September 22, 2011

BC ‘Salmon-Safe’ Launch–PSF Invitation

I received the following from the Pacific Salmon Foundation today by email, and am reposting it here. The text and image are from PSF:

You're invited to the official launch of Salmon-Safe in British Columbia

Working with farmers to keep B.C.'s streams healthy for Pacific salmon to thrive

Wednesday | October 5 | 2011 | 3:00 - 4:30pm

At the Main Street Station Vancouver Farmers Market 1100 Block Station Street (along Thornton Park across from the VIA Rail Station and near the Main St Skytrain Station)

Complementary tasty creations generously prepared by Two Chefs and a Table, featuring seasonal produce from Salmon-Safe farms!

Salmon-Safe is a third-party certification program that recognizes farmers who adopt conservation practices that help restore Pacific salmon habitat in rivers and streams. The Pacific Salmon Foundation and Fraser Basin Council are the delivery partners for Salmon-Safe in B.C. The Salmon Safe initiative is funded in part by: Royal Bank of Canada Blue Water Project and the Living Rivers Trust Fund


Posted by Paul at 01:02 PM

September 21, 2011

Stealth Bomber Moth

Saw this cool-looking moth on our garage door yesterday.


Posted by Paul at 04:01 PM

September 20, 2011

Public Hearing on Condo Development & Byrne Creek Daylighting

I attended the Zoning Bylaw Amendments Public Hearing tonight at Burnaby City Hall regarding several rezoning & development proposals, including the consolidation of several single-family lots into a four-story condo development in the upper Byrne Creek watershed, including a proposal to daylight another 150 meters of the creek.

"Daylighting" means bringing a creek back to the surface from pipes it was buried in during urban development.

The plan looks good. I talked to a VP at Ledingham McAllister, the proponent, and he pointed out some creek-friendly features. A key one is that rather than having the usual concrete stormwater detention tank for a building of this size, they are proposing a wetland/rain garden between the building and the daylighted creek to slow and filter runoff. Cool!

I spoke to Mayor and Council that as streamkeepers we were pleased that the proponent and the City had come up with a progressive design that included higher density with daylighting and innovative stormwater management.

All in all it was great to come to such a hearing with praise. I think often environmental NGOs and various levels of government are viewed as being in conflict. Yes, sometimes that's true, and I will not shirk from some healthy criticism now and then, but I think it's also important to acknowledge when government and business get things right.

And I'm happy to say that this development/daylighting proposal looks right! This is all in the early stages, yet a lot of work has already been done, and kudos to all who thought about what was best for Byrne Creek during the process!

Posted by Paul at 10:36 PM

Burnaby World Rivers Day 2011

Note: the following information and images are from the Rivers Day organizers.


Sunday, September 25th, 11:00 - 3:00PM

You are invited to World Rivers Day,  a global event celebrating our planet's rivers. This year is the 6th anniversary of World Rivers Day and the 31th anniversary of Rivers Day in BC. Enjoy your time at BCIT's Burnaby Campus and learn more about Guichon Creek right here in Burnaby and the importance of our world's waterways.


Enjoy the following FREE activities (ongoing from 11:00 to 3:00 pm):

discover BCIT's latest stream improvements along Guichon Creek

help enhance the natural riparian habitat with Evergreen (and horse and buggy rides to the site!)

learn more about your local environment from a wide range of informative displays

browse tasty farmers market vendors

see live raptors with the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society

enjoy a City of Burnaby ecosculpture exhibit

experience a portable climbing wall

Where is it this year?

This year the event is located at BCIT's Burnaby campus; between Canada Way and Deer Lake Parkway near Willingdon Avenue and Wayburne Drive in Burnaby (see map).

How do I get there?

Take transit, carpool or ride your bike!

Take the #25, #123, #130 or #125 bus ( It's a short walk to the event site. Or ride your bike: the event is located on Burnaby's North-South Bikeway and near Willingdon Urban Trail. ( Or you can car-pool! Visit the Jack Bell Ride-Share program website at to find your ride-match. Vehicle parking is also available and located nearby.



Drinking water will be available on site. Plastic bottled water is being discouraged this year in support of Metro Vancouver's Tap Water Campaign. Bring your eco-friendly bottle!

For more information visit:


As part of World Rivers Day in Burnaby this year, help remove invasive plant species along STONEY CREEK with the Stoney Creek Environment Committee in North-East Burnaby. Go to for more information.

