta vista park picnic
Byrne Creek Streamkeepers display

alta vista park picnic
Folks checking out 3D watershed map – cool!

Volunteers Go All Out on Byrne Ck Bug Count

Wow, thanks to everyone who helped with the bug count on Byrne Creek in southeast Burnaby, BC, today. We went full out (10 volunteers for a total of 35 volunteer hours) and got all nine sites sampled and counted in one day — something that usually takes three days to do!
 
While the totals haven’t been tallied yet, as we surmised, it was pretty slim pickings.
 
Byrne Creek Bug Count
Using a D-net to take a sample. The variety and quantity of aquatic bugs is a good indication of water quality. Unfortunately, Byrne Creek regularly runs poor to marginal, or 1.5 – 2 on a scale of 4, using the methodology in module 4 of The Streamkeepers Handbook.
Byrne Creek pollution
And here’s why we have poor water quality in the creek. As we were taking our last sample today just upstream of Edmonds Skytrain Station, a slug of milky blue stuff came down the creek. We immediately reported it to City of Burnaby Environmental and they sent a tech out to try to find where it was coming from.
Bug count
Years ago we learned how to count in comfort. Here we are in a volunteer’s kitchen with coffee and muffins.
Byrne Creek bug
A Byrne Creek monster!
sample pails
There you go! Nine sites sampled in one day!

Fun & Informative Nature Tour of Byrne Creek

Pamela Zevit of the South Coast Conservation Program led a fun and informative nature tour on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby today.

Byrne Creek nature tour
Checking out Pamela’s bags of goodies — snail shells, feathers, and other cool stuff.

I’ve been volunteering with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers for over a decade, and I always enjoy getting out in the park and down in the ravine with knowledgeable folks, be they biologists, or birders, or geologists… There is always something to learn!

Thanks to the City of Burnaby Parks Department for organizing such tours. I’ll be leading one on Byrne Creek on Nov. 14 to look for spawning salmon. More info here.

Byrne Creek Lamprey

There have been some questions about lamprey on the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers mailing list.

Byrne Creek Burnaby LampreyHere’s one that I shot just below the stop log in the sediment pond on July 30 this summer. It was about 15 cm long, give or take a few.

They may seem icky for their snake-like appearance and because many are by nature parasitic, but they are part of the great scheme of things, and have coexisted with salmon, trout and other fish for millennia.

We have observed them spawning in Byrne Creek, in the lower ravine, and in the sediment pond. They are actually quite beautiful to watch when they are mating for they dance and twine together.

South Burnaby Ravine Forests Show Major Cooling Effect

I was happy to see that water temperatures have eased in Byrne Creek in southeast Burnaby.

Today I got readings of 10/11 C in the ravine, and a high of 13 C at the downstream end of the sediment pond. That’s off from 17+ a few weeks ago, which was getting high for the health of salmon and trout.

It was also interesting to note that the air temperature in the thick, tall woods of the ravine was 15 C, while the air temperature standing on the median of Southridge Drive, a four-lane road running past the ravine, was 24 C.

Another example of the natural services provided by woods and forests!

Byrne Creek Salmon Fry, Thirsty Wasps, Bees

I took a one-hour loop in Byrne Creek Ravine Park this afternoon in SE Burnaby, BC. I was happy to see lots of salmon fry, and possibly trout fry. I took water temperatures at three points in the lower ravine, and they ranged from 14.5 – 15 C, so not too bad for fish. Other volunteers with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers had recorded temps as high as 17 further downstream.

Aside from lots of fry, I also saw thirsty wasps and bees. Some wasps were rolling and collecting mud.

Byrne Creek salmon fry
Lots of fry in the pool upstream of the wooden footbridge

wasp rolling mud
Wasp rolling mud on the bank of the creek

water-seeking bees
One of several bees seeking hydration

salmon fry, dappled sun and water
I like how the sun and moving water created this dappled appearance

Presenting ‘Beautiful Byrne Creek’ at Burnaby Library June 4

Back by popular demand! 🙂

As part of the City of Burnaby’s Environment Week celebrations, I’ll be presenting a slide show on “Beautiful Byrne Creek” at the Tommy Douglas Library in SE Burnaby on June 4, at 7:00 pm.

Paul bug streamkeepers
Yes, you too, can become a streamkeeper just like me! 😉

Similar to last year’s presentation, I will give an overview of Burnaby watersheds, and then focus on Byrne Creek and what sorts of activities volunteer streamkeepers do to help protect and restore natural habitat in the urban environment.

I’ll have lovely nature shots of the creek and ravine park, posters, streamkeeper handbooks and equipment, etc.

Suitable for all ages!

Hope to see you there.