• West Vancouver Streamkeepers

Newsletter #42 – July to September 2019

1) Streamkeepers Meeting: The next meeting of the members will take place on Thursday, October 3 at St. Stephen’s Church starting at 7:30 p.m. The guest speaker will be Glen Parker, one of our members, who will discuss the North Shore Waste Water Treatment Plant and the initiative he has been leading, with considerable technical support, trying to convince Metro Vancouver to upgrade the treatment process from the secondary stage to tertiary. 2) Bill Chapman: After serving eleven years on our board of directors, Bill Chapman has decided to step down from that role. Bill has been a key contact between property development and municipal staff and has supplied numerous creek-related surveys for the Society. He also provided the leadership of the five stewardship groups that have worked diligently to achieve a Nature Centre for West Vancouver. Thank you, Bill, for your many years of dedicated service. 3) The Urban Salmon Project: Those attending the January Members Meeting will remember the quality photographs of salmon in creeks and rivers around the Lower Mainland, now published in Fernando Lessa’s book – Urban Salmon. Fernando will have copies of his book at the meeting on October 3 at a cost of $35.50 (tax included) payable by Visa, cheque or cash. Or, contact Fernando at fernando@fernandolessa.ca to obtain a copy. 4) Streamkeeper Course: Six members completed the introductory Streamkeeper course on July 13 and 14 conducted on Mackay Creek in North Vancouver, taught by educators Zo Ann Morten and Dianne Ramage. The course will be offered again in mid-2020 for members interested in broadening their knowledge of creeks, fish, aquatic insects and the riparian area. 5) Citizen Science: Water quality testing was conducted by six members on nine creeks in August to check water quality and to compare the results with prior water quality testing. Led by Leslie Shuparski, the creeks tested were Nelson, Eagle, Wood, Cypress, Rodgers, McDonald, Lawson, Brothers and Hadden. Results indicated no concerns, which was consistent with prior testing. 6) Coho Festival: The festival was held on September 8 at Ambleside Park. Streamkeepers participation was organized by Liz Leduc with thirty-one volunteers, from junior members to super-seniors, helping enlighten the public about the focus and efforts of our Society. In spite of the weather we had a large turnout of visitors to our booth. A fun day was enjoyed by all. 7) Chum Salmon Egg-Take: Members are invited to help with the chum salmon egg-take at the Alouette River Hatchery on October 22nd. This process involves stripping eggs and milt from chum salmon and the fertilized eggs will be kept there until early December. We will then take delivery of approximately 100,000 eggs which we will raise over the winter until the fry are ready for release next spring.. To sign up for the egg-take event, please contact Jan Moger at (jamoger@gmail.com) or Leslie Shuparski (leslieshuparski@gmail.com).

8) Work Plan items: It was a banner year for completion of several key projects. Led by Don Harrison, these projects will improve fish passage, enabling returning adult salmon to gain access to upstream spawning habitat, as well as providing improved rearing habitat. - Brothers Creek – The Provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure completed the replacement of all sixteen baffles in the culvert running under the Upper Levels Highway. The old wooden baffles had fallen into disrepair having been installed some thirty or so years ago. - Hadden Creek – The support structure under the fish ladder and main culvert was failing due to undermining of the foundation caused by extremely heavy creek flows. The District directed a significant upgrade required to ensure stability of the fish ladder and adjacent culvert. Over the years, since constructed in 2007, we have observed four species of salmon that have progressed through the two fish ladders, located on each side of Stevens Drive. - Lawson Creek – In an effort to reduce the amount of sand and gravel accumulating in the fish ladder, several modifications are nearing completion. Changes are being made to the top end of the fish ladder, the weir, the trash rack and the cross-creek wall that directs the creek flow to the fish ladder. - Larson Creek – Deepening of the rearing pond near Marine Drive was completed. The continued build-up of sand and gravel that was settling into the pond has been removed thereby re-creating the rearing habitat for juvenile coho, and a safe haven for resident cutthroat trout. 9) Spawner Salmon Surveys: Surveys for pink salmon commenced in mid-August in Brothers and Cypress creeks. Unfortunately, no pinks were observed in either of these streams. For the other species (coho, chum and occasionally chinook salmon) the annual survey of 15 creeks will commence in early October. This year the data gathered by 30 Creek Monitors will be assembled by our new Creek Coordinator, Anthea Cameron. In addition, teams of students from five secondary schools will also conduct surveys, each team led by a Streamkeeper sponsor. These surveys will commence right after Thanksgiving. 10) Invasive Plant Mapping: Coordinated by Annie Faw (andreafaw@gmail.com), a repeat of the surveys conducted by 14 members in May will take place again in October. We are working with the District to help build a data base of near-creek invasive plants throughout the community. 11) Nature Centre: We look forward to the results of the survey conducted by the District requesting input from the community regarding the creation of a nature centre in the park adjacent to Navvy Jack House. The community was asked if they support the concept of a nature centre and if so whether they support locating this facility on the waterfront. They were also asked if they support restoring the heritage house known as Navvy Jack House for the nature centre, or building a new facility. This community consultation closed on September 30. A report to Council is expected to be forthcoming from the Parks, Culture and Community Services Department which will contain a recommendation to Council based on the results of the community consultation. 12) Membership: The total membership to date for 2019 is 267.


John Barker, President jrbarker@shaw.ca 604-922-5780

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