Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers



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Mission: We are dedicated to protecting and restoring local wild fish habitat.

Grandon Creek

Grandon Creek and the Pandemic's Storms 2020

One of our members, David Cotton, took on a personal 2020 “Lockdown Project” to hone his considerable creative skills by documenting the year in the life of Grandon Creek.

We are pleased to share this project which can be accessed by clicking here. David hopes "it will provide a brief distraction from the turmoil of today’s world”.

And, it is a reminder of what a wonderful asset we have in this very special wildlife corridor and walking trail that we all share and appreciate. 

Grandon Creek Smolt Count 2019

Our annual smolt count has begun on Grandon Creek. Due to the cold weather in February, a very dry March, and a cool beginning to April, the smolt are late running this year.

We have set up our fence and counting box and expect the little guys to start making their way to the ocean in mid April to late May. Our data collection will add to the overall understanding of spawning returns and smolt survival up and down the Island coast.

Grandon Creek Coho Smolt Count 2017

Fifteen years ago, the construction of the new culvert with fish ladders enabled the return of spawning salmon to Grandon Creek.

In the intervening years, spawning coho salmon have been identified each year in November and December, and young coho smolts have been regularly found in the many pools upstream between Crescent Road and Hoylake Road. Much work has been done to improve habitat, including the deepening of pools, stabilization of banks and planting of hundreds of native trees and plants to create shade and cover.

In 2017, Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers developed a fish counting process to quantify the number of coho salmon smolt migrating to the sea.

The fish fence and counting box were installed on March 23 with the assistance of DFO fisheries advisor Dave Davies and fisheries biologist Dave Clough.

Each day at 9 am, volunteers opened the box, counted, and measured the fish that had entered the box through the access pipe. Coho smolt were released downstream, and resident cutthroat trout were released upstream.

Again this year observers are welcome.  Volunteers who wish to participate in the daily count can contacts us at info@qbstreamkeepers.ca.

Grandon Creek Habitat Improvement - 2014

In mid summer of 2014, a second phase of fish habitat improvements on lower Grandon Creek were carried out. Under the direction of Fisheries Biologist Dave Clough, a team of Qualicum Beach Streamkeeper volunteers supported the work by moving the resident fish to safety in the upper pools. Over two hundred fish – about half coho and half cutthroat trout - were netted. A temporary dam was constructed, and portable pumps moved the stream water around the construction zone.

The project involved the creation of a new, large pool adjacent to the aluminium bridge on the walking trail, as well as the improvement of three smaller pools built in 2013. Two dump truck loads of large rocks were added to the banks and lips of the pools for stability. A medium duty excavator contracted from Parksville Heavy Equipment carried out the excavation and material movement and placement.

The Town of Qualicum Beach provided over a dozen logs and tree root clusters, which were installed on the banks to help reduce erosion and create shade and shelter for fish. Streamkeeper volunteers subsequently fastened cables to rocks, to ensure the logs and tree roots would be stable during high water periods.

Fish have returned to the pools – we are hoping for a productive spawning season.

The work was supported financially by the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, as well as by the Town of Qualicum Beach.

Newest and largest pool under construction, with LWD installed Installing upstream dam to divert stream flow around construction area
Our fisheries biologist, Dave Clough, speaking with Mick and Gord Some of the members of the Streamkeeper volunteer crew

Grandon Creek Habitat Restoration Project

We started a major restoration project in August of 2013, the first phase of which has been completed. It will continue up to two more years.  The objective of this habitat improvement project is to improve spawning and rearing opportunities for coho salmon and cutthroat trout in the lower reaches of Grandon Creek, which is located on the west side of Qualicum Beach. 

Grandon Creek is home to hundreds of coho fry which grow from eggs laid in the streambed gravel by spawning adults in the winter. Over the years, fine sediment deposits have built up in the creek, raising the level of the gravel beds which then become exposed as soon as the winter high flows subside. Eggs that were laid in those gravels will not survive.

With funding from the Pacific Salmon Foundation and in-kind support from the Town of Qualicum Beach and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the sediment has been removed, deeper pools for rearing have been created, better spawning gravel has been added and large woody debris has been placed in the pools for shade and cover. The project is overseen by fisheries biologist Dave Clough.

The Town of Qualicum Beach widened and improved the walking path at the bottom of Grandon Creek to allow access for heavy equipment to carry out the sediment removal. Streamkeepers will replant the stream-side areas in the late fall that have been damaged by the equipment necessary to carry out this project. If you would like the full details of the project, you can look at the Project Report that was submitted to the Pacific Salmon Foundation on December 28th, 2013.

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Widening of path Pools are deepened
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Preparing to anchor woody debris First phase completed

Grandon Creek 2012

Grandon CreekWorking with Fisheries Biologist Dave Clough, several work parties were scheduled during the summer to enhance fish spawning habitat.  At this particular work party, the team anchored two logs along the bank and built several expanded fish spawning pools with added gravel and protective boulders.

Staff gauge and flow monitor at Grandon Creek and West Crescent Road culvert. The flow monitoring of Grandon Creek and other East Coast Vancouver Island small streams is a long-term project (at least 10 years) sponsored by the BC Conservation Foundation.

Grandon Creek The objective is to create a database that will help protect and conserve the creek, the fish and the ecosystem in light of increasing urban development. QB Streamkeepers will collect the data by downloading the level logger (on the right) a few times a year. The information will be shared with the Town and the community.

The Town of Qualicum Beach is cleaning the gravel out of the first caisson on Grandon Creek in the summer of 2012. (see photos below) Fisheries Biologist, Dave Clough, and his assistant removed any fish in the area (13 coho fry and 6 cutthroat trout). To find out more about the caissons and fish passage check the information board at the bottom of the Grandon Creek Trail off West Crescent Road.

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