>> Streamkeepers

 

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans established the Streamkeepers program in 1993, in response to the drastic reduction in the number of salmon returning to spawn each year in streams in developed areas. Streamkeepers stresses the importance of community stewardship for long-term protection of the environment. It encourages the hands-on involvement of local residents and industry in the management and rehabilitation of aquatic and streamside habitat, with special attention being given to those habitat features crucial to successful spawning.

Streamkeepers encourages sustainable watershed management through a number of practices:

  • providing volunteers with hands-on training, manuals and support in habitat restoration and management work and salmonid enhancement;
  • promoting public awareness of the fragile nature of salmon populations and salmon habitat in urban areas, and ways in which individuals and households can reduce their impact on streams and salmon;
  • bringing together people interested in salmon, water quality, and the health of watersheds, and encouraging their cooperation;
  • developing a network of community advisors who can be contacted by citizens who have concerns about local streams.



Spanish Banks Creek is located on the far west side of Vancouver, where it runs out of Pacific Spirit Regional Park into English Bay. A productive run of salmon was destroyed when the creek was culverted over 50 years ago at the point where it left the forest and crossed below a road.

In the late 1990s local community members and government agencies began working together to daylight the creek, restore habitat, and rebuild salmon access to the watershed. In addition, local schools have been recruited to rear salmon fry from a nearby hatchery for release into the creek. This hard work has begun to pay off, with annual returns of hatchery reared chum and coho steadily increasing. In 2004, more than 65 chum returned to spawn in the creek, the first step towards rebuilding a sustainable indigenous salmon population.

Recent improvements to the creek include construction of a large pond area which will provide habitat for juvenile salmon before they head out to the ocean.

 


 

For more information, see
www.urbanstreams.org/creek_spanishbanks.html

Category: Organic Agriculture
Project: BC Association for Regenerative Agriculture (BCARA)
Address: P.O. Box 1601, Aldergrove, BC, V4W 2V1
Phone: (604) 322-1215
Fax: 604 793-9225
E-mail: pskf@direct.ca
Web site: www.pskf.ca