We have to give a big thanks to John and Dave Gregson holders
of the woodlot licence who donated a machine with operator Greg and a dumpster. The stream keepers along with 6 volunteers from Lantzville were able to remove almost 40 yards of assorted garbage. A special mention to young Hamish who came with his dad and even though he only 4 he pitched right in with his dad picking up garbage.
Everything you could imagine was dumped over the old bridge heading alongside the stream. The oldest was a car frame; no one could identify it from the emblem on the fancy bumpers, one guess was from the 40’s. An old licence plate was on another car body from 1969 along with countless bags of garbage from the past 10 to 15 years. Washing machines, mattresses, stoves, storefront glass, and car batteries even an old Barbie doll?
Some metal still remains either embedded in the streambed or entangled in the old bridge timbers now collapsed into the stream. Over the summer months when we have a fish window (the time allowed to work in a stream) we will get a permit from the appropriate government agency and remove these last pieces of garbage then do a restoration of the site with tree planting.
Other activities we have been up to the past month have been planting more Willow stakes alongside the streams. On Craig creek a small erosion site alongside the farm bridge had a Willow fence woven to prevent further erosion and under cutting of the bank. Over the next month or so we will be monitoring the Wild Coho that will be leaving the Beaver pond where they were put last summer during our fry salvage project. Over the past 12 years we have saved close to 200,000 Wild Coho fry which otherwise would have died when the streams dried out. This effort has been very rewarding knowing that we are doing our bit to save some of the last Wild Salmon on the east coast of Vancouver Island. More and more leading edge science is being done to determine the effects of the past 130 odd years of the hatchery program and the resultant effect this has had on Wild Salmon. Pacific Stream keepers Federation web site under the heading -Message Board go down to the posting – New Salmon conservation studies dated Sunday March 27th, you will have to scroll down a few pages, very interesting reading.
Over the summer we will be placing a few beach awareness signs at some of the beach accesses. Also there will be signs going up at the access points to Nanoose bay proper asking the sport fishers to voluntarily refrain from fishing for Coho within the bay as a conservation effort to protect the Wild Coho.
For the catch and release fishermen we ask that they not exhaust the fish and not remove from the water as research shows that even if removed for a short time as in taking a picture can adversely affect the survivability of fish. Always wet hands when handling fish and never use a gaff or beach the fish. Other guidelines are all available on the Internet on how to practice safe release; a good one is, http://www.salmon-trout.org/pdf/catch_and_release.pdf
We expect that the fishermen who are truly concerned about conservation of these important salmon will comply but there will always be a small number who will not care and continue to fish regardless of the cost to the species.
Thanks again to those concerned Lantzvillagers who joined the stream keepers in the cleanup of upper Knarston Creek. Hope to see you next year…