I spent a couple of hours after work this afternoon searching for fry in Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby. Success!
I spotted one near the wooden footbridge at the bottom end of the ravine, and half a dozen upstream and downstream of the Meadow Ave. bridge.
Din’t get any clear shots, but judging by the orange tails they were coho.
It’s always so rewarding to spot fry in the spring, for that means that salmon that came back to spawn in this stressed urban creek the previous autumn were successful in starting a new generation. Yay!
After we got back from birding on Boundary Bay today, we decided we still needed a bit more exercise, so we did a Byrne Creek Ravine loop in the fog.
Yumi and I headed out for a spawner patrol on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby today. The last live salmon were seen nearly a week ago, two coho in the sediment pond. We have not seen any spawners, dead or alive, for several days now, so the run appears to be over. We’ll likely check once or twice more as the weather allows, because we love creek and ravine rambles, fish or not! : – )
Sunny and clear. Good visibility.
Covered from confluence with John Mathews to base of stairs in ravine.
Did not see any spawners, dead or alive.
Heron, thrush, mallards… Racoon tracks…
Run Silent, Run Deep
A large coho still hanging out in the sediment pond in the artificial habitat at Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby.
We think it’s a “she” because there’s a coho jack (early male returnee but sexually capable) that’s been hanging with her for a couple of days now.
Anyone got some underwater mood music?
Volunteers with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society are seeing more coho prespawn mortality this season. That’s when coho that return to spawn die before they can do so.
This has been a recurring problem on the creek over the years, and is likely due to polluted road wash that carries contaminants into the water. There are ongoing studies in Washington State that point to a toxic brew of contaminants in stormwater as being lethal to coho, which seem particularly susceptible to it.
We found this coho male today
And this coho female full of eggs a couple of days ago
We get so few coho back to Byrne Creek that we treasure every one, and it’s so sad to see them die without completing their life cycle.
We desperately need to infiltrate water washed off from roads and parking lots into the ground through swales and rain gardens. The ground acts as a natural filter. Yet the Byrne Creek watershed in Burnaby, BC, is seeing more and more ground paved over despite hundreds of hours of professional and public input into Stormwater Management Plans and a recent Environmental Sustainability Strategy.
Note that it is illegal to interfere with spawning salmon. Streamkeepers have training and permission to process dead salmon to collect data on species, size, spawning status, etc. We return the carcasses to the creek after processing as they provide food and nutrients to other fish, animals and the overall ecosystem.
UPDATE (Dec. 7, 2017): More research coming from the US northwest.
The volunteer Salmonid Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board to the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans met in Gibsons, BC, for a 2-1/2 day meeting this weekend. Thanks to local stewardship volunteers who showed us around! Here are some shots taken over the weekend.
We had a great working weekend, got lots done, and have lots of things to share with DFO Pacific Regional HQ.
The ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale
Me and Jan on the ferry. Thanks to my wife Yumi for this photo. I represent the North Side of the Fraser River from Burnaby to Mission, and Jan is a rep from the north coast.
Getting down to work
Great presentations from DFO
Some happy guy who just loves meetings! 🙂
A local Gibsons, BC, icon, that will be familiar to lots of Canadians of certain generations.
Now that’s a huge 3D watershed map!
Hopeful heron wishing the nets at the hatchery were not quite so effective 🙂
Gotta goof around a bit to stay sane, eh?
Eagles checking us out as we were checking out the hatchery
Captured these shots on a Byrne Creek patrol for spawning salmon today. What a lovely day!
Several streamkeeper volunteers took advantage of a sunny break and headed out to Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby. We saw six or seven chum, with some paired off and spawning!
Streamkeeper volunteers planted a dozen cedars provided by Burnaby Parks. We placed half a dozen in the Byrne Creek artificial spawning habitat, and half a dozen along the lower ravine trail. Great fun getting cold and wet!
Gotta go to sleep, early shift tomorrow, but hearing what sounds like a few drops outside my window in south #Burnaby makes me happy.
Yes, I’m happy at the chill in the air, and the looming precipitation. Rain means salmon are coming. . .
All ya folks out there sad at the rain and the dark, get thee back outside, and feel, touch, smell the season.
Autumn is glorious, especially here in the lower mainland of BC.