Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stream Keepers

With April fast approaching plans are in the process for the cleanup of Knarston Creek at the end of Normarel Rd adjacent to the recently logged woodlot. The date set for the cleanup is the third Saturday of April the 16th at 9am.

Over the past month we have seen high flows on all the streams again due to high rain events. As said in last months article this has caused some concern for the Chum salmon eggs buried in the substrate. With runs being unusually low last fall over the entire coast our concerns are for the main spawning creeks of Nanoose and Bonnel creeks. Nanoose Creek is relatively stable in regard to the gravel during periods of high flows so we are not too worried for this system. The same cannot be said for Bonnel. With a severely impacted watershed flash floods are common all through the winter bringing large amounts of sediment downstream filling in pools while scouring out new ones. Some eggs will be washed out while others will be buried deeper in the gravel making it difficult for the fry to wiggle out. Only time will tell. Over the past month we have been out doing some Willow staking to try and stabilize some of the newly formed gravel bars and erosion sites, this takes the form of using large diameter cuttings and driving them as deep as possible into the substrate down into the water table, this will allow them to root well while supporting vegetative growth above ground. One site we went to was alongside the new flood control structure on Knarston Creek, as this is a highly visible site we were concerned with the barren nature of the site left after construction was complete. Due to the large amount of rock used the planting of trees is restricted to small polygons away from the rock. Over time nature will revegate this site returning it to a more visually pleasing site. The control structure has been working well to prevent flooding below Lantzville road over the winter bringing relief for the residents. Some concern has been expressed as to the beach with the creation of a new seasonal flow regime from the outlet. While the water itself does not pose any problems for the beach but the new scouring of the foreshore habitat has disrupted the foreshore habitat for all the animals living their and will take time to readjust to these new environmental conditions. This area of foreshore is now a Clam lease for Snaw Naw As First Nations. With the high levels of coli form counts along the foreshore from the Hammond Bay Road sewer pumping station all Clams and other shellfish are not fit for human consumption all along the foreshore of Lantzville unless placed in areas of clean water and allowed to flush clean. In the old days we had septic systems, yes some along the foreshore leaked directly into the foreshore habitat especially those installed along the rocky sections of beach, now we have the big pipe solution which has moved the problem further down to the big outlet pumping into the ocean. This takes longer to flow back along the beach with the currents and tide but the results for the foreshore are the same.

The ocean is very forgiving and if it is only waste can to a certain extent handle sewage disposal but as with all sewer systems it is what else is flushed down the toilet and drains, 2,000 flushes always blue, harsh chemical cleaners, bleach etc, and any thing else, out of site out of mind. So please think before you flush or drain for the sake of the beach and all its inhabitants.

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