Posted by Paul at 12:06 PM

September 19, 2011

A Slew of Salmon-Related Articles

East coast fishermen protest #Salmon farms, want to protect sensitive lobster habitat from pollution.:

DFO not getting enough $ to properly study Fraser River salmon returns - Vancouver Sun:

Too many seals, sea lions shot at BC fish farms, say critics - Vancouver Sun:

Fish caught in BC show no Fukushima contamination - Vancouver Sun:

Salmon supported as BC Official Emblem - Vancouver Sun:

Article on coho salmon spawner mortality in urban streams. Similar issues on Byrne Creek in #Burnaby:

Sockeye Feel the Heat - how rising temps affect salmon - Tyee:

As Feds slash Enviro Canada budget, international scientists worry about impact on climate research - CBC:

How does climate-change research relate to salmon? Heat. Salmon become prone to disease and exhaustion when water temperatures exceed around 20C.

And a good news story! Fish return to once-toxic dead zone near Britannia in  Howe Sound:

Posted by Paul at 08:29 PM

September 13, 2011

Gray Day Fishing at Confluence of Fraser, Sumas in BC

Cousin Stacy took me fishing yet again. The day started out overcast and gloomy, and I got a few moody shots in the low light:



A heron competing with several boats

The day eventually cleared up somewhat and Stacy limited out on pink salmon, while I managed to land two.

A few more trips, and I'll be developing into a real salmon fisherperson : - ).

Seriously, as  I mentioned in a previous post, Stacy is a great coach, and he's a CMA to boot, so he takes continual improvement seriously!

Posted by Paul at 09:07 PM

September 09, 2011

Caught My First Salmon

I've never been an avid fisherman, but it's something that's always suited the camping / canoeing / hiking portfolio of activities that I love. I did some fishing as a kid growing up in Saskatchewan, mostly for perch and pike. I've lived in BC for over ten years now, and while my wife and I have done some lake fishing from shore and from canoe, we've never caught anything.

We've both volunteered as streamkeepers for around ten years, so we know and love salmon. We do eat them, though, so I figure there's nothing wrong with catching and killing a few salmon myself, given buying the license and having the opportunity.

I've been fortunate this summer that a cousin who is a focussed, experienced fisherman, and who has a boat, has taken us fishing several times on the Sumas and Fraser Rivers. Thanks, Stacy! He's also a great coach. I caught my first salmon, a pink, yesterday, and today I threw it on a cedar plank on the BBQ. Yum!


Me with my first pink.


Stacy with one of three he caught that day.

The other factor that makes such days wonderful, is that we both love to be out of the city, and on the water.

P.S. All you folks out there who buy salmon steaks, or beheaded & gutted carcasses, I encourage you to get a whole fish and have it bleed all over your kitchen sink while you eviscerate it. You can have your own "reality" experience without turning on the TV. Very educational for any kids around, too.

Posted by Paul at 09:05 PM

September 08, 2011

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society Holds First AGM

After over a decade of protecting and enhancing Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers became a registered BC society last year to fulfill volunteer insurance requirements. Today we held our first Annual General Meeting.

Here is the new board of directors as elected last night. Thanks to Abby Schwarz and Maho Hayashi, who stepped down, and thanks to John Sneep and Yumi Kosaka for coming aboard! Also thanks to all those continuing.

Paul Cipywnyk, President
Frank Williams, Vice President
Dave Burkholder, Treasurer
Yumi Kosaka, Secretary
John Sneep, Director at large
Joan Carne, Director at large

Here's my president's report as given to the AGM:

After operating for over ten years on an informal basis, the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers became the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society on June 11, 2010. We are breaking new ground here tonight with our first Annual General Meeting.

I am very pleased to have completed a year as president of the "new" society with everyone's support. I have to thank all who have volunteered with our group, and in particular I want to thank my mentor, Joan Carne, for teaching me so much about the creek, about cooperative community activism, and how to achieve things by bringing together as many people as possible, including all levels of government.

The inaugural board of directors for our first year:

Paul Cipywnyk, President
Frank Williams, Vice President
Dave Burkholder, Treasurer
Abby Schwarz, Secretary
Maho Hayashi, Director
Joan Carne, Director and Honourary Past President

As one of its first motions, the new board appointed Bert Richardson, Bob Fuller, and Lloyd Longeway as honourary lifetime members of the society in recognition of their founding roles in restoring and enhancing Byrne Creek. Joan Carne was also recognized with a Leadership Certificate for having chaired the informal group for over a decade.

Aside from gaining official registered non-profit society status, the activities of our group have changed little. We still paint yellow storm-drain fish, we still count bugs, we monitor returning salmon spawners, we remove invasive plant species, we do educational outreach at public events including creek tours, etc.

We also advocate for the preservation and restoration of the creek with all levels of government, and appreciate our good relations with the City of Burnaby Engineering, Parks and Planning departments, not to mention the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and in particular our Community Advisor, Maurice Coulter-Boisvert. We also work closely with the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation, and other NGOs.

