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Newsletter #37 – April – June 2018

1) Streamkeepers Meeting: The next meeting will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church starting at 7:30 p.m. 2) New Director: Elizabeth Hardy, our longest standing member for 22 years and a board member for the last 16 years, has resigned from the board. She and husband Don are moving to Qualicum Beach in early July. We thank Elizabeth for her many years of service, leading the hatchery operation, managing the data collection for salmon surveys and attending to work plan initiatives. The board of directors have appointed hatchery volunteer Jan Moger to take Elizabeth’s position on the board. Welcome Jan and thank you Elizabeth. 3) Board Member Dave Martin: On April 14, Dave had a catastrophic fall down a flight of stairs at home and was hospitalized for six weeks. He is now back at home and on the slow road to recovery. In the interim Dave’s duties at the Viewing Platform, the rearing ponds, invasive plant removals and Mr. Fix-It projects have been assumed by other members. 4) Nelson Creek Hatchery: The 100,000 chum salmon fry were ponded on March 21 and released into four streams on April 5. The 29,000 coho fry were ponded on May 3 and released into eight streams on June 7. This concludes the hatchery program for this season. Thank you to the following volunteers for their participation – Jan and Keith Moger, Leslie Shuparski, Ross Lauder, Ruth Anderson, Stefen Elmitt, Mike Perley, Kathy Martinez, Vivian Sorensen and Elizabeth Hardy. A note of thanks to Leslie and Jan who will co-lead the hatchery operation. 5) Fish Kill Wood Creek: On April 19 an unidentified substance flowed through Wood Creek killing approximately 50 cutthroat trout. At first the prospect of recovery looked bleak but since that date, several mature trout have been observed and more recently, a fair number of cutthroat fry have been seen throughout Parc Verdun. Presumably the latter were from eggs buried in the gravel that were not impacted by the polluting event. At a recent aquatic bug survey, numerous tiny may-fly nymphs have appeared as well as evidence of stoneflies and caddisflies. 6) Fish Kill Larson Creek: On April 30 a bloom of silty water flowed down Larson Creek killing at least 76 cutthroat trout. The cause of the kill was improperly treated water containing concrete residue. Subsequent investigation indicated that the pH level of the water entering the creek was highly toxic to fish. The source of the pollutant was a construction site where ground stabilization work was being undertaken below the highway overpass adjacent to Marine Drive near Gleneagles Elementary School. We presume the fish kill is still under investigation and to our knowledge, charges have not been laid. After a prolonged period with no live trout in evidence, a recent survey by District staff and Streamkeepers identified a number of small cutthroat trout as well as a fair number of fry in the section where the creek flows through the golf course, immediately downstream from the construction site. Similar to Wood Creek, it is presumed these fry emerged from the gravel sometime after the polluting event occurred.

7) Work Plan for 2018: Progress is being made on several of the projects identified for the current year. These include: a. Repair of the support structure at the fish ladder on Hadden Creek at Stevens Drive. b. Repair of the baffles in the Brothers Creek culvert under the Highway. c. Adjustment and addition to the baffles in the Eagle Creek culvert and upgrade to the plunge pool at the end of this culvert. d. Modification to the pony wall directing water flow to the fish ladder on Lawson Creek. 8) Awards: On April 30, the two EPN (Environment Protection Network) student leaders from West Vancouver Secondary School, Fumika Noguchi and Alice Kang, received Youth Appreciation Awards from the District during Youth Week. These students contributed significantly to the success of the spawner salmon survey program conducted last fall by Streamkeepers as well as students from four local secondary schools. 9) Citizen Science: Sampling for macro-invertebrates, a food source for cutthroat trout and juvenile coho salmon, was recently completed in Wood Creek with favourable results. Surveys of other streams will follow. 10) Adopt-A-Fish: On April 28, a day of continuous rain saw one of the biggest turnouts for the annual Adopt-A-Fish event, with 350 children and 32 volunteers participating. This activity is hosted by the Coho Society of the North Shore, the West Vancouver Memorial Library and West Vancouver Streamkeepers. This has always been an enjoyable, festive event where the youngsters release coho salmon smolts into McDonald Creek. Several educational displays told the story of salmon, healthy streams and how the community can help. A big thanks to Liz Leduc and Don Harrison for coordinating the event and to all the volunteers who assisted. 11) Streamkeeper Course: Nine members will be taking the two-day introductory training course on July 7 and 8. Seven modules will be covered which can be viewed at the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation website at 12) CreekTalk: This spring Marlene Loader provided a presentation to two classes of students at Westcot Elementary School about fish, creeks, fish habitat, aquatic insects and stream-side plant life. The program shows great promise for the next school year, particularly for those classes participating in the “salmonids in the classroom” program. 13) Storm Drain Painting: Three elementary school events were completed at Gleneagles, Hollyburn and Ecole Cedardale schools this spring. A total of 201 drains were painted in these three events. This brings the total number of storm drains painted or repainted to 2,888 in the community in the 11 years of this program. Thanks to Sherry Parrott and Marlene Loader for their very capable leadership. 14) Membership: We are pleased to report that the current membership now totals 250 of which 117 members are providing volunteer service.

John Barker, President 604-922-5780

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