Had a blast in the snow with an eco group from a local elementary school today. Great fun walking down to Byrne Creek, chatting about nature, salmon, and streamkeeping. Great bunch of kids!
Just got home from three days of SEHAB (Salmon Enhancement & Habitat Advisory Board) meetings.
We had several excellent presentations from both federal and provincial staff, and a renewed sense of optimism that DFO and the province are making progress toward working together to build momentum on some longstanding fish and habitat issues.
It was also great to hear from SEHAB members from across BC who represent their DFO Community Advisors’ geographical areas, and collate reports from stewardship groups to take to DFO Regional Headquarters in Vancouver.
SEHAB is an amazing crew with a wealth of knowledge and experience, and it’s been a privilege and a huge learning experience being on the board.
I’m exhausted, but it’s a satisfying exhaustion .
Ya gotta eat, and a lot of discussion and knowledge sharing continues over meals
I spent an intensive three days this week at École Pitt River Middle School doing the Stream of Dreams Murals Society environmental education and community art project.
Years ago I was on the Stream of Dreams board for about seven years, and now I’m back in training to do some PT gigs helping out with delivering the program.
Thanks to Krystal and Cass of Echo Ecological for their guidance, patience, and good humour.
And thanks to all the students, teachers, and staff who participated! What a great bunch!
Those spawning salmon can be vicious. This is all that we found left of some poor streamkeeper on Byrne Creek.
Yumi and I did a spawner patrol today from the confluence with John Mathews Creek to the stairs in the ravine.
The redd at the confluence with John Mathews looked bigger.
1 dead coho about 15m u/s of the confluence with John Mathews, but it was unreachable in a deep pool. Looked small so possibly a jack or jill.
Appeared to be 1 or 2 redds just d/s of Byrne bridge.
2 live chum in sediment pond
2 live coho in sediment pond
1 live jack in sediment pond
1 dead chum, female, 62cm, not spawned, in sediment pond
redd d/s of first bend in spawning channel
1 dead chum, male, 56cm, loose milt, about 10 meters d/s of the footbridge in lower ravine.
1 dead chum, female, 60cm, not spawned, at the upper end of the washout in the lower ravine
A bit depressing to be finding chum females not spawned. . .
Also three mergansers, one male, two female in overflow pond, a couple of mallards, one heron d/s of John Mathews confluence, one downy woodpecker about halfway between Byrne bridge and John Mathews.
NOTE: It is illegal to interfere with spawning salmon. Streamkeepers have training, and permission from DFO, to patrol to observe and enumerate salmon returning to spawn, and to collect data (species, length, sex, spawned/unspawned) on salmon after they die.
Half a dozen volunteers with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society patrolled the creek in SE #Burnaby for spawning salmon today. It’s been a slow start to the spawning season, but we saw a couple of live ones today, and processed a couple of dead ones for size, sex, and spawning status.
If you notice a salmon carcass in the creek that’s been cut in half, don’t worry, that’s us — we cut the processed morts in half so we know they’ve been assessed, and return them to the creek where they provide essential nutrients to the food chain.
Pointing out a redd (nest of eggs) near the confluence with John Mathews Creek
They can be hard to spot even on a bright, clear, day
Another lovely redd (nest of eggs) near Meadow Ave.
Sad to find a female coho unspawned. This happens too often on Byrne Creek.
Large male chum
Resetting a dog poster. We have permission from City of Burnaby Parks to put up posters advising the public to keep dogs out of the creek during spawning season from mid-October through the end of the year. Most dog walkers are cooperative and understanding, and since they’re on the trail nearly every day, they’re some of our best “eyes on the creek.”
Yumi and I headed out to Maple Ridge for the Return of the Salmon at the fish fence at Kanaka Creek Regional Park. It was a lovely day for the fun event.
Glorious male chum in full spawning regalia
Thanks to all the KEEPS volunteers!
Ross Davies regales folks with nature tales, and explains the salmon life cycle
Yumi with a bunch of kids, checking out aquatic bugs
Metro Vancouver Parks display
The fish dissection was educational albeit a tad gruesome : – )
That wee ball is the lens from a chum salmon’s eye
A bear nonchalantly ambled by, ignoring the hundreds of people
Took a loop around Byrne Creek Ravine Park in SE Burnaby, BC. Salmon should start coming back to spawn any day now — hope it rains soon as higher water usually triggers their move upstream.
Volunteers collect and enumerate aquatic invertebrates twice a year on Byrne Creek in Burnaby, BC, to assess water quality using the protocols in the Streamkeepers Handbook.
Unfortunately our water quality is nearly always poor due to the surrounding urban environment.
We did find a few cool bugs today in addition to the usual aquatic worms, scuds, midges, and mayflies.