Category Archives: Streamkeeping

Thanks Burnaby Firefighters for Dealing with Blaze in Byrne Creek Ravine Park

Heartfelt thanks to City of Burnaby firefighters who dealt with a blaze in Byrne Creek Ravine Park today.

Also thanks to City of Burnaby staff for calling volunteer streamkeepers to keep us in the loop.

I was invited to take a look, but since firefighters were still working on it, I was asked not to go in all the way.

It’s been so hot and dry this summer, and the City of Burnaby added extra No Smoking in Parks and on Trails signs in the area, but we regularly saw inconsiderate smokers putting the park and their neighbours at risk.

Please, please, what does it take for people to act responsibly?

I don’t know if smoking caused this blaze, but I wouldn’t be surprised. I documented the mass of butts on trails in the area in a post earlier this summer.

byrne creek park fire

I was allowed to go this far, wearing my safety vest and with an invitation from City staff.

UPDATE: Burnaby Now report here.

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Gear Up for Autumn Activities & Events

Following yesterday evening’s Byrne Creek Streamkeepers meeting I thought I’d consolidate our events and activities for the next month into one message.

Saturday, Sept. 8, 10 – 2 pm, Alta Vista Community Picnic
Alta Vista Park, on Royal Oak a few blocks south of Rumble
Set up from 9:30

Sunday, Sept. 23. World Rivers Day
Burnaby Village Museum
Event runs 11:00 – 4:30

At both of the above events we put up our display panels and talk to
folks about streamkeeping and the Byrne Creek watershed in particular.

Fish trapping. (Sampling for juvenile fish that are identified, measured, and returned unharmed to the creek). Needs to get done before mid-October when spawners start to return. Works best with at least three or four people. Traps go in during good weather one day and are retrieved and enumerated the next day.

Bug counting (Aquatic Invertebrate Survey). Also needs to get done before mid-October before spawners start returning. All ~ nine or so sites can be done in one day if we have enough volunteers.

Storage Container. We have gotten approval to put a storage container in the fenced-off habitat (artificial spawning channel) near the gate. Once the container is in place, we’ll have a work party to paint it, and collect all the gear and inventory it.

Spawner Monitoring. Mid-October to early December. We’ll talk more about this at the October meeting — scheduling and training.

Fraser River Discovery Centre Hosts Indigenous Salmon Fishing, Drying Tours

The Fraser River Discovery Centre in New Westminster, BC, had several tours today sharing First Nations fishing and fish-preserving techniques.

It was interesting learning about the cleaning, filleting, and wind-drying process to preserve salmon, and we got to try our hands out sharpening Indigenous tools.

Fraser River Discovery Centre salmon processing
An exercise sorting cleaning, filleting and wind drying into proper order.

Wind-dried salmon

Sharpening tools

Checking out the BC watersheds map, with a focus on the mighty Fraser River

The protected White Sturgeon

Yep, these massive, ancient (both in terms of time on Earth, and lifespan) fish come from such tiny eggs. Amazing!

Father’s Day Fish Release at Rice Lake, North Vancouver

The Seymour Salmonid Society and Metro Vancouver hosted the annual Father’s Day trout release at Rice Lake on Vancouver’s north shore.

This is a super event with lots of other stewardship groups represented. Great fun to see kids so excited about releasing fish — and, um, getting a chance to try fishing, too .

rice lake trout release
Now that’s a huge Seymour watershed 3D map!

Seymour Salmonid Society hatchery tour

The Seymour watershed provides a good chunk of Metro Vancouver’s drinking water, and is a pristine, protected area.

Heading down to the lake for the trout release

Fishing gear to borrow for free to try your hand. It’s great to see urban kids so excited to release fish, and yes, try to catch one, too!

Yumi waiting for a trout to release. She got one the last ones.

What a beauty!

Interesting hitchhiker as we walked the lake loop trail.

SEHAB Tours Victoria Stewardship Projects

The Salmonid Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board to Canada’s Dept of Fisheries and Oceans held a 3-day meeting in Victoria, BC, last weekend. We had an opportunity to tour some local stewardship projects.

SEHAB Millstream stewardship projects Victoria
Cool remote instream fish monitoring system

Checking out fish ladders

Listening to an overview of what we’re going to see

Board members and local volunteers

It takes a lot of partners to make projects like this happen.

That’s a huge culvert blocking fish passage

Ian of the Penninsula Streams Society and also a SEHAB board member, explains the challenges of the project to install a stepped fish ladder. Planning, engineering, and fundraising are well underway.

Coho Smolts Dying on Byrne Creek in Burnaby

One day after schoolchildren released coho smolts into Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, fish were found dying. Studies show that coho are particularly sensitive to road wash that contains a toxic combination of pollutants including gasoline, oil, antifreeze, and metals.

coho smolts dying

They actually try to swim with their heads above the water as they try to escape the pollutants

It would likely help if the City of Burnaby council would actually implement the Byrne Creek Integrated Stormwater Management Plan and the Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

The watershed needs rain gardens, swales, and biofiltration ponds. The more road wash that is intercepted and naturally filtered in the ground the better.

UPDATE: I sent this to Dr. Jenifer McIntyre, a professor at Washington State University, who has been researching the impacts of road runoff on salmon. She shared a link to her latest published study comparing road runoff effects on coho vs chum.

Looks interesting!


Chum Fry Release in Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby

DFO,  Byrne Creek Streamkeepers volunteers, City of Burnaby staff,  and teachers, kids and parents from Stride Elementary released chum fry in Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby this morning. What a lovely day for this uplifting event!

Thanks to volunteers at the Bell-Irving Hatchery at Kanaka Creek who raised these wee fish.

It’s interesting how tentative many of these kids are in a natural environment, and how quickly and joyfully they adapt to it.

byrne creek chum fry release