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Peninsula Streams Society assesses state of local waterways, beaches

Goal is to gain a better understanding with an eye toward restoration opportunities in the watershed

Staff with the Peninsula Streams Society (PSS) continue to assess the state of local fish-bearing creeks, while doing their part to help clean up local beaches.

Having started earlier this month, two staff members of the society have been assessing Hagan and Graham creeks.

Katrina Adams, environmental support technician, said the goal of the project is to gain a better understanding of the existing creeks and riparian ecosystems with an eye toward identifying restoration opportunities within the watershed of KENNES, the Tsartlip First Nation name for the mouth of Hagan Creek, meaning ‘place of whales.’

Adams, who is working with colleague with Carmen Pavlov, said PSS has completed several restoration projects along Hagan-Graham Creek, including floodplain construction, channel improvements for fish habitat, wetland-pond construction and native riparian plantings.

“Both the Hagan and Graham Creeks contain blue listed resident Cutthroat trout,” she said. “A barrier at the mouth of Hagan Creek prevents this population from returning, resulting in a possibly genetically distinct population of Cutthroat trout within the watershed.”

The work (which started on Aug. 17) will run for a month with primary funding coming from from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. The Pacific Salmon Foundation also supplied additional support. Staff are contacting landowners to access the creeks.

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Elsewhere on the Saanich Peninsula, PSS executive director Ian Bruce joined four members of the Sidney-by-the-Sea Rotary Club members in front of the beach at the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club for a clean up. The quintet recovered several bags of Styrofoam, plastics and other debris, said Bruce, adding that another expedition will be necessary to remove some large plastic and heavy debris in an isolated pocket beach to the east.

“As well there are several creosote pilings tied up on this important surf smelt and sand lance spawning beach, continuously contaminating the beach with toxic hydrocarbon compounds,” he said.

“PSS is attempting to find the owner of these pilings but will remove them soon for disposal if the owners are not found or the pilings removed.”

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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