Crossing structure installation – Day 1 and 2

Installation of the amphibian tunnel in Ryder Lake is progressing well!  The fabulous team from Lafarge Canada Ltd. spent day 1 excavating out the road and prepping the site for the culvert installation.  Day 2 started with more site preparation before the very heavy concrete culvert sections started to arrive from Langley Concrete.  In order to span the road, 5 concrete culvert sections were required.  These culvert pieces are too heavy to be moved by an excavator therefore a crane truck was brought in to move the pieces.  An excavator was used to help piece the sections together.  After all 5 pieces were painstakingly pieced together, with some very creative maneuvering, then the excavator started to back-fill the culverts with gravel.  By back-filling part of the culvert with gravel we are reducing how far down the amphibians have to climb to use the crossing structure.  Day 3, tomorrow, will be spent installing the risers for the storm drain “windows” which will allow air movement and moisture into the crossing structure.  We will also be prepping the ends of the culvert for installation of amphibian fencing to help direct amphibians to the crossing structure.  Check back for more updates!

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Excavating the site.

Prepping site for culvert.

Prepping site for culvert.

 

Culvert sections arrive from Langley Concrete

Culvert sections arrive from Langley Concrete

Using the crane truck to move culvert sections into place.

Using the crane truck to move culvert sections into place.

Maneuvering culvert sections into place using crane and excavator.

Maneuvering culvert sections into place using crane and excavator.

Many loads of road base and gravel were trucked to the site.

Many loads of road base and gravel were trucked to the site.

Gravel was spread by hand in the culvert - thanks Dan!

Gravel was spread by hand in the culvert – thanks Dan!

Culvert sections in place and ready for day 3.

Culvert sections in place and ready for day 3.

Elk View Toad Tunnel Construction update

Unfortunately, construction challenges delayed the installation of the amphibian crossing structure on Elk View Road the week of May 19th.  Construction has been rescheduled for June 1 – June 5, 2015. A full road closure will be in effect starting at 7am on Monday June 1st.  Elk View road south of Ryder Lake road will be completely closed during construction (just south of the mailbox pullout).  A map of the suggested detour routes is shown below:

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Construction update for Elk View road

We ran into a few construction challenges today while excavating for the toad tunnel installation.  Therefore, Elk View is open (temporarily) until we can proceed further with this project.  Please look for construction and detour signage as we will move forward with this project as soon as possible.

Installation of Amphibian Crossing Structure 2015

We have excellent news!  We are finally installing an amphibian crossing structure in Ryder Lake between May 19th and May 22nd, 2015.  Lafarge Canada is volunteering their services to complete the installation.

Artistic rendition of toad tunnel

The crossing structure installation requires a road closure due to heavy machinery therefore Elk View road will be closed south of its intersection with Ryder Lake road (see map).  Traffic will be detoured along Ryder Lake and Huston roads.  Updates on road closures will be available here.  If you have any questions please contact the Fraser Valley Conservancy at projects@fraservalleyconservancy.ca.

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Looking for amphibian detectives!

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The amphibians of Ryder Lake are on the move again!  We are currently looking for tough volunteers to help with night time amphibian surveys as a component of our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project.  The objective of this survey is to determine the effectiveness of an amphibian crossing structure at reducing road mortality.  We will be counting live and dead amphibians along a stretch of Ryder Lake and Elk View roads in Chilliwack, BC.

Volunteers must be prepared to walk 6 km in cold, dark and wet conditions while hunting for amphibians.  Surveys will start after dark and last until the survey is complete, generally 1-4 hours.  You will need warm gloves, waterproof jacket, waterproof pants and boots.  Surveys will be conducted starting in February.  Unfortunately, surveys cannot be planned far in advance as they are completely dependent on rainy weather.

If you are interested in volunteering for this project please e-mail Kendra (projects@fraservalleyconservancy.ca) and you will be added to a contact list.  I will send out a mass e-mail to the contact list with as much notice as possible before each survey.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to e-mail or call (604-625-0066).

Fall migration of the Ryder Lake amphibians!

We had a successful evening survey for amphibians along our survey route in Ryder Lake last night.  We saw 138 amphibians of which 58 were alive!  There were especially large numbers of Red-legged frog and Pacific chorus frog subadults (frogs that would have hatched earlier this year) out on the road.  We also found several adult Western toads and for the first time since mid-April we saw Northwestern salamanders and Long-toed salamanders.  We also found a dead Western red-backed salamander for the first time this year.

The amphibians are making their way back across the road from the breeding pond to overwintering habitat.  Keep an eye out for these tiny critters especially on rainy nights!

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Western Toad

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Long-toed salamander

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Northwestern salamander

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Pacific chorus frog

 

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!

Rainy days with the Ryder Lake toadlets…

Though the weather has been particularly wet these last few days there are still some baby Western toads crossing the road.  They are difficult to see as they camouflage very well with wet pavement!  We don’t see very many on the road when it is raining but any break in the weather results in a new knot of toads venturing out onto the road.  The number of toads migrating is decreasing.  We are continuing to monitor their activity and will post another update soon!

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Entering the final stretch of the toad migration!

 

 

The number of toads crossing the roads in Ryder Lake is substantially lower now than at the peak of the migration. Therefore, we have taken down the voluntary detour signs for this season. Thank you to all who have followed the detour route! We will be continuing to monitor the migration and will post more updates as we get them.

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Check out the color variations of the migrating Western Toads!

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Rainy days and Western toads

There are a few Western toads braving the rain to cross the roads in Ryder Lake but the majority seem to be waiting for a break in the weather to continue their migration.  There are many toads lining the edges of the road preparing to make a dash across the road.  Please keep an eye out for these little guys!