Mackay Restoration Project
When the Echo Ecological Team and the Wildcoast Ecological Society looked back on all they’d accomplished in seven years at Mackay Creek, they thought it was worth a time-lapse video. We think so too – and you’ll know what an estuary is by the time you’re finished.
Since 2013 a team of biologists, ecologists and community volunteers have been reviving the land around the creek’s shoreline. They cleared over 2000 sq. meters of invasive weeds – and much more1. Today this salmon spawning and rearing channel has been transformed to its natural glory – with inspiring results!
Thousands of spawning salmon used to returned yearly to North Vancouver’s Mosquito Creek. So when a former resident returned in 2016 to check out a favourite watering hole, it was a shock to see the salmon population had all but disappeared, with their habitat degraded.
Keegan Casidy joined the North Vancouver Streamkeepers to do something about it – raising funds to help resuscitate the creek, and coordinating with the DFO, and the Squamish Nation who had earlier completed a study of the creek’s conditions.
On September 14, 2020, the Squamish Nation blessed the project. After thousands of hours of prep work, 11 days of heavy machinery narrowed the estuary and created new spawning habitats with boulders and mature native conifers. What happened next…made it all worthwhile.
We visited Morten Creek back in 2017, and the story is just as good now as it was when we first heard it.
Seymour Salmonid Society & First Nations
Since December 2014, when a rockslide in the Seymour river cut off most of the Coho salmon, the Seymour Salmonid Society, and the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations have been working on solutions to help salmon make it over the blockage. An innovative catchment created by a fence lasted until a storm in 2020, so this summer efforts continue to transport the salmon other ways. More on what’s taken place here.
West Vancouver Streamkeepers
We all know that salmon and trout require good water quality and a healthy habitat to survive. Now here is some good news! West Vancouver has at least 11 such healthy streams, according to the results of the 2021 Salmonid Trapping Project conducted by the West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society.
The streamkeeper team set up fish traps across 11 streams in two phases between April and June this year. They have visually documented the results – and it’s worth taking a look to see what they found!
As BC reopens – so do volunteer opportunities! If you’re inspired – there’s lots you can do:
- Coho Salmon Society/ Coho Society of the North Shore: https://www.cohosociety.com/get-involved/volunteer/
- North Shore Streamkeepers: http://www.nssk.ca/how-can-you-help/volunteer/
- Seymour Salmonid Society: http://seymoursalmon.com/about-us/volunteers/
- West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society – https://www.westvancouverstreamkeepers.ca/volunteer
- Wildcoast Ecological Society: https://www.wildcoastecological.com/volunteer.html
Tips for your Home
Reduce microbeads – they’re everywhere! In toothpaste, skin care and cleaning agents. If you can avoid using products with these tiny bits of plastic great – because they wreak havoc on the health of salmon and other wildlife.
Medication – prescription or otherwise – don’t give it to a salmon by flushing it down the toilet or the drain. Give it back to a pharmacy. There’s a handy guide here:
When you’re out and about:
With your dog: Whatever you don’t pick up gets washed into waterways where it can be nasty for salmon. And much as Fido and Florrie like a frolic in the water, they can inadvertently damage salmon rearing grounds. So if you’re taking a walk by a stream – please take care.
In your car: keep your tires properly inflated and maintained to prevent toxins from being washed into storm drains. Same goes for car fluids – make sure your car doesn’t leak. Car contaminants are tough on salmon!
In West Vancouver you can report
Habitat damage, harm to fish, pollutants in or near creeks
District of West Vancouver
Emergencies 24/7: 604-925-7100
Environmental Protection Group: 604-921-2145 or 604-921-2925