Streamkeepers seek volunteers

  • Oct. 17, 2008 8:00 p.m.

Submitted article–The Hecate Strait Streamkeepers are looking for volunteers to help with their salmon enhancement program. The Streamkeepers are a local non-profit organization committed to restoring damaged salmon stream habitat, enhancing depressed or extirpated salmon runs and providing and promoting education and community involvement with this work. They have worked on many streams around the islands.Residents of Queen Charlotte can take a short walk along Gore brook or Charlie Hartie creek to see the results of some of this work. The QCSS Outdoor Education class teamed up with the Streamkeepers to restore adult salmon spawning habitat and juvenile salmon rearing habitat in these two creeks by strategically placing wood and rock structures into the creeks. The students hard work has paid off as returning adult chum salmon can be seen spawning in the fresh gravel that has been deposited around some of the new structures and resting in the shelter created by other structures. (If you visit these creeks, please try not to disturb the spawning salmon as timing is everything for them and any disruptions can hurt their chances of success).Right now, the Streamkeepers are busy collecting broodstock (taking eggs and milt from adult spawning salmon) whose fry will be reared in local hatcheries and released into additional rebuilding streams that have suffered past habitat damage and either lost their returns or had them severely reduced. These efforts, in conjunction with habitat restoration work, are now resulting in renewed and increasing populations of returning adult spawning salmon to many of these streams.In the big picture, with many salmon stocks on the decline coast-wide, and with insurmountable-sounding reasons like ocean survival and off-shore drift nets being suggested, it is easy to get discouraged and think that there is nothing we can really do as individuals to change the trends. But all of our small, local successes add up to make a much larger difference. If you’d like to volunteer, contact Hecate Strait Streamkeepers at 559-8715. Activities include broodstock collection (until mid. November), feeding fish at the hatcheries (year round), and fry releases in the spring.

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