NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 – The year comes to a close,
but the process starts anew
The hatchery and tanks have been cleaned and prepped awaiting the arrival of this year’s eggs from the Quinsam River Hatchery. Once the eggs are in the tanks, caring of them begins; dead picking until the Alevin emerge. The daily process of taking and recording of water temperatures will continue through the new year. All of this care involves the time of many volunteers who make their way to the hatchery every day and in all weather to ensure that there is a healthy batch of Smolts to be released back to the Nile Creek. Many thanks to our volunteers for all that they do.
Lets not forget the many other activities that took place in 2015.
The River Never Sleeps Festival, the Paintings by the Numbers Fund Raising Event, The NCES AGM and BBQ Social, NCES participation at the Lighthouse Community Fall Fair, the Egg Take at the Quinsam River Hatchery, Stream walks to count returning pinks, to trap and record species, to measure water depth, temperature and turbidity and to observe the general health of the stream, Beaver control.
Oct 2015: Re-Planting Annie Creek
Annie Creek Restoration Site
Through our collaboration with Trout Unlimited Canada and Vancouver Island University, a program was initiated called the Nile Creek – Qualicum Bay Watershed Renewal Program. Through this program, data collection and assessments on all our local streams has been done over the last five years by biologist, Marc Gaboury, and university fisheries students. Continue reading Oct 2015: Re-Planting Annie Creek
OCTOBER 2015 – Fallen Trees Block Passage of Returning Pinks
Wind, heavy rains and weakened banks caused several alders to fall across the creek creating yet more obstacles for the few returning pinks. The homeowner located midway up Charlton Drive reported the problem and assisted in the removal of the fallen trees. Many thanks to Phil, Bob, Corley, Gord and Jack for wading in and removing the obstruction. Photos courtesy of Jack Gillen.
Sept 2015: Kelp Restoration Research Project
Bull kelp project sites in central Strait of Georgia 2015
This project is a collaboration of the Nile Creek Enhancement Society (NCES) and the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society (PW) to research methods for restoration of Bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) in the trend towards warming waters in central Strait of Georgia.
In 2015, the project was included in Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project (SSMSP). Our main research site, a culture grid at Maude Reef, Hornby Island, produced a large biomass (several thousand kilograms) of bull kelp that was studied by divers and extensively sampled for a wide range of environmental conditions. Continue reading Kelp Restoration Research Project
July 2015: Eelgrass Project
Bowser Eelgrass Lagoons
Mapping of eelgrass beds in the Bowser lagoons was completed in early July 2015, following the same methods used in 2013 and 2015. The full extent of both species of eelgrass, Zostera marina and Z. japonic, was mapped across the lagoons from Lagoon 5 to the outlet of Lagoon 1.
There were minor variations in the boundaries of the eelgrass beds, but no major changes in the distribution or extent of either species. As in previous years, the native eelgrass species (Z. marina) occurred almost exclusively in subtidal areas, while the introduced species (Z. japonica) occurred in the intertidal.
Densities of both species appeared to be similar to previous years with some increases in the density of Z. japonica, particularly at the eastern end of Lagoon 4. This portion of Lagoon 4 also had an area with nearly 100% eelgrass coverage consisting of an even mix of patches of both species.
Future monitoring will track changes in the extent of coverage of both species in this area.
JULY 2015 – Clean-up becomes an on-going theme
July brought more activity to the area around the culvert as sand and silt were removed from the cement catch basin near the culvert and sand removed from the catch basin at the water inlet for the hatchery. Photos courtesy of Jack Gillen.
Photo 1. Looking south at existing lower off-channel pond in Nash Creek, 14 May 2014
June 2015 – Nash Creek Off-Channel Pond and Connector Rehabilitation
The off-channel pond rehabilitation project on Nash Creek was one of five fish habitat rehabilitation projects completed between 2010 and 2015 under the auspices of the Nile Creek – Qualicum Bay Enhancement Program.
Continue reading June 2015 – Nash Creek Off-Channel Pond and Connector Rehabilitation
June 2015: Replacing the Old Culvert at Bob’s Pond
The old culvert running under the road and joining Bob’s Pond to the spawning channels has been a source of frustration over the past few years. Beavers have plugged the small circumference with rocks causing the pond to overflow and wash out the road. NCES attempts to foil the Beavers, including a cage made of rebar have produced only temporary set-backs for our single minded furry friends. In June, the road was excavated and the old culvert removed and replaced with a much larger one. This will greatly improve the flow of water between the pond and spawning channels making it easier for fish to pass through and obstruction more difficult.
An historical point of interest to this story: The Nile Creek provided drinking water to the community of Qualicum Bay until the mid 1990’s. The water flowed through AC pipes beneath the road from the intake to the now decommissioned pump house at the end of Charlton Drive. A take-off from this pipe provides the water to the hatchery. While excavating to replace the culvert, great care had to be taken with the old water main pipe to ensure the continuing water supply to the hatchery. Photos courtesy of Jack Gillen.
May 2015: Bear Smart
Nile Creek Enhancement Society (NCES) recently teamed up with Bear Smart BC and placed a bear-resistant public waste container at the Nile Creek Fish Hatchery.
Bears are attracted to the area when the fish are spawning, feeding on the salmon and carrying them into the forest, leaving the remaining parts to fertilize the trees and provide food for other species.
The danger to humans is when garbage is left, drawing the bears to areas frequented by local residents like the hatchery and the hiking trails, to prowl through garbage for food waste.
Protect public safety and protect our wildlife, please use only bear-resistant containers for your garbage or dispose of it when you get home.
For more information on “Bear Smart”, you can visit www.bearsmartbc.com or www.facebook.com/bearsmartbc
Thank you for keeping bears wild!
APRIL 2015: April means Spring Cleaning
In April, the weather had cleared and it had dried up enough to clean up a large pile of brush and debris that had accumulated near “Bob’s Pond”. Several NCES volunteers, with the help of Volunteer Fire Fighter Roy Allen, made quick (and safe) work of the job. Many thanks to Bob Ellis, Jack Gillen, Corley Henry, Gord Lipke and Roy Allen for a job well done! It looks somewhat like boy scouts having a marshmallow roast! Photos courtesy of Jack Gillen.