Rather than go through a long list of our activities over the last year in an Operations Report, I would simply refer people to our Byrne Creek Watershed 2010 Status Report (5.7MB PDF file) that is available for download from the website. I also have a copy here tonight should anyone like to view it.

I thank all the volunteers, and the folks who have said they will remain on the board of directors, and those who have put their names forward to join it.

Posted by Paul at 10:49 PM

September 07, 2011

Metro Vancouver Updating Regional Parks Plan

Metro Vancouver is looking for public input on updating its Regional Parks Plan. Here's some info I received from the MetroVan mailing list:

Regional Parks contribute to a healthy, sustainable region by conserving the natural assets of the region and promoting a healthy society.

The 2005 Regional Parks and Greenway Plan is being updated in 2011 because:

  • many actions in the 2005 plan are well underway or complete,
  • some actions have changed in scope or detail and need to be reconfirmed, and
  • a new format and actions are needed to ensure consistency and integration with Metro Vancouver's overall suite of sustainability plans.

Learn more about the Draft Regional Parks Plan

We are seeking feedback from regional stakeholders and the public.  Join us for the discussion:

Open House: (pre-registration not required)
Date: Wednesday, September 14th
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 (presentation starts at 6:30)
Location: Metro Vancouver Head Office, Information Centre
               4330 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC

Webinar: Thursday, September 15th, 11:30 - 12:30
Register online

Please provide comments by Monday, September 19th, 2011

Posted by Paul at 04:02 PM

Development Proposal in SE Burnaby Could Extend Byrne Creek 150 Meters

I came across some potentially exciting news for the Byrne Creek watershed in SE Burnaby, BC. A development proposal in the upper watershed in the Edmonds area could see as much as 150 meters of the creek brought back to life (in a process called "daylighting") from a section where it was buried and piped nearly 50 years ago. Thanks to ZoAnn Morten of the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation, who noticed the rezoning process mentioned in the Burnaby Newsleader, and who brought it to my attention. I got a copy of the report from City Hall today. It mentions ongoing efforts to restore and protect the creek by the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers. Here are a few highlights:

  • Requirement for a detailed Sediment Control System during construction
  • On-site stormwater management system for the new building
  • Environmental review re daylighting the creek
  • The report states that the creek was "enclosed in a storm sewer" in that area in 1962
  • The creek would be daylighted for about an additional 150 meters from where it now exits the pipe. (That's more than I expected, but they are planning to close chunks of 17th St. and 16th Ave. and turn them into greenways, so I guess that adds more length.)
  • The zoning is being changed from RM2 to RM3 to give the developer more height in exchange for the daylighting of the creek
  • There will be "necessary riparian planting adjacent the daylighted Byrne Creek"
  • Unfortunately, to allow for the daylighting, the underground parking and the larger building, all mature trees on the site will have to be removed

There will be a public hearing on Sept. 20, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. at Burnaby City Hall. If this is as good as it sounds, it would be a wonderful enhancement to our neighbourhood! I hope all goes well, and kudos to the City of Burnaby and proponent Ledingham McAllister Communities Ltd.

And if this daylighting could be extended further. . . : -). There's the huge Safeway property nearby up for development, and the ongoing enhancement of Ernie Winch Park, where the creek used to go. . . Yowza!

Posted by Paul at 02:39 PM

September 04, 2011

Long Weekend Fishing on Fraser River

Cousin Stacy took us fishing today in his jet-drive river boat. He'd taken me out a couple of days ago, and today Yumi joined us. It was a glorious day, albeit slightly frustrating, as people all around us were hauling in salmon, and we brought nary a one into the boat. I had three on line, but lost them all. Keep that line tight! I don't fish often, and am not used to playing fish on single barbless hooks - they can shake them right quick if you slack up just a smidge. Most of my fishing was done as a kid in Saskatchewan where treble barbed hooks were usually used - at least a few decades ago. . . Yet I appreciate the single barbless, because you're way more likely to accomplish a successful "catch and release" than with any barbed hook, much less a treble.  Anyway it was great to be out on the water! Thanks cuz!



Me in front of the boat



Posted by Paul at 08:08 PM

September 03, 2011

Funky Old Kyocera Digital Camera Sports Floppy Disk

Yumi was cleaning some drawers and ran across this old digital camera that her Dad had given her years ago. We never used it. I suspect it was obsolete a few months after it was released : -). But it's kinda cool because it used a floppy disk. Say what? Yep, it's called a Video Floppy Disk. The disk measures roughly 6 X 5 cm. Dunno if these ever made it outside Japan. . .




Posted by Paul at 08:23 PM