Last summer, with funding from BC Hydro’s Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans retrofitted a channel that had been created over 15 years ago to increase coho habitat in the Alouette Watershed (see Fall 2011 newsletter). In early March this year, ARMS headed out with a Scouts group and their leaders to set juvenile fish traps to see what and how many kinds of fry might be found in the channel. Finding evidence of salmonids and other fish species in the channel would demonstrate to DFO, ARMS and the wider community that the 232 Street Channel retrofit was working very well.
The group set up 4 fish traps in various locations in the channel and then set about working to remove invasive plant species from the banks including Himalayan blackberry (Rubus discolor) and scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius). The volunteer removal effort that day completely filled the back of one of the leaders trucks! One of the scouts found a dead salmon carcass up on the bank – perhaps a leftover feast from a hungry bear? There was lots of activity down on the water and in the air with many insects buzzing around. Although we did not find any fish in the traps on the day, the group reset the traps for overnight. ARMS staff went back the next day and found 4 stickleback fry, 2 coho fry, and 2 Jefferson salamanders!