What’s Up With the VOLWS Stream Team: A progress report submitted by the 1998-1999 Stream Team

Here is a weekly overview of our activities on the job which may serve to inform all of you out there who are interested in the "going-ons" of the Veins of Life Watershed Society.

Week 1 consisted mainly of orientation with the VOLWS. All employees learned about the background, the founder and the future endeavours of the Veins of Life team. A lot of us were introduced to new ways of approaching and initiating action around environmental concerns.

In our second week at work we commenced our fish salvage at Munn Creek, which dries up in the summer. The lack of summer flow kills great numbers of coho salmon and cutthroat trout.

Munn Creek runs through privately owned land. The landowners contacted VOLWS to express concern for the fish and their habitat. VOLWS responded by providing labor for a fish salvage operation. Our fish salvage consisted of dip-netting to identify species of fish, and trapping and relocating the young fish. We released the fish in Eagle Lake, where water conditions will increase the chance of survival.

The entire E Team crew participated in a clean-up of Flemming Beach at McCauley Point. John Roe, the director of VOLWS, joined us in getting down on the rocks and loading up the garbage bags.

Week 3 had us at Teanook Creek in the CRD Park lands at Thetis Lake, where we plan to commence stream restoration in late August. Here we identified resident cutthroat trout (6 in.) and coho.

Teanook Creek has suffered great devastation from motorbikes, mountain bikes, and possibly trucks and excavators. The Creek offers great potential as fish habitat, and to be a clean-flowing, beautiful stream. Our aim is to put in a culvert crossing the road, and to redirect the stream into its natural channel. We hope to fix the damage done through re-vegetation of the banks and riparian zone, creation of pools, bank stabilization and ongoing monitoring of the area to ensure plant growth and survival. Our hope is that people will recognize the need for this habitat and respect the work being done there.

John also had us out wading into Colquitz Creek recovering garbage and a great assortment of other "valuables". We managed to pull out 7 shopping carts which we filled with garbage out of the creek, 2 bikes, many tires and what seemed to be somebody’s wardrobe – shoes, a purse, jacket, and pants. This was a very productive and interesting day in the field.

In week 4 the entire E Team took the Streamkeeper’s course with Kathy Reimer of Saltspring Island. This course offered us methods of Stream and Wetland care. We learned how to survey a stream, conduct water quality testing and learned about methods of stream restoration and maintenance.

In the 5th week we created signs indicating that there is stream restoration in progress and posted them around Teanook Creek. Here we also took cuttings of willow and maple, and planted them in a disturbed, non-vegetated area. We are hoping these cuttings will take root and serve as some source of nutrients and overhead canopy.

This week we also began our Streamkeeper’s survey at Teanook Creek. The team did a boating safety course with VOLWS safety manager Jack Cummer. The next day, we began garbage clean-up on the Gorge, and salvaged a whole boatload of garbage and metal from the shore.

Week 6 we worked with the other E-team crews removing purple loosestrife, which was choking out all other vegetation from the stream at Durrell Creek. Adjacent farmland has also been eroding into the creek, causing some alarm for the residents. We have been creating a live willow fascine for bank stabilization. We will also be do stream-side planting to restore the area. This week we also continued to do our Gorge clean-up, which keeps us busy, busy, busy
  Email: volws@salishsea.ca

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