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Little Qualicum River

Little Qualicum River Estuary - 2017

An update on the Canada 150 plantings at the Little Qualicum River estuary ...

Led by John Phillips, around 70 new plantings were placed over two days, April 27 and 28. In addition, 200 feet of rabbit resistant wire fencing was added to the four enclosures.

Among the trees planted at the Little Qualicum Estuary was one relatively large Douglas Fir and one Shore Pine in appreciation of Dr. Richard Beamish’s presentation at our AGM. Dr. Beamish is internationally acknowledged for his career long dedication to understanding and enhancing our fisheries environment.

Almost half the plantings were on the island, an endeavour that was greatly assisted by the use of Daryl’s inflatable.  

The photo at left captures its value in rescuing an intrepid team member who bravely attempted a crossing of the water barrier with only rubber boots.

There was no evidence of either rabbits or rabbit caused damage to the plants, so possibly predators have been playing their role.

Half a dozen dead plantings were removed and replaced, but the others looked in very good condition, with even some of the apparently dead plants showing signs of regrowth at the base.  The beach grass is thriving. Regrettably, so are the Canada geese.

We can now monitor the plantings and decide if watering is required, particularly for the new plants later in the summer.


Overall, it looks to be a promising experiment in bringing native plants species back to the spit.










Little Qualicum River Estuary - 2015

A follow-up session to the 2014 planting project took place in May of 2015. A group of volunteers transported and spread mulch on the plantings to help protect them from the dryness in the coming summer. We will work with the BC Conservation Federation on a summer watering program to help ensure that these plantings get well established.


Little Qualicum River Estuary - 2014

In November of 2014, we recruited a large group of volunteers out for a few bright, busy days at the Little Qualicum River Estuary to assist the BC Conservation Foundation and Streamside Native Plant Nursery Staff with plantings at the spit on the estuary.

There were about 4 identified locations where native shrubs were planted within wire fence enclosures along with dune grass and Nootka rose plantings along the sloughing bank across from the DFO rearing channels.  QB Streamkeepers will be involved in site monitoring and invasive species control at the estuary on an ongoing basis.

QB Streamkeeper Ed Hollington readies one site for much needed re-vegetation Volunteers had fun with the logistics of getting material for re-planting the banks of the DFO rearing channel

Many hands from QB Streamkeepers and other groups across Oceanside pitched in to help BCCF on Day One .


Salmon Toss

Salmon TossEach year, the riparian ecosystem of the Little Qualicum River is enhanced by the transport and distribution of salmon carcasses along the upstream banks of the river. Over a two day period, volunteers collect salmon carcasses from the river at the fish hatchery, load them onto a truck with the assistance of a conveyor belt and unload them at a number of locations further upstream. Tom Russell shows off his "big catch" in the photo at right. The carcasses provide valuable nutrients for aquatic species and insects which in turn provide food for young fish.

In November 2016, we collected almost 7,300 kilos of Chum Carcasses in our annual salmon toss. They were deposited in the upper watershed of the Little Qualicum River including Whisky and Kincade Creeks.

Shaw TV came out and filmed the process.   Scroll down to view the short video which has been posted to YouTube, giving an overview of the value of this activity by budding media superstars Tom Russell and Peter Drummond, and showing the team in action.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who made this such a success!!

Unfortunately in 2014 the run of Chum salmon was not sufficent to support a carcass redistribution. However, 2015 was a much more successful year. Click here for a pictorial overview of this event.