July 30, 2006

Byrne Creek Summer Bug Count

The Byrne Creek Streamkeepers completed their summer aquatic invertebrate survey today -- or bug count -- and the results were satisfactory. All of the samples were in the 2.0 - 2.5 range for water quality on a scale with 4 being good. Not bad for an urban creek that faces a constant flow of pollutants from storm drains. Thanks to leader John for organizing the three weekend counts and Dave for tallying the results. Here's one of Dave's charts:

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We use the standard Streamkeeper's Handbook method of surveying. The types of bugs and their numbers indicate the quality of the water.

Posted by Paul at 07:49 PM

July 26, 2006

Fish Population Recovering in Byrne Creek

The fish population in Burnaby's Byrne Creek is recovering following a devastating toxic spill into a storm drain that killed some 700 trout and coho at the end of February 2006. Byrne Creek Streamkeepers found 15 cutthroat trout in 9 traps tonight, for an average of 1.67 fish per trap. That's still off of the usual tally of 3-5 fish per trap, but its a huge improvement from the big, fat, zero we got a few weeks after the spill.

While we had set out 10 traps, unfortunately one was pulled from the creek by someone. We were fortunate to run across it later in Ron McLean Park. We're not sure if it's pranksters that yank the traps, or perhaps concerned citizens who don't understand that streamkeepers are authorized by the DFO to do such fish surveys.

Posted by Paul at 09:30 PM

July 21, 2006

Fish Killed In Eagle Creek

Over 200 trout and juvenile coho salmon were killed in Burnaby's Eagle Creek when a toxin, perhaps chlorine from a hot tub or pool, was poured down a storm drain. As a volunteer with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers, I was dismayed, for some 700 fish were killed in Byrne Creek at the end of February by a toxin that was never identified or its source tracked down.

At least in the Eagle Creek case it appears that the city's environment officers may have discovered the source, and if so, I hope they throw the book at the perpetrator(s). My sympathies to the Eagle Creek Streamkeepers!

The Burnaby Now and the NewsLeader covered the event.

Posted by Paul at 07:36 PM

July 16, 2006

Brunette River Recovery

There's an excellent article in the News Leader on efforts to rehabilitate the Brunette River in the lower mainland of BC. It features longtime streamkeeper Elmer Rudolph, and well-known watershed advocates Mark Angelo and Bob Gunn from BCIT.

Reporter Michael McQuillan presents the history of the river and the terrible impact of unbridled industrialization. Fortunately, citizens and governments are gradually learning that rivers that we once treated as open sewers can be rehabilitated, and that fish and other wildlife will come back. I love to see good news like this, and hope it will only get better in the future.

Posted by Paul at 12:36 PM

July 04, 2006

Harrison Lake Day Trip

Yumi and I took a day trip to Harrison Lake today to enjoy the glorious summer day. We also wanted to check out the famous sand sculptures.

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The lake was fairly calm -- we should have brought our canoe!

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We were excited to see hundreds of salmonid fry and stickleback at the Miami River outflow.

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The sand sculptures were impressive.

Posted by Paul at 09:46 PM

July 01, 2006

Dragonfly, Damselfly Fiesta

Yumi and I went for a walk in Fraser Foreshore Park in Burnaby late this afternoon and found a colorful variety of dragonflies and damselflies flitting about a pond near the outfall of Byrne Creek. A few photos I took:

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Posted by Paul at 07:36 PM

Canada Day in Burnaby's Richmond Park

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers volunteered at the City of Burnaby's Canada Day event at Richmond Park today. We had great weather and had a fun time interacting with the public. Hundreds of people dropped by our booth to learn a bit about their watershed.

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The RCMP bear in front of the streamkeepers booth.

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Streamkeepers answer questions.

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RCMP honour guard gears up for the opening ceremony.

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Air cadets and RCMP lead the parade of dignitaries.

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My wife Yumi checks out a cruiser from the driver's seat...

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And from the rather less desirable cage in the back seat :-).

Posted by Paul at 07:13 PM