Each year, the riparian ecosystem of the Little Qualicum River is enhanced by the transport and distribution of salmon carcasses along the upstream banks of the river. Over a two day period, volunteers collect salmon carcasses from the river at the fish hatchery, load them onto a truck with the assistance of a conveyor belt (see photo at right) and unload them at a number of locations further upstream. The carcasses provide valuable nutrients for aquatic species and insects which in turn provide food for young fish. In November 2012, we moved about 11 tons of chum, some of them to new places further up in the watershed of the Little Qualicum River.
Over 28,000 pounds, or fourteen tons, of carcasses were distributed in this way in November, 2011. To read the full story, click here.
|Carcasses deposited at Chatsworth Rd
||Day One Team on Lunch Break
The lower sections of Beach Creek flowing through the Memorial Golf Course are in sandy soil subject to erosion and sedimentation. Improvements to the stream have included the installation of large woody debris (LWD) at key points to help create pools and provide protection for fish, and the placement and anchoring of native tree trunks along erosion prone banks. Native plants such as ferns and salmonberries have been planted on the banks to provide vegetative cover.
In the spring of 2012, a team of streamkeepers worked with the Memorial Golf course to design, construct and install an improved water control structure on an existing dam to improve water retention and enhance fish access and egress from the water storage pond on Beach Creek.
At a work party on November 24, 2012, we removed 70 plastic sleeves from cedars that were planted 5 or so years ago. The survival rate was outstanding. Note the bio-engineering work done previously on the eroding bank, which is holding very nicely. And note the growth of the previous plantings.
Working with Fisheries Biologist Dave Clough, several work parties were scheduled during the summer to enhance fish spawning habitat. At this particular work party, the team anchored two logs along the bank and built several expanded fish spawning pools with added gravel and protective boulders.
Staff gauge and flow monitor at Grandon Creek and West Crescent Road culvert. The flow monitoring of Grandon Creek and other East Coast Vancouver Island small streams is a long-term project (at least 10 years) sponsored by the BC Conservation Foundation.
The objective is to create a database that will help protect and conserve the creek, the fish and the ecosystem in light of increasing urban development. QB Streamkeepers will collect the data by downloading the level logger (on the right) a few times a year. The information will be shared with the Town and the community.
The Town of Qualicum Beach is cleaning the gravel out of the first caisson on Grandon Creek in the summer of 2012. (see photos below) Fisheries Biologist, Dave Clough, and his assistant removed any fish in the area (13 coho fry and 6 cutthroat trout). To find out more about the caissons and fish passage check the information board at the bottom of the Grandon Creek Trail off West Crescent Road.
Hundreds of young trees have been planted over the years on both Beach and Grandon Creeks to provide shade and reduce water temperatures for fish. In the longer term, as the trees mature, their root systems will stabilize the soils of the riparian zones and reduce erosion and sedimentation. Native species which have been planted include cedar, hemlock, spruce and fir.