April 08, 2005

Frenzy of Fry in Byrne Creek

Yumi and I found fry (salmon babies) from the ravine park all the way down to the confluence of Byrne Creek and John Mathews Creek today.

There was a nice array of sizes from tiny newly hatched ones, to large coho fry that have been growing for nearly a couple of months already.

We saw over 400 in total today, and you could probably multiply that by many times to get what's really out there in that stretch. From our scrutiny with binoculars and monoculars they all appeared to be coho. Couldn't positively ID any chum, so the ones we've seen before have likely left the system already.

Details below, for those who want them.

-- Fry in pools 10-20m upstream of Tag 517. Also knotweed spreading all over the creek on both banks and in-stream, some of it 60-70cm tall already.

-- Coho fry in pools at the slide between Tags 517 and 516 (the footbridge at the bottom end of the ravine). At least 3 dozen, and occasionally a cutthroat trout or coho smolt (juvenile) would zoom through the school and try to pick off one of the smaller ones. Fry were biting at stuff floating on the surface.

-- Tiny newly hatched fry just downstream of the slide.

-- Large coho fry in the pool at the fallen tree upstream of the footbridge (Tag 516).

-- Tiny fry hiding in stones just above the culvert at Tag 515.

-- Knotweed on the slope above the habitat, some it just a few meters from the fence. We'd better keep a sharp eye on this, as it'll be a huge problem if it gets established in the spawning habitat.

-- Large coho fry at Tag 512 in the habitat, at least 4 dozen. A few cuts/smolts in several of the pools in the habitat.

-- At least 2 dozen fry just downstream of the gate in the sediment pond (Tag 514).

-- Oily, soapy accumulation at the lower end of the sediment pond.

-- At least 8 - 10 dozen coho fry along the southwest bank of the overflow pond. The current from the spawning channel circles around the lower end of the overflow pond, and they were hanging all along the bank waiting for food to come drifting by.

-- At least 5 dozen fry just downstream of Meadow Bridge.

-- At least 3 dozen fry just upstream of Byrne Bridge (Tag 507).

-- At least 2 dozen fry just downstream of Byrne Bridge (Tag 507).

-- At least 12 dozen fry spread through pools in the creek between Byrne Bridge (Tag 507) and John Mathews Creek (Tag 506).

-- And, to our amazement, there were even a few fry in that smelly rivulet that empties out of a culvert and enters Byrne Creek just downstream of Byrne Bridge!

Posted by Paul at April 8, 2005 02:01 PM