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Newsletter #38 – July – September 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. The guest speaker will be Doug Swanston, principal of Seacology, who will provide a perspective of local ocean habitat with a focus on “what has changed”. Doug created and has operated Seacology since 1986 engaged in environmental consulting, marine life supply and environmental education.

2) Salmon Enhancement Habitat Advisory Board (SEHAB): Bill McAllister was recently appointed to SEHAB representing all stewardship groups in the Sea-to-Sky corridor. This is the area overseen by Rob Bell-Irving, DFO Community Advisor, our guiding light for hatchery operations, work plan projects and education. Meeting three times a year, SEHAB provides input and recommendations from the salmon stewardship volunteer community to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Keith Pelletier has been appointed as the alternate.

3) Fish Kill – Larson Creek: We continue to stay in touch with the representative of Environment and Climate Change Canada who is responsible for the investigation. This federal department is still focusing on the release of high pH water on April 30 which resulted in the death of 76 cutthroat trout in Larson Creek. This is obviously taking considerable time, particularly in light of the report tabled by Golder and Associates, at the request of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Sometime this fall we hope to hear of the outcome of the department’s investigation and whether charges are being recommended.

4) Work Plan for 2018: Favourable progress has been made on several of the projects identified for the current year. These include:

a. Completion of the adjustments to the baffles in the Eagle Creek culvert and the upgrade to the plunge pool at the outlet end of this culvert.

b. Completion of the removal of excess sand and gravel in the lower end of the rearing pond in Hay Park which was limiting the full effectiveness of this rearing habitat.

c. Modifications to the pony wall directing water flow to the fish ladder on Lawson Creek have been agreed and approved. This should be completed in early October.

d. Preparation work completed for the replacement of baffles in the Brothers Creek culvert which runs under the Upper Levels Highway. Completion is expected by September 2019.

e. An engineering consultant has now been contracted by the District to recommend repairs to the support structure at the fish ladder on Hadden Creek at Stevens Drive, and the means to affect these repairs, which will be undertaken in 2019.

5) Community Events: Members participated at two events during the summer – Community Day and the Coho Festival, both held in Ambleside Park. A great blend of experienced and new members, as well as several younger members, came together to tell the public of our Streamkeepers volunteer work. The main focus was the salmon enhancement projects, hatchery operations, educational programs and our citizen science data collection. Thanks to Liz Leduc and Don Harrison for organizing our participation and for all those who helped out.

6) Spawner Salmon Surveys: Thirty Creek Monitors will be surveying 16 creeks and tributaries this fall. Led by Laura Bekar, the results of these surveys will be collected, summarized and presented at the January 24 Members Meeting and posted on the Streamkeepers’ website.

In addition, we expect to have about 14 Streamkeeper Sponsors working with secondary school students who will also conduct spawner salmon surveys. This is the 12th year of this highly regarded program which provides valuable information on the enumeration of salmon runs in the community and an educational experience for the students.

7) Streamkeeper Courses: Eight members completed the two-day introductory training course on July 7 and 8. On October 21 there will be a training session on Spawner Salmon Surveys. Anyone interested in participating should contact John Barker.

8) Navvy Jack Nature House: A meeting was held in late September with representatives from the District’s Parks and Facilities departments to hear of the assessment of the condition of Navvy Jack House, and the proposed changes to bring this facility up to the standard required for public space. We are encouraged by the positive feedback and the prospect of moving forward with this exciting initiative. A report by District staff will be prepared for review by Council this fall.

9) Membership: We are pleased to report that the current membership now totals 257 of which 135 members are providing volunteer service. For 2019 we expect to be offering electronic processing for membership applications and renewals. However, the existing method of printing the application form and mailing it, along with payment, will continue to be available.

John Barker, President 604-922-5780

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