100% of every dollar you donate to Nile Creek Enhancement Society is used for the enhancement, protection and maintenance of habitat for salmon and their ecosystems.


 

SEPT/OCT 2018 Activities

Set up hatchery to receive eggs from Quinsam River

Set up hatchery to receive eggs from Quinsam River – October 4

Egg Take at Quinsam River Hatchery October 2, 3 and 4

Egg Take at Quinsam River Hatchery – October 2, 3 and 4

Eggs moved from Quinsam Hatchery to Nile Creek Hatchery.

Eggs moved from Quinsam Hatchery to Nile Creek Hatchery. Arrival in 2-3 weeks

2018: River Otters on the Nile

2018: River Otters on the Nile

A pair of river otters were recently spotted on Nile Creek in the pools above the hatchery. Not good news for the coho fry who spent their first year in these pools! It appears this visit was short lived as I suspect the pair of river otters had other issues on their mind. January-February is usually mating season.

The river otter is a member of the weasel family, has a weight range from 7 to 14 kg. with a total length of 90 to 130 cm. Well adapted to an aquatic environment, otters have a large lung capacity and the ability to shut down circulation to parts of their body when diving. This allows them to remain underwater for up to four minutes.

River otters current distribution is from coast to coast excluding the Canadian arctic.
In freshwater streams most of their foraging is in areas where fish concentrate such as beaver ponds, eddies, mouths of tributaries and pools above and below rapids. However they use many types of aquatic habitats; fresh or salt water.

River otters have a rather unique reproductive cycle. Adult males travel extensively in February, searching for a mate. Pregnancy features delayed implantation, with the fertilized eggs floating freely in the uterus for 12 months, until the following winter when implantation occurs. The actual gestation is only two months with 2 to 3 kits being born in March. In the wild river otters live as long as fourteen years.

Their primary diet is fish, but they also dine on aquatic insects, amphibians and occasional waterfowl. The home range of otters is quite vast, depending on food availability and population density. They are most active at night but often travel and forage during daylight hours, especially in the winter months.

The river otter has few natural predators when in streams and rivers. Of course they are more vulnerable on land; the main predators are cougars on Vancouver Island. River otters are important components of biodiversity in aquatic systems. Because of their position at the top of the food chain they are and excelent indicator for monitoring water quality and pollution.

Over all the river otter population is very healthy on Vancouver Island. Hopefully we can maintain this by keeping our rivers and forests healthy and free from pollutants.

Annie Creek

Annie Creek

Nile Creek Enhancement Society have been volunteering with the Community Watershed Monitoring Network to record water flow, temperature and turbidity in the creeks from Annie Creek to Thames Creek including the Big Qualicum River. Annie Creek has had continual high turbidity so it was decided to do an assessment of the creek to find the cause.

June 12 2016 NCES volunteers met with Dave Clough (biologist) and Joe McCallum Special Project Assistant from the RDN for a day and a half of assessing Annie Creek. The creek was walked from where it enters the Salish Sea to approximately 2 km from the mouth of the creek. We found two problems: a road culvert causing erosion and a drainage culvert from a private field. RDN is now aware of the problems and will be doing follow up to eliminate both issues. The over all report is even with high turbidity Annie Creek remains an excellent watershed for spawning coho and trout.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 – The year comes to a close, but the process starts anew

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 – The year comes to a close,
but the process starts anew

IMG_3319IMG_8461The 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

Oct 2015: Re-Planting Annie Creek

Annie Creek Restoration Site

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

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.

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Kelp Restoration Research Project

Sept 2015: Kelp Restoration Research Project

Bull kelp project sites in central Strait of Georgia 2015

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

Eelgrass Project

July 2015: Eelgrass Project

 Bowser Eelgrass Lagoons

            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 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.silt removal 2

silt removal

June 2015 – Nash Creek Off-Channel Pond and Connector Rehabilitation

Looking south at existing lower off-channel pond in Nash Creek, 14 May 2014

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

 

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