Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers
 

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Training

2017 Invertebrate Training at Beach Creek

The day's program was led by Dave Clough, Fisheries Biologist. Dave, using Module 4 of the Streamkeepers manual lead us through the identification process for invertebrates and the life cycle of each species.  Naturally the presence of invertebrates is location specific and subject to weather, water, and seasonal conditions. 

After the species identification and life cycle discussion, Dave assigned each group to a specific water type, e.g. riffle, pool etc.  Armed with dip nets of various sizes and buckets, we proceeded to collect specimens from the stream bed, under rocks, and around submerged plant/tree material.  Using our field identification charts and magnifying glasses we separated the collection into trays for confirmation of species and further discussion of their life cycle, eating habits, pollution sensitivity etc.

Coho FryThe data sheet shows the breakdown of the specimens collected by category: Pollution Tolerance, Number Counted, Taxonomy and Common Name.  We were pleased to see that the largest number of specimens was found in the Category 1 column (Pollution Intolerant).  By extension, this means that there is little or no concern about pollution impacting the invertebrates in Beach Creek at this location.

The highlight of the day for all of us was the very fortunate and unexpected netting of a coho fry, shown at right.  We had no intention of, or even thought of, the possibility of netting fish, but were elated to prove that coho are in the creek at the south end of the Heritage Forest.

Certification:
Streamkeeper Course

2011 Streamkeepers CourseEvery couple of years, a Streamkeeper Certification Course is held for two days. Volunteers gather to learn more about fish habitat and life cycles from well known fish biologist Dave Clough.

These sessions provide an introduction, both illuminating and enjoyable, to the varied species of fish which reproduce in Vancouver Island streams and rivers. Included are extensive visual presentations, a review of the streamkeeper handbook and two field site visits – one to conduct water quality tests and the other to obtain samples of the insects which form the diet of fish.

Graduates receive Streamkeeper certification and are now well prepared to undertake fish habitat protection and improvement projects. This course is typically offered annually by either the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES) or Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers, with support and funding from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Junior Streamkeeper Course

Junior Streamkeeper CourseFrom time to time, a Junior Streamkeeper Course is held in our area. In this particular case, a group of sixteen young streamkeepers between the ages of 8 and 12 joined fish biologist Dave Clough to learn about healthy streams, riparian zones and fish habitat. The participants spent the morning in and around Beach Creek in the Qualicum Beach Heritage Forest, finding aquatic insects and carrying out water quality tests.

In the afternoon, specimens of insects were examined in a classroom setting, with an energetic discussion of the different species and their contribution to the life cycle of the forest and the fish who live and reproduce in the streams. Hosted by Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers as part of the Brant Festival, the course was generously supported financially by TD Canada Trust - Friends of the Environment, Qualicum Foods, and Department of Fisheries and Oceans.