Upcoming work on Windebank creek in Mission!

We are ramping up to do some exciting restoration work along Windebank creek where it runs through our conservation property in Mission in early September. This creek (and the salmon that use it) suffered a serious setback in 2003 when it was illegally logged after being historically diverted and channelized years prior . The surrounding land was donated to the FVC in 2011 and we have been working hard ever since to restore this site. We will be looking for lots of volunteers to help us out for the next phase of restoring this important habitat.

 

This year we have partnered with the Mission Streamkeepers group (Mission of Streams), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and received funding support from the Pacific Salmon Foundation to help restore this degraded section of creek that provides valuable spawning and rearing habitat for Coho, Chum, and Cutthroat.

We will need a small army of volunteers to make this project happen in time for the salmon that are soon to return to spawn!

In particular we are looking for:

Volunteer Streamkeepers

Streamkeepers help with the invertebrate sampling (4-6 hrs) and fish sampling (1-2 hrs 2 days in row) and monitoring of stream health before and after the proposed works. Volunteers with a basic knowledge of invertebrates would be especially helpful but otherwise patience, curiosity and a willingness to get wet are a must for volunteers interested in this type of work. Diane will provide necessary training and supplies; this will be an ongoing monitoring project for the creek so it is best suited to residents of Mission who are looking for an ongoing commitment.

Restoration Volunteers

We will be needing lots of physically strong, enthusiastic and durable volunteers to help us with the in stream restoration work on the weekend of September 13th and 14th. We will be moving wood and rocks by hand into the stream, building weirs and improving the complexity of the stream bed.  This will make the creek more suitable as fish habitat. Training, supplies, and refreshments will be provided, volunteers just need to bring appropriate clothing, boots and work gloves as well as their muscles and a keenness to learn how restoration work is done first-hand!

If this sounds like something you would like to help us with please email us and we will follow up with additional instructions and details.

Ryder Lake toad migration update

The Western toads in Ryder Lake have pretty much finished their migration.  There are still a few toadlets making their way across the road but very few in general.  Keep an eye out for these cool creatures in your yard!  Thank you to everybody who took the voluntary detour and made this year’s migration as successful as possible.  Keep checking out our website for future updates about the Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project!

Snail surveys at Three Creeks!

Earlier this summer we spent 4 days surveying for endangered snails at our newly named Three Creeks property in East Abbotsford as part of a mark recapture study we are doing.

Our total count for the survey was:

Pacific Sideband: 19
Oregon Forestsnail: 35

These snails are both at-risk species in BC. The blue-listed Pacific Sideband is the largest land snail in BC, and can sometimes be found climbing the trunks of trees! Pacific Sideband snails are typically dark with a light band, but can be “blonde”- meaning the shell is light-colored and the band is missing or hard to see. The red-listed Oregon Forestsnail is often associated with patches of stinging nettle.

 

                                 
                              A “blonde” Pacific Sideband at Three Creeks!                     An Oregon Forestsnail at Three Creeks!

 

We have found that our Three Creeks property is also home to other fascinating snail species, so we have put together a simple key to help you identify species in your own backyard!

(Fun fact: Lancetooth snails are omnivorous– they eat earthworms, slugs and snails… including their own species!)

Click here to see the snail key!

The key contains the 5 species we found at Three Creeks but BC has over 95 species of land snails! For more information and a comprehensive list please visit E-fauna BC’s list of terrestrial snails or refer to the Land Snails of British Columbia handbook.