Greenways and DFO are teaming up to recruit and teach a new generation of streamkeepers. Photo by Eiko Jones

Campbell River organization and DFO to recruit a new generation of streamkeepers next weekend

Greenways Land Trust, along with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), is working on recruiting a new generation of streamkeepers for our local Campbell River streams.

As part of that effort, they are hosting a two-hour Salmon Counting Workshop this coming Saturday, Nov. 25, where experts will teach participants one particular aspect of streamkeeping: the fall enumeration of adult salmon.

From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Haig-Brown Kingfisher Creek (2250 Campbell River Road), DFO instructor Andrew Pereboom will train the volunteers in using a particular counting method and in the fall of 2018 this new skill will then be used to contribute a minimum of 10 hours to DFO’s annual adult salmon count. The workshop participants will take on their own part of a local stream to execute the task and support DFO’s monitoring program.

Greenways says at least six of Campbell River’s streams are currently lacking volunteer attention. Most of them only have one or no streamkeeper looking after them and local environmental organizations highly depend on the public’s engagement in keeping our stream ecosystems healthy.

Streamkeepers are out on the trails, they walk along their stream, monitor, track and evaluate its condition and inform authorities about issues, and Cynthia Bendickson, executive director of Greenways Land Trust, says opportunities like this are a great way to get more of them out there.

“We are always excited to have new volunteers join us in helping to look after our urban creeks,” Bendickson says. ‘From spotting salmon, to noting illegal dumping, to calling the authorities if you notice a pollution event, our creeks urgently need the eyes and ears of volunteers to stay healthy.”

Stacey Larsen, community advisor with DFO, says cooperation between organizations is critical to keeping our streams a healthy environment for all the life that relys upon them.

“The enthusiasm and dedication that stream keepers bring to the table are critical in protecting our sensitive salmon habitat,” Larsen says. “The cooperation between the city, neighborhoods, industry, government and local organizations always impresses me in our goal to help to solve problems that are discovered day to day that affect salmon habitat in our waterways. Everyone in the growing community of stream keepers brings their passion for salmon and a healthy environment to projects.”

For more information on the project or how to get involved in anything Greenways is helping out with in our community, head to greenwaystrust.ca