Category Archives: Sustainability

SEHAB Meeting on the Sunshine Coast, BC

We had a SEHAB (Salmonid Enhancement & Habitat Advisory Board) meeting on the Sunshine Coast over the last weekend.

SEHAB meeting Sunshine Coast BC

We stayed at the wonderful Linwood House, visited the Chapman Creek hatchery, and participated in a Sockeye fry release into Sakinaw Lake.

SEHAB is a volunteer board that represents DFO Community Advisors’ geographical areas from across British Columbia. Board members receive no compensation, but meeting expenses are covered. We have a fabulous treasurer who stretches our modest meeting budget.

The board meets three times a year, collating information from community stewardship groups, and taking key issues to DFO Regional Headquarters to inform mangement and the Minister.

I have had the priviledge of being on the board initially as an alternate and then a full member for about 12 years now. The breadth of fishy experience and knowledge in the room is amazing, and I am always learning.

For example, I was not aware that Sakinaw Lake sockeye are on the verge of extinction. The restocking effort by volunteers and DFO is an attempt to stave this off, but the outlook is not good with climate change warming the lake to temperatures detrimental to salmon. Fingers crossed. . .

Thanks to all the local folks who shared their good work with us!

Coho Salmon Smolt Release With Schoolchildren

We released beautiful Coho salmon smolts on Byrne Creek in Burnaby, BC, this morning.

Thanks to Isaac and Brian from DFO for bringing the fish, and thanks to the volunteers at Kanaka Creek who help raise them!

And thanks to the streamkeeper volunteers, teachers, and parents who helped supervise.

coho salmon smolts byrne creek burnaby bc

barred owl juvenile byrne creek burnaby bc
The kids were excited to see this Barred Owl juvenile on our way to the release site


Salmon Rescue Plan for Burnaby’s Byrne Creek Dating to 1995

How about a “Salmon Rescue Plan” for Byrne Creek in Burnaby, BC, dating back to October 1995?

Found in a box of records collected by the late Ken Glover, one of the Vancouver Angling & Game Association members who began cleaning up Byrne Creek about 30 years ago.

I am struck by how many of the issues/impacts on the creek have little changed in all those years. . .

We are still seeing regular sediment flows from construction sites, we are still having pollution events, and we still have nearly no systems (particularly on City land and around City buildings) to “hold back, filter and gradually release rainwater runoff.”

The photo is hard to read, so allow me to share the last two paras:

“The Byrne Creek volunteers have one major frustration–the water quality sometimes kills the fish. The quality deteriorates most following a rainfall after a prolonged dry spell. Toxic chemicals and silt wash down from roads, lawns, and construction sites.

“The runoff pollution is getting worse as construction increases in Edmonds, which is slated for a major population increase.”

Remember, this was written in 1995.

Uh-huh. . . Just in the last few months volunteer streamkeepers and concerned citizens have been calling the City about repeated silty flows from construction sites, and other spills into the creek . . .

byrne creek salmon rescue plan 1995

Feeling Blessed to Live in SuperNatural Burnaby, BC

For several years now, a popular topic has been pondering “what brings you joy?”

And I don’t mean socks neatly rolled and arranged in drawers in color-coded series 🙂.

The answer for me is simple — being outdoors in nature.

Increasingly arthritic knees and hips be damned (I have good days and not so good ones in that department), within a minute of being out the front door and on my way down a Byrne Creek trail in SE Burnaby, BC, my spirits soar.

Rain or shine.

Let me see a salmon spawning, an eagle soaring, an owl silently staring, and my aches melt away.

It’s that endorphin surge of excercise and the primal heightening of the senses.

We are blessed here in Burnaby, with many salmon-bearing streams and a variety of parks with varied ecosystems.

Forests? Yup. Meadows? Uh-huh. Rivers and streams? Check. Lakes? Roger. Saltwater inlets? Sure.

I walk at least an hour a day, sometimes two or three, as work and other committments allow.

I feel fortunate to live in such an amazing place.

Donating Stuff for Breathing Space

I’m gradually getting better at getting rid of stuff.

We inherited a good amount of furniture from my late Mom and her husband when they downsized many years ago. A lot of that we still use, but some has been sitting in the garage for years.

It’s hard to let it go, but I’ve been listing some on Craiglist for ridiculously cheap prices, with nary a bite. So the other day we donated two armchairs in great condition to the local Salvation Army Thrift Store.

A couple of well-used rolling office chairs likely beyond anyone’s interest we arranged for a City of Burnaby “large item” pickup. One of them we got at a Restore outlet for $5 or $10 about five years ago, and the other was a salvage when Yumi’s workplace downsized during Covid.

And the garage looks much more spacious as a result.


Glad Media Is Reporting ‘Sponge’ Concept – What Took so Long?

I’m glad mainstream media ran a story like this, but to make it sound like something new is innacurate.

These ideas have been around for decades, and volunteer streamkeepers and wetlandkeepers have been pushing municiaplities for more infiltration for what seems like forever.

The best way to protect local creeks and urban and suburban watersheds is through the sponge concept of getting as much rainwater into the ground as possible instead of piping it away.

Heck, BC municipalities are supposed to have developed Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMPs) that are supposed to have watershed protection components years ago, but many are nowhere near being fully implemented.