North Shore Streamkeepers Meeting January 17, 2018

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North Shore Streamkeepers Meeting January 17, 2018
7:00pm North Vancouver District Hall

Present: Barbara Frisken (chair), Janet Dysart (secretary)

Regrets:  Zo Ann Morten, Ron Den Daas

Attendance: 22

Speakers – Tara Matthews & Deanna McTavish on what Echo EcoLogical Enterprises does:

Founded in 2015 as Echo Partnership, they worked closely with BCIT Fish & Wildlife program.

Past projects:

  • Restoration on Seymour River Estuary
  • Intertidal projects with Rivers Institute doing native plant planting
  • Similar work on Lynn Creek and MacKay Creek

Surveys:

  • Spawner surveys
  • Bird surveys
  • Now have a mycologist on staff enabling fungal diversity surveys

2016 to present:

  • MacKay mainstream maintenance events with NSSK, DNV, Bodwell High School
  • More planting on MacKay upstream
  • MacKay pond work
  • Stewardship events with info tables & weed pulls

Saturday February 3rd is Wetlands Day at MacKay pond

Municipal Updates – District of North Vancouver (Erika Nassichuk)

1.              Review of all proposed DNV culvert projects planned for 2018

2.              Review of all proposed flood mitigation/debris basin/drainage improvement projects planned for 2018

3.              Sandie Hollick-Kenyon to email Erika with information about the past stakeholder meeting held re: Lynn Creek gravel removal works
4.              Lower MacKay barrier to fish passage – Erika and Brian Comey have communicated about this issue (no further work needed)
5.              McCartney Creek fish baffles – Tony Oak is working with our metal fabricator but needs to find a source of funding; will update as we get more information
6.              Culvert above Donovan pond – Tyler Farley to meet with Erika to take a look (private property culvert)

Powerpoint presentation on culverts attached*

Municipal Updates – District of North Vancouver (Tyler Farley)

  • Parks massively expanded the Morton Creek habitat fencing by over 300 ft. in an effort to protect the sensitive fish habitat and to keep dogs and pedestrians out. The only remaining thing to do is to either fence the bridge or move the gate forward.
  • Through 2018 I will be investigating different opportunities to build new, or upgrade old trail bridge crossings in an effort to support set backs set out in in provincial guidelines, as well as for public safety and overall sustainable trail initiatives. These may include new bridges over Mission and Dunell Creek.
  • The Varley trail is getting a small overhaul this spring/summer as builders will be replacing several older bridges and boardwalks that run through wetlands in the area.
  • Megan and I are working with David Harper to establish a volunteer event at Harbourview Park, likely on March 3rd. We will also discuss with Shawana Michaelek of the Tseil-Waututh to seek their support and input on the project.
  • The Hunter Park north side trail project is still very much in the early days of planning and has not yet been given the green light. I will have to head out to gain more information in order to deliver a more detailed proposal.

Megan’s Notes:

  • Megan is developing the new volunteer newsletter which will detail DNV volunteer events through March and April. It will be released likely in early February.
  • Megan will support the World Wetlands day event with tools, and will coordinate invasive species removal and trash pick-up.

Municipal Updates – City of North Vancouver (Angela Negenman)

City Park Stewardship Program – Evergreen has been awarded the contract for 2018 for the City Park Stewardship Program.

Mosquito Creek Bridge – CNV will be replacing the Marine Drive Bridge over Mosquito Creek in 2018.

Mackay Creek Dike Project – CNV is working with DNV to explore options regarding this project with dedicated grant funds.

Heywood Habitat Compensation – CNV is working on updating concept drawings for the Heywood Park Habitat Compensation Project. Once we have concept drawings we will be seeking feedback from internal staff and stakeholders. Signs will be created and posted in the park. We will hope to organize a meeting with the NSSK and having consultation in the park. Detailed drawings would then follow. With dedicated grant funding for 2018, this project is to be constructed later this year.

Earth Day & Rivers Day – CNV would like to invite NSSK to join the City and the City Park Stewards for Earth Day on April 22 and Rivers Day Creek to Creek Festival on September 30. The location of Earth Day is still to be determined and welcome suggestions. Rivers Day again will be the Creek to Creek Festival going between Mackay Creek and Mosquito Creek.

DFO Community Advisor updates (Sandie Hollick-Kenyon)

Notes not available

Pacific StreamkeepersFederation (Zo Ann Morten)

Fisheries Act still not released but we hear (again) that it is immanent. The budget of course will be a better indicator of the level of protection and value that is seen in DFO and our Pacific Salmon.

Wild Salmon Policy – many thanks to all who took the time to be a part of DFO’s consultative process, they are now reviewing all the great advice that came in and finalizing the process.

Diking – we are working with SEHAB and have penned a letter to UMBC to have this brought forward at their upcoming province wide meeting and one of our board has been tasked with getting a speaker from the Province in to our next meeting which is in May or June.

