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).

One more work party at Windebank before Winter sets in!

The rains have come, the weirs are working and the salmon are spawning!

Now all we need to do is plant another round of 80 cedar and alder trees in the recently cleared area so they are all ready to grow come next spring. Come join us on Monday, November 10th from 10am to 2pm to help plant and we’ll likely be cutting back the blackberry – yet again!

Al Jonsson, our project partner from DFO will be stopping in at lunchtime to see how the weirs are functioning and will talk about what the fish are currently up to in the creek.

All our work for this planting will be taking place well away from the stream but the ground is still really soggy so gumboots are highly recommended. Please dress appropriately for the weather – its November who knows what it will do! We will have lots of shovels on hand, as well as some extra gloves and pruners.  We will be at the usual location: the dead end at the west end of Logan Street in Mission (you will see the gate to our property which lies below the mall that is on the Northeast corner of Lougheed and Cedar Connector),

If you can confirm you will be attending  that would be great, send us a quick email to let us know so we have enough supplies on hand. If you want to just decide and show up on the day, that is fine too – the more the merrier!

Volunteers needed for snail surveys!

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We are looking for some volunteers to help complete snail surveys at our Three Creeks site in Abbotsford next week. The snail surveys involve sifting through leaf litter and under ferns.  Volunteers must be capable of bending or kneeling on the ground for 10 to 20 minutes at a time and not be afraid of a little rain! 

We will identify all snail and slug species that we find and mark endangered Oregon forestsnails and Pacific sideband snails for our mark recapture study.  We will also collect information on the vegetation found in each survey plot.

I would like to schedule a survey for Wednesday October 15 between 8am and 2:30pm and Friday October 17 between 8am and 4pm.  I would appreciate it if volunteers could contribute 4 hours of their time to this project but other than that timing can be flexible. 

Location: 
Three Creeks (meet at the east end of Ledgeview Drive off of McKeeRoad in Abbotsford).
Timing: 
Wednesday October 15, 8 am – 2:30 pm
Friday October 17, 8 am – 4 pm

If you are interested in participating please send Kendra an email (projects@fraservalleyconservancy.ca) or call the office at 604-625-0066.  If these times don’t work for you but you are interested in helping out send an e-mail anyways in case volunteers are needed for another time.

Celebrate World Rivers Day by helping us clean-up the Chilliwack River

 Sunday September 28th, 2014

Come join the FVC and other groups to clean-up the banks of the Chilliwack river on Sunday September 28th! It is a family friendly event that helps keep garbage out of the river and provides an opportunity to enjoy the scenery along our adopted section of this spectacular river.

This event is hosted by the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society.

This is a special clean-up event in celebration of World Rivers Day and registration will be at the Chilliwack Fish and Game Club House at 48685 Chilliwack Lake Road. Registration starts at 8:30am We will head out at 9:30 am to our nearby section of the river (between Sleese Road and the Tamahi Bridge) and will be done by noon. Afterwards there will be a volunteer appreciation BBQ, entertainment and draw prizes.

Please ensure you dress appropriately for the weather!
Clean up tools and bags will be provided.

If you have any questions feel free to call 604-625-0066 or email.

Attention salmon: great new digs for your offspring available in Windebank Creek!

We had a rewarding and productive weekend on Sept 13th and 14th, re-creating fish habitat in Windebank Creek. Forty-one hard-working volunteers came out and learned how to build fish habitat; together we constructed 7 Newbury weirs.  We also created shade structures above the pools that will form downstream of each new weir. We continued our ongoing battle with blackberry by cutting back the plants that incessantly try to take over the site. A huge thanks to all our returning volunteers as well as all the new faces – we couldn’t have done this without you!

In addition to the enormous volunteer contribution, this project was made possible through support from Pacific Salmon Foundation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada staff, Mission of Streams Streamkeepers and a BC Hydro PowerSmart donation. Mainland Sand and Gravel donated the rock and the District of Mission donated the wood supplies.

Thanks Everyone!!!

The Mission Record took some great photos and below is a photo summary of the work done. The next event at Windebank will be in November, at which time we will embark on a final attack of the blackberry before winter and plant some cedar and alder trees in a few key areas. By that time we should be able to see salmon spawners using the new habitat.

 

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

 

Windebank Work Party this Weekend – September 13th and 14th

It looks like it is going to be sunny and we’re still looking for more helpers for the restoration work in Windebank Creek this weekend. Come help us out!

Here are the details…

The plan – 3 Shifts (volunteers can participate in as many shifts as they are comfortable with):

  1. Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm  (lunch will be served for all participants between 12 and 12:30)
  2. Saturday 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm
  3. Sunday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (hopefully we will be done at this time otherwise we will be working later this day as well)

The work:

  • we will be moving gravel, rocks and wood by hand, buckets and wheelbarrows to predetermined sites along the creek
  • our DFO project partner (Al Jonsson) will provide instruction on how to build each rock weir and wood complexes
  • volunteers will work in groups of 2 or 3 to build the structures (with help as required) – it is our goal to build at least 10 of these structures
  • for volunteers who are not comfortable lifting heavy objects or working in the stream we have lots of other tasks you can help us with such as much needed help with our ongoing battle to control the invasive plants on the property and general property maintenance tasks

What to bring:

  • Gumboots if you want to work in the stream, hiking or good shoes if you are going to stay out of the stream – NO OPEN TOED SHOES ALLOWED ON THIS PROPERTY for your safety reasons!
  • Dress for the weather, it looks like this lovely sunny stretch will continue through the weekend, so don’t forget sun protection and a water bottle (we will have a water jug on site for refills)
  • If you have gloves and pruners please bring them too – we have a few for people to borrow as well

Where to meet:

The dead end at the west end of Logan Street in Mission (you will see the gate to our property which lies below the mall that is on the Northeast corner of Lougheed and Cedar Connector.

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!