The Tod Creek Watershed is a surprisingly vast area that stretches into Central Saanich. CRD Map

Tod Creek Watershed open house on Saturday

Reintroduction of salmon to Prospect Lake among the topics

The Peninsula Streams Society is hosting an open house on Saturday to provide information on plans to include salmon in the annual stocking of fish into Prospect Lake.

The Tod Creek Watershed panel and information session on restoration and progress runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Unitarian Church (5575 West Saanich Rd.).

PSS – an organization focused on restoring streams and conserving riparian habitats – hopes to alleviate concerns by area residents regarding the stocking of coho salmon into Prospect Lake, and to talk about Tod Creek Watershed’s history, current projects and future plans.

There are currently many restoration projects being undertaken in Tod Watershed, said PSS executive co-ordinator Ian Bruce.

That includes conservation of headwaters at Maltby Lake, restoration projects on the flats, Tod mainstream and tributaries, fish-way installation on Butchart’s Dam, fish monitoring, beach restoration in Tod Inlet, and ongoing riparian habitat improvement projects.

Earlier this year members of the Prospect Lake Preservation Society expressed concern that by introducing salmon, the level of Prospect Lake, which is artificially raised by a dam, may be lowered to ensure salmon have access to Tod Creek and the ocean.

However, Bruce said that’s not necessarily the case.

“The juvenile salmon will ‘residualize’ and will go [to sea] when they can go.”

There’s also 14 tickets left for the Tod Creek Watershed Bus Tour coming up on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 9:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Here’s the agenda for Saturday’s open house.

1-2:30pm – Open House, Info Displays, etc.

2:30-3pm – Slideshow presentation (history, projects, success stories)

3-4pm – Discussion Panel

A Panel of community and government representatives will speak to fish and habitat enhancement, lake levels, water supply, etc. in Tod Creek Watershed, including Q&A period. The Panel (3-to-4 p.m.) includes:

Dale Desrochers, Section Head of the Salmon Enhancement Program, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)

– Chantal Nessman, Community Advisor for Lower Mainland (including the southern Gulf Islands and the Cowichan River watershed), Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)

– Adriane Pollard, Manager of Environmental Services, District of Saanich

– Dr. Rick Nordin, limnologist (study of Inland waters), Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria

In addition, panel representatives from First Nations, the Province and other agencies have been invited.

Displays at the Open House include Friends of Tod Creek Watershed, SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, – Friends of Maltby Lake Watershed Society and Peninsula Streams Society.