Member Updates

McCartney Creek (Glen Parker)

  • No updates, next fish count June 2018

Morten Creek (Jan Lander)

Thanks to NSSK for the Home Depot credit balance of $347.00. It will provide funds for summer projects coming up. One will be a new tank that DFO has designed for Morten Hatchery with Sandie’s help.

At Morten now are about 33,000 chum and 1300 coho all doing well, at this time on surface water, hopefully the weather will continue to cooperate.

A long new fence has been added down to the end of Morten which will assist in reducing dog entry.

Jan & Doug will be away January 23rd to February 6th. Kate & Jane will cover our hatchery days, but someone is needed for Thursdays and probably Monday as Tasha may be unavailable. The hatchery door lock will have to be replaced as it is tricky to open.

We started brood stock coho in November and finished November 23rd. Caght 4 males, 3 hatchery and 1 wild, plus 1 small hatchery female. 1455 eggs were the result as 2 of the males died before any further females caught. Next year we will start earlier.

Hastings Creek (Doug Hayman)

Surveys produced a total of 6 Coho and 1 dead cutthoat. Tim Green found 1 carcass in Hunter on Dec 24th. We also kept the new ladder in Hunter Park clean, looks good but no Coho. The sign in Hunter Park asking people to keep pets out of the creeks during spawning time has helped, however as we saw 1 person allowed her dog in the creek right by the sign, makes you wonder. [Note – somebody commented that signs only work for about 2 weeks before people stop noticing them. Perhaps we should move them around next year!]

The area between Ross Rd. and 27th Ave saw 1 Coho in October then 2 more in November last year.

The spawner notice signs are now taken down and stored at Doug’s house.

Doug feels it is time for him to step down and for NSSK to find a new Hastings Creek Coordinator. So if you are interested please let Doug or Barbara know.

Although the broodstock was not great good numbers of steelhead were chasing the bait, Glen did catch and release 1 good sized steelhead.

 

Friends of Hunter Park (Janet Dysart)

No further news re: back trail in Hunter park. 2 events as posted below in Upcoming Events.

Mosquito Creek (Keegan Cassidy)

  • Met with Chelsea and Tony from the District to be trained on the two water testing devices.

The YSI is not ready for volunteers to use in the field, so I will be using the turbidity meter for now.

Located approx. 10 areas of concern for the creek where I will go out to test the turbidity, on a monthly basis most likely.

  • Reached out to Crystal and Randall Lewis from the Squamish Nation.

Have a tentative date set with Randall to discuss present/future plans on Mosquito.

Date is Jan 29th.

  • Was able to get some awesome underwater shots of the wintering 1 year old Coho fry on Thain Creek.

Link is here -> https://youtu.be/fT5E7D6VuWs

Approx 300+ yearlings all holding in the same pool.

  • No Coho spawners spotted in Thain this year, but I suspect with the high flows they made it up to the spawning beds before I could locate them.

Perhaps even made it up passed Windsor road this year.

  • Final tally 1 pair of Coho in Fell Channel Nov 12th.

1 dead male Jack below 3rd street ladder Oct 14th.

1 pair of Chum above the Bewicke Bridge Oct 21st.

Male found dead, with photo evidence of live female from CNV worker.

Redd was positively identified on brief walk of the area.

MacKay Creek (Brian Comey)

This year we raised both Chum and Pink salmon in our hatchery. Both types of fish have hatched and are absorbing their food sacs. When Pink salmon start emerging we will be moving them to our big feeding tank. They will be released into the creek when ready to go to sea. After their release we will move the Chum into the feeding tank and feed the for about 2-3 weeks until they are ready to go out to their big adventure in the sea!

Upper MacKay Creek (Ron Den Daas)

  • 10 Upper MacKay Creek spawner surveys were held between October 2017 and January 2018.
  • A total of three Adult Coho Spawners were spotted.
  • 5 Coho ‘Discovery Day’ workshops were held in November / December 2017 featuring lower MacKay Creek habitat and the Hatchery in Heywood Park.
  • All participating classrooms were able to see returning Chum Salmon on MacKay Creek – a first for the workshops.
  • The MacKay Creek Interpretive walk connecting salmon habitat along the Spirit Trail and the three Community Art Works including the MacKay Creek Hatchery – The MacKay Estuary Mural and the Mosquito Estuary Mural continues to be developed for completion later this year.
  • I have been approached by Canyon Heights Elementary School to help introduce students to Upper MacKay Creek. The creek is in easy walking distance from the school.
  • Canyon Heights School is aiming to develop outdoor classroom activities for their students over the next three years.

