Category Archives: Streamkeeping

Streamkeepers to Volunteer for Edmonds Clean Sweep in SE Burnaby

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers will continue a long tradition of participating in the Edmonds Clean Sweep in SE Burnaby. The event is sponsored by EPIC (Edmonds People in Community.)

As usual, streamkeepers will have an alternate registration site from 9:45am on Sat. May 2 in the parking lot of the Edmonds Skytrain Station, and we will clean the area around the station and in upper Byrne Creek Ravine Park.

We will join in the noon-hour lunch and festivities at Gordon Presbyterian on Edmonds St.

EPIC Edmonds Clean Sweep

New Fishing Licences a Sign of Spring

I bought a BC Non-tidal Angling Licence and a Fisheries and Oceans Canada Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence today, both with salmon stamps. Such licences expire at the end of March, and renewing them around this time of year has become a rite of spring.

I am by no means an avid fisherman, but I enjoy hiking, camping, nature photography, streamkeeping and other outdoor activities, so I like having the proper licences if the opportunity arises to wet a line. I have a couple of inexpensive rods and reels, and a small tackle box with an assortment of enough lures and accessories to be suited to most fishing in western Canada.

I have a cousin who loves fishing, and I’m always learning when I go out with him.

I have store-bought canned fish in the cupboard and frozen fish in the freezer, so I figure if I’m eating fish I might as well kill some myself. It’s a reminder that cans and plastic wrap do not insulate us from nature, though nowadays lots of folks have no idea where their food comes from.

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.