A picture of some of our Streamkeepers in action at Chaster Creek! (Photo Credit Brian Thicke)
January 6, 2021
Happy New Year EveryONE!
We want to send a special wish of happiness in the coming new year to all of you! It has been a year few of us will forget for all kinds of reasons, but we thought it would be a great time to share all the 2020 accomplishments of Streamkeepers here on the Sunshine Coast!
We also wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyONE that contributed in so many ways to make this last year a success for wild salmon! 🙂
Also wanted to share with you our plans/goals for the coming year – we have lots of them and hope you will find one or two that you might like to participate in!
2020 Spawning Salmon Report:
We are pleased to report we finished a second year of counting spawning salmon in 4 creeks, Chaster Creek, Roberts Creek, Langdale Creek and Malcolm Creek. The numbers increased substantially in Roberts Creek and Chaster Creek! Also, the chum salmon that did return were notably large in size! The number of returns of coho were less than 2019, we hope that number will increase as this species is important to our whole ecosystem but especially for southern resident orcas that depend on them as one of their desired food preferences. Special thank you to Libby, Kelly, Jean, Brian, Angela, Ryan, Larry, Kalum, Michael, Lorraine and Ann for coming out no matter the weather!
Salmon Survey Year End Totals (mainly chum):
2019 115 (including 16 live coho)
2020. 483 (including 2 live coho)
2020. 103 (including 2 live coho)
2019 11 (all live coho)
From the above data, we see that the numbers for chum in Chaster Creek and Roberts Creek were higher in 2020 than 2019. That was great and fun to see SO many this year!
This information will become even more valuable as we continue through the coming years. We will begin to see possible trends and as we continue to monitor the creeks, we can make sure we remedy any problems that may be hindering or obstructing spawning salmon or destroying fish habitat.
Module 3 Water Quality LUSH Project:
SCSS completed a project generously sponsored by LUSH (B.C. company that makes handmade cosmetics). We completed Module 3 “Water Quality Surveys” during the warmer months from June to September. An average of 3 – 4 volunteers did the monthly assessments. With the hotter/drier summers due to climate change the temperature of the creeks can become intolerably hot making it impossible for fry to survive. We want to give a huge shout out of thank you to the Streamkeepers volunteers! By completing this project, SCSS was awarded a $500.00 donation by LUSH!! Thank YOU LUSH and Pacific Streamkeepers Federation for your continued support!
Monthly Invasive Plant Removal Event:
In the last year we have been happy to host 11 monthly invasive plant removal events! On the last Saturday of every month we have been removing invasive plants (mostly ivy) from riparian areas beside Malcolm Creek. We are now starting to remove the invasive plants beside Roberts Creek. We have lots of work to do, if you would like to join us, our next event will be on Saturday, January 30th at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Lower Road bridge beside the Roberts Creek Little Legion.
We had a great turnout on November 29th when we were very mindful of Covid protocols. We were very happy to have numerous school age children accompanying their parents help us remove two truck loads of ivy and laurel!
Also, in 2020 SCSS started to remove knotweed from various locations near creeks and on beaches here on the coast. We are following a similar protocol without the use of harmful chemicals that was used at Henderson Beach in Roberts Creek. Please see further information on the Henderson Beach Knotweed Removal project here:
If you would like to take part in removing knotweed in the coming year, we will need volunteers to do bi-weekly plant clipping during May to September.
PSF Grants Received:
We are very happy to say we received 2 grants from Pacific Salmon Foundation of $450.00 each in order to purchase native plants that were used to replace the ivy we removed and to help stabilize the banks of Malcolm Creek. Thank you PSF!
Also, we are very happy to say we have just received notice that our application for water testing equipment including an OxyGuardportable Dissolved Oxygen (DO) meter and Hanna pH/Temperature tester from PSF for $1,500.00 has been approved! As SCSS is growing in numbers, we want to have equipment available to all groups to perform Module 3 water quality testing efficiently.
Weekly Creek Temperature Project:
SCSS has also started to take the weekly water temperatures of 4 creeks, this will be valuable information to monitor the health of our creek’s ecosystems. Another thank you to those that are visiting the creeks every week to take its temperature! We would like to expand this to include other creeks including Angus Creek and Wilson Creek. If anyone would be interested in helping with this, that would be great!
IGA Donation Card Update:
This year we received $502.76 from the IGA donation program! This has been so helpful to cover many of the operating SCSS expenses! Thank you to those of you who have been using your IGA cards! (If you would like a card, please let our treasurer Jean Hamilton know!) We receive 4% of your total food bill! Good deal for us!
If anyone would also like to donate to SCSS or has any ideas for fundraising, please let us know! We will have the expense of volunteer insurance coming due in May for $360.00 and we will need to raise these funds! 🙂 You can e-transfer to email@example.com
Seedling Sales @ RC Market:
In the last year we have been raising funds through the sale of seedlings at the weekly Wednesday market at Denise’s table. We sold tomatoes, perennials, aloe vera and numerous other plants. If you would like to contribute some seedlings for the coming spring market or would like to purchase some little plants, that would be awesome! Thank you, Denise, for your efforts to make this such a success!
Update on Streamkeepers Training:
We are hoping to host the 2-day Streamkeepers training in May 2021. We have 12 confirmed participants. Due to covid the training has been postponed twice. We hope the spring will bring a better situation to hold the trainings. We will probably have each training reduced to 6 instead of the regular 12 participants. We also have another 6 people who are on the wait list and we hope to have them confirmed, so we have a total of 18 people in total for Streamkeepers training! This is fantastic! 🙂
If you would like to be added to the list, please let us know. The fee is $50.00 and if you would like to see what is covered please have a look at the following link: http://pskf.org/modules.html
2021 SCSS Upcoming Goals and Projects
A few of the 2021 projects we are planning are as follows.
Creek Mapping Project:
We are very interested in pursuing a project to map the creeks, we will be hosting a creek mapping training in April 2021 if you are interested in helping with this, please let us know.
SCSS Fry Trapping Project:
An important aspect of knowing the health of a creek is to know the number and species of fish in a creek and to know how successful the previous spawning season was. Our creeks are alive with various kinds of fish, there are cutthroat and skulpin. By obtaining this data we ensure the creeks are designated as fish bearing.
Malcolm Creek Metcalfe/Roy Rd. Culvert:
We have spoken to the company that oversees the culverts on the Sunshine Coast. We are pleased to say the Malcolm Creek culvert on Metcalfe @ Roy Road is to be refurbished this coming summer (at low flow). The culvert is so rusted that during the summer, no water makes it to the end as the whole bottom of the culvert is rusted out and we believe this is a barrier and detrimental for spawning salmon and their fry.
Riparian Zone Information Brochure:
We would like to compose/print an information brochure on the importance of the riparian areas of creeks for the general public and officials in local government. We believe the federal, provincial and municipal government laws/bylaws need to be followed so we can protect and ensure we contribute to the health of each creek when development is requested and to highlight just how important it is that all recommendations are followed and laws are enforced. Please watch for this new brochure in the coming months!
As you can see, we have been busy! But we plan to be even busier in the coming year! There is so much to do and what better thing could there be than being out walking our creeks and advocating for those that have no voice.
Also please check out the link below for a video produced by Bob Turner that is an amazing capture of a female chum laying her eggs. The video is from the Squamish area and is a must see! ! Also, please check out our website and f/b page. If you have any suggestions for either, please don’t hesitate to let us know! 🙂
We look forward to lots of work being done for wild salmon in 2021! Please join us in any way that is workable for you!
Sunshine Coast Streamkeepers Society