The Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society (BCWS) 2017 Coho smolt count was completed June 3 with the help of 49 local volunteers. Each day between April 12 and June 3 two or three volunteers counted and released the fish near the mouth of the creek.
Though the primary goal is to monitor Coho salmon smolts, data is also collected for Coho fry, Chum fry, Cutthroat trout, Stickleback, Sculpin and Crayfish. The Coho salmon smolts (about 9-15 cm long) have spent slightly over a year in the creek and are now going to the ocean. At this stage they are called smolts and have changed colour to silver to enhance their survival in the ocean. Click to download the PDF report: 2017 Smolt Fence Data Final
Over the past 10 years BCWS has initiated a number of habitat improvement projects along with the help of the town of Comox, Pacific Salmon Foundation and several other grantors and the labour of local volunteers.
In the past three years the numbers counted increased substantially (3457, 3137, 3346) over previous years. This year volunteers counted 2434 Coho smolts. The reduced numbers may have been influenced by the later start this year (April 12) compared to 2016 (April 3) or rainfall patterns which determine flow levels in the creek. It is expected that numbers will fluctuate due to many factors including survival rates of eggs and fry and the impact of urban residents in the watershed.
A great job done by the many volunteers, rain or shine!
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