Lower MacKay Creek (Tara Matthews of Eco-Logical)

  • Starting planning in February, tentative planting date March24th

Treasurers Update: (Glen Parker)

  • Membership 39
  • 2018 membership fees due
  • Current Balance $13,512 with $4,223 in general use; $9,000 for Lynn Channel and remainder for workshops
  • A Home Depot card with $343 provided to Morten Creek Hatchery

Other Updates

Jan Lander:  Pink salmon surveys were Aug 26 to Oct 1st. One week cancelled due to poor muddied water visibility. Sunny weather, water temps 16-11C during survey days. 4 live pinks Sept 3rd, 12 sighted holding in a pool confirmed Sept 15th, 1 live pink seen Sept 22nd. Total count 17 pink salmon. No carcasses found.

Glen Parker:

NSSK 2018 Workshop

  • We are postponing the workshop until DFO has consolidated the feedback on the Draft Implementation Plan and is ready to communicate the results.
  • The reason is that we fear that if we proceed before DFO has their communication plan ready, we may just end up with a “gripe fest” about DFO’s short comings.
  • We want the workshop to have a positive tone, educate Streamkeepers on the implementation plan, generate support for the plan and enable actions that are good for the salmon. DFO has short comings but DFO is key to the Streamkeepers success and we want to work in harmony them. We are very grateful for the support we receive!

Keith Creek:

  • Plans to modify creek to be shared with NSSK in February 2018 by MoTI; Contractor has been quick to respond to comments about sediment (equipment entrances were graded and graveled to minimize site runoff)

Lynn Channel:

  • Chelsea Nerpio, Environmental Control Technician has submitted District of North Vancouver Application for Change Approval and Notification (Changes In and About a Stream) – 100234386 (water permit) for the project. The permit if all goes well should be issued in early February.
  • Working with consulting engineers (NHT) to complete detailed construction plans with site meeting scheduled for this Friday
  • Hope to have permit and plans in place for fund raising (PSF, PMV, others?) and would like to raise an additional $22,000 for field work.

Shawana Michalek of Tsleil Watauth Nation notes:

  • Fish Count Data (Visual count data, observer efficiency not applied at this time – full report due by March)
    1. Pink run (Jul 11 -> Nov 1) Peak 27,085 survey date (Sep 11-12, 2017)
    2. Sockeye run (Aug 31 -> Sep 28) Peak 6 survey date (Sep 27-28, 2017)
    3. Chinook run (Sep 11 -> Nov 7) Peak 100 survey date (Nov 6 – 7)
      1. Extremely high numbers and not congruent with past count data (ie. Peak of 5)
    4. Chum run (Oct 5 -> Dec 5) Peak 16, 359 survey date (Oct 31-Nov 1)
      1. End of run date undetermined due to weather
    5. Coho run (Oct 11 – Present) Peak 342 survey date (Nov 6-7, 2017)
  • Biological Sampling
    1. DNA samples on Chinook in Nov 2017 expected results by March 2018 (sooner then expected)
  • Site Assessment
    1. Torrent from Hixon Cr. Into the Indian River Watershed (IRW) at the end of Nov 2017
      1. Caused significant hydrological changes unseen since 2006
      2. Over wintering habitat altered, pools filled, complete analysis will be better understood post freshet
  • 2018 Fish related goals
    1. Herring Spawn Surveys
      1. Cedar bow placement complete
      2. Net placement Mar 2018
    2. Surfsmelt  & Sandlance Spawning Surveys
      1. May 2018
    3. Minnow Trapping Survey & Habitat Assessment
      1. IRW Mar 2018
      2. McCartney Cr. Feb 2018
    4. eDNA for Herring
      1. Date TBD
    5. McCartney Cr. Estuary Peat Enhancement Pilot Project
      1. Jan 2018
  • Oil Spill Response
    1. Safety and Response Container placement at Cates Park
      1. Transport anticipated by summer of 2018

NEW BUSINESS

Pacific Science Enterprise Centre Meeting December 19, 2017:

  • PSEC is looking for citizen science opportunities as their mandate and funding has expanded. We should keep them top of mind as a resource for NSSK.

Upcoming Events:

Wetlands Day at MacKay pond – Saturday February 3rd

“Salmon Girl” play at Presentation House Saturday February 17th 1pm (A visually stunning work that shares a First Nations perspective on the importance of salmon)

Hunter Park – Saturday April 14 Regular weed pull

Hunter Park – Tuesday April 24, Girl Guides weed pull event in late afternoon

NEXT MEETING – Wednesday, March 14th – 7:00 to 9:00 pm, District Hall, 355 West Queens Road, North Vancouver

DFO VIOLATION REPORTING:  OBSERVE, RECORD, and RECORD (ORR) 604-607-4186

A SPILL OF ANY TYPE Environment Canada – use EMBC number below

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT B.C. – 1-800-663-3456   www.embc.gov.bc.ca/index.htm

CITY OF NV – Operations Division 604-987-7155 (8 am – 4:30 pm Monday to Friday) or After-Hours Emergency Line 604-988-2212 (after 4:30pm, weekends & Holidays).

District of North Vancouver – environment@dnv.org  to respond to public concerns about construction practices and ESC concerns

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