Underwater Peek at New Generation of Coho in MacKay Creek

Underwater Peek at New Generation of Coho in MacKay Creek
A school of young coho salmon was recently spotted in the upper reaches of MacKay Creek estuary on Vancouver's North Shore. Jim Roberts of Hemmera Inc. kindly shared this underwater video taken just upstream of where a large concrete weir was removed in September 2013 as part of the Burrard Inlet Restoration Pilot Program .   The red arrow in the aerial photo below shows the location where Jim captured the footage and the blue arrow points to the former site of the weir, which had blocked fish from accessing the upper estuary and creek during low tide. Since the weir's removal, chum salmon have been spotted making their way up the creek, but this is our first look at evidence that coho have successfully spawned in the recently-restored system. Dr. Ken Ashley, HCTF Board member and Director of BCIT’s Rivers Institute, says that with the weir gone (and depending on ocean survival rates), we should start to see the rebuilding of the coho population in MacKay Creek.    
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Fisher Den Box Study: Video Update

Fisher Den Box Study: Video Update
Last November, we posted about Larry Davis’s fisher inventory project in the Bridge River watershed. Larry is currently working on a follow-up project to determine if artificial den boxes would be used by female fishers to mitigate the loss of their natural denning habitat. Larry has just sent us the following video: it starts out by providing some background on the project, and then shares some of the amazing remote camera footage of fishers (and other curious creatures) checking out the artificial dens.      This project has just been approved for a third year of HCTF funding. For more information on the study, you can contact  Larry Davis  of Davis Environmental Ltd.  
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2015-16 Proposals – Preliminary Approvals Now Available

2015-16 Proposals – Preliminary Approvals Now Available

The HCTF Board met last weekend to review and make funding decisions on over 200 enhancement proposals seeking 2015-16 funding. A Preliminary List of Approved Projects is now available here.

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Featured

Declining Den Sites: Finding Cavities Fit for a Fisher

Declining Den Sites: Finding Cavities Fit for a Fisher
What’s furry, fierce and likes to dine on porcupine? It’s the fisher, Pekania pennanti , a member of the weasel family that is seldom seen in the wild, but is an important part of British Columbia’s carnivore community. Despite its name, fishers do not fish and are dependent on forests for all their life history needs. The fisher is blue-listed (threatened) in BC, largely due to habitat loss. Female fishers require large diameter trees with cavities to birth and raise their young. They will only use cavities with entrance holes that are approximately 8 – 12 cm in diameter: large enough for them to squeeze into, but small enough to keep larger predators away from their kits. Den trees also need to have other trees and shrubs around them to allow the female approach her den unseen. These specific requirements (along with the fact that females usually require multiple cavities to accommodate the growing kits) make fisher populations extremely vulnerable to extirpation through loss of suitable denning habitat.   In the Bridge River Watershed, north of Lillooet, BC, fisher habitat has been impacted by the creation of two large hydro-electric reservoirs, large-scale fires, mountain pine beetle, and an ongoing history...
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Shaping up Seymour

Shaping up Seymour
Seymour River Estuary is well on its way to being restored to an important transition ground for juvenile seagoing trout, char and salmon making their way out to Burrard Inlet. Major earth moving work for this BIRPP project was completed last week, reshaping and contouring the estuary to make it more hospitable for the fish and other organisms that historically thrived there. Creosote-soaked structures leaking contaminants and invasive plants were removed from the estuary, and huge logs and boulders were strategically placed to both provide cover for young salmonids and to protect the native vegetation that will be planted here next spring. These plantings will complete the site’s transformation from an estuary with virtually no cover or foraging habitat to a functional ecosystem offering multiple benefits to fish, wildlife and humans .   The work at the Seymour River estuary will soon be followed by earth moving at another BIRPP estuary restoration project, Mosquito Creek. This estuary has been reduced to 1% of its historical size through waterfront industrial development. This will be an excellent opportunity to view restoration work in progress, as the site is located at a key junction point for the North Shore Spirit Trail. Check back...
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