Volunteers clear smothering debris from Oak Bay creek to ready for 30K salmon eggs

Volunteers with the Friends of Bowker Creek clear a debris jam in preparation for the second annual planting of 30,000 chum eggs in an Oak Bay section of the creek. (Bowker Creek Salmon Recovery/Facebook)Volunteers with the Friends of Bowker Creek clear a debris jam in preparation for the second annual planting of 30,000 chum eggs in an Oak Bay section of the creek. (Bowker Creek Salmon Recovery/Facebook)
With debris removed and good water flow, this Oak Bay creekbed to receive 30,000 salmon eggs from Goldstream Hatchery Salmonid Enhancement around the end of the month. (Bowker Creek Salmon Recovery/Facebook)With debris removed and good water flow, this Oak Bay creekbed to receive 30,000 salmon eggs from Goldstream Hatchery Salmonid Enhancement around the end of the month. (Bowker Creek Salmon Recovery/Facebook)
Volunteers with the Friends of Bowker Creek clear a debris jam in preparation for the second annual planting of 30,000 chum eggs in an Oak Bay section of the creek. (Bowker Creek Salmon Recovery/Facebook)Volunteers with the Friends of Bowker Creek clear a debris jam in preparation for the second annual planting of 30,000 chum eggs in an Oak Bay section of the creek. (Bowker Creek Salmon Recovery/Facebook)

Streamkeepers started 2023 strong in Oak Bay, spending Jan. 1 clearing Bowker Creek of last year’s backlog.

Volunteers literally cleared space to make room for its second annual salmon egg installation in an Oak Bay section of the creek.

Debris filled the area where last year the Friends of Bowker Creek Society and Peninsula Streams Society – with approval from Fisheries and Oceans Canada – tucked about 30,000 eggs into the creek bed.

RELATED: Out of the streambed gravel comes harbinger of waning pollution in Oak Bay creek

The first batch of thousands of chum salmon eggs planted last January hatched without a hitch and on time.

In mid-March, Val Aloian, tasked with checking the water temperature and levels every day, predicted the eggs nestled into a rock bed would emerge about April 1. When she went down for her daily check-in on March 30, the Oak Bay woman noticed small fry swimming about.

If all went according to plan, the fry followed the current down to the Salish Sea with some anticipated to return in November 2024.

Last year, flooding shifted everything and volunteers were forced to re-prepare the bed. This year, the debris jam was causing silting, which can suffocate eggs. With debris removed and good water flow, the site is ready to receive the next 30,000 eggs from Goldstream Hatchery Salmonid Enhancement around the end of the month.

RELATED: Oak Bay society shares thrill of finding fish fry swimming in Bowker

christine.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroom@oakbaynews.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

oak bay

Pop-up banner image