General News · 9th December 2016
FOCI Streamkeeper activities on Cortes continue to expand, and 2016 was a busy fish year.
The FOCI Streamkeepers were pleased to coordinate efforts with the Klahoose Fisheries Programme, and for the first time assist in monitoring the small Klahoose coho hatchery near Klahoose. Two school groups had tours of the Klahoose hatchery in April, feeding the fry and delighting in the feeding frenzy. Coho fry were released into 2 Cortes creeks this year, Hansen and James Creeks. In past years, coho fry were also released into Basil Creek, but low fall water levels over the past several years made Basil Creek a poor choice this year.
Fall spawner counts of chum salmon on Cortes, and elsewhere, were the most impressive in years. Heavy rains early in October were most welcome and timely, and the first spawners showed up on October 8 into Basil Creek. There were steady numbers of chum moving into Basil and Hansen Creeks through October and the early half of November. What was also remarkable was the fish distribution into smaller Cortes creeks, which have not had spawners for some years; notable among these smaller creeks are Chris’ Creek at Poison Bay and impressive numbers in Manson’s Lagoon Creek. It seems that in years with high spawner returns, chum may stray into streams other than their natal streams.
Here are conservative numbers for the following creeks: Basil Creek (1000 + chum); Hansen Creek (200 chum); James Creek (80 chum); Manson’s Lagoon Creek (150 + chum); Chris’ Creek/Poison Lagoon (80+ chum); Whaletown Creek (A number of small projects and activities took place over the year. Grant monies from the Vancouver Foundation were used to purchase an oxygen meter for measuring oxygen levels & saturation and 2 data loggers. There is now a data logger installed in each of our three main creeks, allowing the collection of continual water temperatures and the monitoring of seasonal fluctuations. Four youth streamkeepers helped with a small restoration project transplanting native ‘Pacific Willow’ onto a steep and severely disturbed bank of Hansen Creek. In November, streamkeepers assisted the Department of Fisheries & Oceans in catching 12 spawning chum salmon to collect DNA tail samples. DFO and FOCI Streamkeepers are exploring the possibilities of raising chum eggs in incubation boxes set into Cortes creeks. Streamkeepers have been advocating loudly for a replacement of the aging culvert at Basil Creek, and met with DFO, Highways and the Klahoose Fisheries Officer in the spring and fall, and are actively involved in moving this project forward for work in 2017.
Streamkeepers may be hibernating during the deep winter, along with millions of chum eggs in the dark of streambeds, but new streamkeepers are always welcome to swim forward.
Thank you to all the spawner counters and active streamkeepers – Elizabeth Anderson, Bonnie, Chris & Debbie Dragseth, Helen Hall, Tosh Harvey, Leona Jensen, Rick Kolstead & Deb Peters, Norleen Lillico, Mike Manson, Chris Napper, Cec & Christine Robinson, Carrie Saxifrage, Max Thayson, Kellen Warkentin, and Tina Wesley (Klahoose Fisheries Officer).
Thanks to FOCI for their ongoing administrative support.
And special thanks to the Children’s Forest youth for their help counting salmon in James Creek, and to the Cortes walking group, the science home-schoolers, and to the Cortes community for their interest & engagement in the spawning chum this fall.
Can we change that name to something yummy
Comment by Mike Malek 202 5020 on 11th December 2016
I guess we'd have to change whale town as well. I wonder what the 1st nations call either?
Comment by Mike Moore on 11th December 2016
Poison Bay is close east of Hanks Beach, the next bay over from the drainage to Sprungman's Swamp/ Sage Island. I was told long ago that it was named because wolves had been poisoned there.
Poison bay? is that fish bay in French? :)
Comment by Mike Malek 202 5020 on 10th December 2016
Where is Poison Lagoon?
Comment by Irene Blueth on 10th December 2016
I'm not familiar with it.