Stream Keepers May

May has continued our early summer now we seem to be over spring and that none occurring winter. Now having said that this morning I saw fresh snow all along the foothills of Mount Arrowsmith. This is good for the watersheds that Arrowsmith feeds but lower down in the watersheds that feed our small streams flowing into the Salish Sea no snow and lots of hot days to prematurely dry out those important wetlands that do retain water until late in the summer. We have already started some fry salvage this year in small isolated pools that on usual years stay wet until late June or even July. Flows have changed on some streams with areas once flowing now isolated and flows moved to the other side of the channel. To date we have moved around 50 fish, which may seem a small amount but each female has the potential to deposit up to 3,000 eggs when they return in 3 years or so. Half have a chance of being female so a potential spawn of around 150,000 eggs into the gravel. Now this may sound like a lot of fish and you may ask why so many fail to return. Predation by other animals on there arduous journey around the ocean then the gauntlets of high seas gillnets just outside our fisheries protected areas, making back to the coast more predatory animals then all the sport fishers and then the gauntlet of Johnson Straits where seine and gillnet boats await the return. Now what remains have to find their way back to the stream of birth and face more predators before they can safely deposit their eggs.

 Now along comes the winter rains and due to no longer any intact watersheds the eggs have a good chance of either being washed out by constant flooding due to fast run off or being buried too deep in sediment to emerge from the gravel.

We have finished planting for this year and now await some more young trees to pot up for next year. Why do we plant so many trees as we have over the years you may ask and the answer is that not all survive much like the fish other animals have their take on young trees as food when browsing like Deer and Beaver.

Our fish fence is in and no fish so far due hopefully to the temperature being still below 10c around 6 to 8c, which will improve as the temp, rises to around 10c+.

This year we did great at the Beaver dam right up to the last big rain event which took out a good 10 foot section of dam which with the big rush of exiting water may have flushed out a lot of the fish that we placed in the lake last year.

Time will tell as the Beaver has only been along and chewed some of the Willow we placed across the gap to help them with the rebuild. We have seen feces in the water so we know they are around though a few weeks ago we saw Cougar tracks on the trail to the lake and Beaver make a nice meal for a Cougar. All the wildlife in the forest is suffering with the acceleration of the logging of what can be described as 3rd growth trees barley big enough for a 2×6 but that is what happens when our forests are managed by hedge funds and pension funds always wanting more and more profit for the shareholders until we have no forest. Oh did I say that oops sorry we have no functioning forest left with only a few isolated spots around the Island that the logging corporations have not got to yet but soon will as it all runs out.

Stream Keeping may sound pointless when you add up all the negative issues around Salmon from habitat loss due to the misguided foresters and biologists who should know better but they too are ruled by the almighty dollar who will facilitate the logging some times right up to the stream banks or just a few, yes I said few, meters away.

How has this happened you may ask? Well for years we believed the old chestnut about jobs and economy, for whom you may ask as no loggers I know are rich but yes the corporations are as they drain away our collective resources to line their bank accounts all the while dodging taxes and continuing to lobby the government to change the laws to make it easier to make profit. Than the burden falls on the public to pay more and more taxes and get less and less for their money as the corporate empire gets more and more powerful we become more and more enslaved by increasing taxes. It is surprising that we still have some semblance of a school system and a healthcare system just a couple of the things that all that tax revenue that is being dodged could pay for.

That is why we go out to do what we can because even the government can not do anything so once again it is up to people power to take back our environment and demand that governments stand up and do the right thing for the people not the faceless corporations.

On the environmental note I would like to take this opportunity to inform you all reading this about my nephew Rupert and his sister Franny 11 and 9 respectively who have taken on all the local governments on the south Island and asked them to adopt a declaration for the right to a healthy environment which came about from a chance meeting with David Suzuki at the BC museum on his Blue Dot Tour.

Now the sad thing for the community of Lantzville is I had hoped to bring them up from Victoria to make a presentation to Lantzville council.

Of course I contacted our most astute and popular councillor J Milbank who as it turned out was fully aware of what was going on down island and agreed to help.

Now she has resigned over the dysfunctional council we have had since the last election.

While still in office she made the decision to not pursue the issue further due to the toxic nature of council and the effect it may have on such a young and dedicated pair of youth who want to see the world change for the better.

Now I would like to ask all reading this to research the Blue Dot Tour David has started over a year ago and also Google Rupert Yakelashek and read about this remarkable young man and his sister Franny then get out that old rusty pen and write letters to our Mayor and Councilors asking them to make the move towards a healthier future for all of us. Yes that means you who remain on council also for you too live within the confines of this planet called Earth and we all should have the right to healthy clean environment.

Posted in May 2015, Streamkeepers

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