Spawning Gravel Weekend

Pouring gravel onto stream bed.

Approximately 20 yards of gravel was delivered by Valley Slinger Ltd. and deposited directly into the stream bed.

Brooklyn Creek Volunteers get the job Done!

With rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows, Brooklyn Creek volunteers distributed over 40 yards (almost 60 tons) of spawning gravel into Brooklyn Creek over the weekend of August 27-28, 2016.

 

 

Raking spawning gravel in creek.

Volunteers rake out the spawning gravel.

Brooklyn Creek is a relatively short stream, approximately 8 km long, originating in the Crown Isle Golf Course and flowing through private and public lands in Courtenay, the Comox Valley Regional District, and Comox.  It supports populations of coho, chum, and cutthroat trout.  Gravel nourishment is required for salmon and trout spawning in Brooklyn Creek since it receives little natural gravel recruitment.

Raking gravel in the creek.

Raking the gravel for salmon spawning.

The areas of the creek targeted for gravel placement- Salish Park and an area just below Cedar Avenue in Comox- are where riffles and pools were constructed several years ago.  These areas are where coho have been seen spawning in the past, but have very small patches of gravel.  The addition of gravel to these sections ensures they will continue to provide excellent spawning areas for salmon and trout.  Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society (BCWS) measures success of restoration efforts in two ways: enumeration of returning adult and exiting smolts.  Last year, more than 3,300 coho smolts migrated from Brooklyn Creek on their way to the ocean, evidence that the restoration efforts are paying off and the stream is productive.

aGroup photo

BCWS thanks all the volunteers who donated their time to distribute the spawning gravel in Brooklyn Creek.

Such a herculean accomplishment does not come without help.  Current Environmental Ltd. and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Dave Davies, Community Advisor) oversaw the activity and BCWS organised the volunteers. The following donors helped with the 2016 spawning gravel re-nourishment project: Cumberland Sand and Gravel and Ministry of TransportationHighways and Infrastructure donated some of the spawning gravel; Valley Slinger Ltd., Ridgeline Excavating Ltd., and Town of Comox donated machines time to deposit the gravel near or in the stream channel.  In addition, BCWS thanks Brian McLean and Judith Moore for providing access to the stream from their property and to Ken Derksen of Investors Group Financial Services for his financial support to cover machine costs.

emptypond-lookingwest-longview

Empty pond looking westward. Sept. 2016.

Meanwhile, a second phase of work is nearing completion at the Old Brooklyn School site.

In 2015, the Phil and Jennie Gaglardi Academy and Town of Comox partnered with BCWS to rehabilitate the mainstem of the stream on the western side of the former school property to restore salmon habitat.  This year, Current Environmental Ltd. is constructing an engineered wetland along the southern edge of the Gaglardi Academy property.

Pond half full Sept. 2016

Pond half full Sept. 2016 looking westward.

This project is being fully funded by Town of Comox with additional material donations by Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.  The final phase of the project to connect a natural spring to the creek will be completed in 2017.  The public is encouraged to view the ongoing work but at a respectable distance.

Planting of native vegetation at the work site along the southern edge of the school playing field will be carried out in late October or early November.  Prospective volunteers are encouraged to watch for a notice in the local paper or to check the BCWS website, www.BrooklynCreek.ca.

Side pond looking eastward, Sept. 2016

Side pond looking eastward, Sept. 2016

The Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society is a registered non-profit society guided by a small group of enthusiastic volunteers dedicated to the protection, preservation, and restoration of the Brooklyn Creek Watershed through community stewardship and education.  If you have any questions about the projects, or would like to become involved, please view our website.

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