June Stream Keepers

June is now here with the continued sunshine and no rain.

With fry salvage underway at least one month earlier than any year previous, all the streams seem to be at an all time low for this time of year.

 Walking the streams fry are visible in every pool and with flows being this low we will have to be diligent about catching as many as possible before it gets any dryer.

The pond in the estuary is full of outgoing smolts which seem to refuse to leave when we open the stop logs on the control structure so this week we will drain the whole pond and net what fish we can before we replace the logs to allow what flow remains to fill the pond back up giving what wildlife, Geese and Ducks that are still in the area some aquatic habitat and food.

Hopefully one for the Geese this year as there was no evidence of the egg addlers due to possibly this being a early nesting season as there seems to be a lot more goslings than the last few years when the addlers have been shaking eggs in a vain attempt to control the Geese population.  All the Geese around and in the pond contribute to the health of our Salmon through the fertilization of the pond creating mega groceries for the fish.

This afternoon as I write this I am about to go and volunteer for the David Suzuki coastal tour at Beban Park so I will leave my article until I return then I can fill you in on what I learned…. Well it’s the next day and low and behold it rained last night, a little sprinkle as I drove home from the David Suzuki event around 10pm, The event was a resounding success with a talk by David on the state of the coast then a short film on climate change then a break out session followed by a panel talk on issues that face all who live on our coast.

The message that I came away with was that it will take all of us to take action wherever we can by doing what you can no matter how small it may seem and supporting those that do what you cannot achieve on your own. Make connections within your own community and coast wide to find out what is occurring and how you can help both locally and coast wide. Support local initiatives that help the environment and support those who speak out for all of us and listen closely to the messages that are now coming from first nations about the state of our collective environment and the perils that are threatening the coast, as we know it today from the oil and gas industry.

One speaker from Bella Bella spoke very eloquently about his and his family’s experiences seeing their resources being stripped away, from Otter pelts to fish to timber until almost nothing remained even within his own life time and the uncertain fear of what a oil spill will do to the fragile habitat that remains and all life that depends on it, as he said you cannot eat money.

All this is most important this the year of our federal election, when going to candidates meetings ask those questions that may be difficult to ask of the candidates due to our proclivity to be polite and put them on the spot so to speak until they give you a definitive answer on how they are dealing or will deal with your concerns for the environment and the governments seemingly cosy relations with big corporations before the needs of the people who they are supposed to represent.

On that note I will mention my nephew who at the age of 10 took David’s call for a right to a healthy environment to all the southern Island councils to ask that they adopt the motion to a right to a healthy environment. When I was approached as to the possibility of bringing the motion before Lantzville council I was initially excited and contacted J Millbank at the time she still was a councillor. But as history has shown us it would not have been prudent to expose him and his sister [8] to the past council due to all its problems internally and now we have only 3 councillors we will await a more favourable time when council is back to full strength and I would also ask all reading this to write letters to council asking them to consider the motion of a right to a healthy environment.

Back to the streams, with last nights rain we expected to see flows increase though down in the estuary flows seemed to remain the same as last Saturday when we last visited the estuary. As we walked further upstream it was not until we crossed the highway that we began to notice the flows slowly increasing. Which make sense as the main rainfall would have been higher up in the watershed and took this long to reach the lower reaches. All this is good news for the fry still trying to go about their business of being wild Salmon in natural habitat. Having said that next week is forecast to be back to the hot dry weather so we expect to continue with fry salvage on the streams that still have flow. Doing this will thin out the fish so that when pools start to become isolated they will have less stress during capture and relocation than when they become isolated in a ever decreasing pool falling prey to any predator that happens by.

Until next month, please be kind to nature and all flora and fauna. Also your fellow humans.

Posted in June 2015, Streamkeepers

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