Island News & Views
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General · 8th September 2015
Al Beattie

We have been quite busy for the past month dealing with normal summer stream enhancement. A crew went into Saxon Creek. It is usually a productive coho stream that flows into Little Main Lake, thus the whole lake system. We rebuilt some diversions and re-positioned fallen logs that last winter’s storms moved around. There was little above-ground flow as we worked and many pools were dry. The watershed for Saxon is quite small and probably has no springs to feed it. Saxon Lake, which is the head-water, is situated immediately east and downhill from the Lucky Jim Mine. Much of the creek is on private land and well taken care of.
Other streams were monitored regularly to keep eye on the effects of this summer’s drought. Granite Bay and Open Bay Creeks kept adequate flow throughout the summer but Hyacinthe, Village Bay, and Drew Creeks suffered from lack of precipitation. Last autumn saw a very healthy migration and spawn in all of Quadra creeks so where pools dried up fry perished. Thanks to drought-proofing efforts by our volunteers, most pools in the Hyacinthe system retained enough water to sustain life.
McKercher Creek provides water for the Eco Center and our demonstration pond. When the volume of water flowing down the creek decreases to below that which leaks from the bottom of the storage dam, we have a problem. At one point it became necessary to siphon water from behind the dam into the distribution line for the pond. A week ago the distribution line jammed and our pond all but dried up. After a week of effort including hiring a firm from Campbell River, the rains of the past few days, and a huge amount of luck, the line returned to normal flow.
We are now doing some fry trapping in the Open Bay and Hyacinthe Creek systems. Fry are attracted to the traps with bait and handled with great care. They are counted, identified, and returned to the pools which they were trapped in. This enables us to monitor the health of the streams and identify the species of fry which inhabit them.
By the time my next report is filed, we should be in the middle of our annual fish count. Of course, heavy rains are needed to bring the creeks up, the water temperature down and to attract migrating salmon.
Thanks again to board members and other volunteers who keep Quadra streams vital and thanks to Gina Nickoloff who did a great job as our summer interpreter. People who donated or bought memberships have contributed greatly to our efforts.