Stoney Creek Brings Life to the Community
Mark your calendars for this fun community event.
Who to contact if you see a problem on the creek.
Returning Salmon in 2017
Stoney Creek Environment Committee (SCEC) is a dedicated group of volunteers committed to protecting, preserving, and enhancing Burnaby’s urban forest and salmon bearing stream through various stream-keeping activities.
Over 130 years ago, the Brunette River basin consisted of forests, swamp and streams. the area supported a diversity of wildlife including bear and cougars, and abundant salmon and trout populations.
Changing land uses has resulted in the loss of many creeks and a reduction in wildlife populations. Despite the increasing pressure of urbanization, Stoney Creek which exists within the Brunette basin is one of the major fish-bearing creeks in Burnaby and an important oasis for wildlife.
Monitoring is an ongoing process through which the Committee continues to gain a better understanding of the Stoney Creek ecosystem. This knowledge allows our group to become better educators within the community, evaluate the effects of present land-use on the ecosystem and informatively plan restoration activities. It is the sincere hope of the Committee that sharing of the information we collect will be part of a process to facilitate wiser, more inclusive, more sensitive land-use planning in the Stoney Creek watershed.
The Stoney Creek Environment Committee (SCEC) was co-founded by Jennifer Atchison in 1994. At that time, Stoney Creek had undergone various modifications, driven largely by the development of the neighbourhood. On realizing that there were many different parties who had rights of way or other interests in the watershed, and noting a lack of discussion between them about the issues facing Stoney Creek, Jennifer called a meeting, and the SCEC was born.
Through her tenacity and dedication, Jennifer promoted and defended Stoney Creek, and her work paid off. Jennifer’s engagement and inclusion of young people from the schools and the Ganymede Explorers brought the community into the SCEC’s activities. The young people were always impressed with her energy and enthusiasm, and she loved working with them. Gradually through partnerships, with groups including the Cities of Burnaby and Coquitlam, Metro Vancouver, BC Hydro, BC Transmission, Simon Fraser University, Dept Of Fisheries And Oceans, and the Burnaby School Board, Stoney Creek has transformed from a waterway blockaded to fish, to a flourishing salmon rearing stream – a feat, considering that salmon had been absent from its waters for nearly 50 years! Sadly, Jennifer had another battle to confront. In the end, cancer took her from us in 2010, but her legacy lives on.
Today the membership of the SCEC carries on the work of protecting the watershed and engaging the community through events like the Great Salmon Send-Off. We also continue to monitor and enhance habitat through our projects and stewardship activities. As you walk along the trails along Stoney Creek you may see the bench dedicated to Jennifer Atchison. We know she would be happy to know that the work of the SCEC continues to succeed.
A tribute to Jennifer Atchison was posted on the Salmon Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board (SEHAB) website, written by our DFO Community Advisor. Clearly, she is remembered and recognized by many, and this letter outlines many of her wonderful qualities and achievements over the years. Some of her honours are highlighted in the timeline of the SCEC
Our meeting place on the grounds of the Stoney Creek Community School is named in her honour, the Jennifer Atchison Environmental Centre.
For salmon to continue to live in Stoney Creek, they need clean water. Please report immediately if you see toxic spills, dirty water or small dead or dying fish. Heavy siltation from runoff in the fall and winter may cover and smother eggs.
Provincial Emergency Program: 1.800.663.3456
(Emergency Call 24 hours)
Burnaby Environmental Services: 604.294.7200
Coquitlam Environmental Services: 604.927.3500
Deptartment of Fisheries and Oceans Observe, Record, Report Line : 1.866.845.6776
Let them know What you observed Where, and When. Use the numbers on the map to locate the incident.
What might you see in Stoney Creek?
In Fall and Winter:
- Large salmon swimming upstream from mid-October through January. They come to lay eggs in the gravel and then die.
- Carcasses of the dead fish or cut fish that volunteers have placed along the banks. Decaying carcasses release minerals and nutrients and promote invertebrate growth that will serve as a food source for the young fish.
- You probably won`t see the gravel nests, called `redds`, because they are camouflaged. Dogs and people going in the stream will crush the hidden eggs.
In Spring and Summer
- Small fish – there are 5 salmon species in Stoney Creek: Coho, Chum, Cutthroat trout, Pink and the occasional Chinook. There are also endangered Nooksack Dace close to the Brunette River.
- Other wildlife – crayfish, lampreys, and myriad insects.
How can you help?
Fish needs safe passage through the stream and in their spawning beds.
- Keep yourself and dogs from walking in the stream.
- Keep soaps, cleaners, oils, antifreeze, and paints out of your storm drains.
- Wash your car with phosphate-free, biodegradable soaps or use a commercial car wash.
- Attend an information walk or join the Stoney Creek Environment Committee – email info(at)scec.ca for information.
Life cycle of Coho
Spawn: mid-October to December
Hatch: January to March and live in the creek for a year
Smolts: (1 1/2 year-olds) leave the creek in May to live in the ocean
Return to spawn: 18 months later.
Guidelines for reporting dead wild birds to Government Agencies
What to report to Wildlife Agencies:
Groups of 3 or more dead birds (any species) found in the same geographic location.
The following individual dead birds:
Species at risk
Highly susceptible species (swans, ducks)
Raptors (eagles, hawks, owls)
Water-adapted bird species (waterfowl in general, shorebirds, water-associated birds).
These wild bird mortalities should be reported by calling 1-866-431-BIRD (2473). Reports will be recorded, assessed to determine if further investigation is warranted, and if so, guidance will be provided on a case by case basis. Here the information sheet.
Report bat encounters
If you find a dead bat or see a bat flying in the winter, please contact the South Coast Bat Conservation Society at email@example.com or 1-855-922-2287 ext. 11 as soon as possible for further information. See details here.
Bubbles first ... Then tiny ripples on the water's surface - Three heads pop up ... Beavers! Little paws eagerly reach up To pull blackberry branches down to the water's edge. Fresh blackberry leaves A tasty snack make! A Northern harrier drifts overhead So...read more
No Results Found
The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.
Jennifer Atchison ENVIRONMENT CENTER
PO Box 56522
Lougheed Mall PO
Burnaby BC, V3J 7W2
Education and Advocacy Representative
Alan James: firstname.lastname@example.org
OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE
Want to be Notified for the next birdwalk?
Attend a Meeting
Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Jennifer Atchison Environmental Centre, 2730 Beaverbrook Crescent, on the north end of the Stoney Creek Community School grounds.
Members are welcome to attend. If you would like to discuss something, please have it added to the agenda.
SCEC depends on its members’ and volunteers’ availability and commitment. Stoney Creek provides an opportunity for everyone to take part on stream stewardship, such as:
- stream habitat survey,
- water quality survey and monitoring,
- stream invertebrate survey,
- storm drain marking,
- stream clean-up,
- streamside planting,
- juvenile fish trapping and identification,
- salmonid spawner survey,
- riparian area enhancement,
- bird watching,
- observe, record, and report unlawful activities that affect fish, wildlife, and aquatic habitat, and
- education and awareness.
It is important to recognize that volunteers augment the work of SCEC. If volunteers weren’t here, the work wouldn’t be done. Or at least the work wouldn’t be done to the level or amount with volunteers.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, check out the calendar of activities.
To comply with Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), we need your consent to continue sending you email about upcoming events and things of interest to those living near Stoney Creek.
Riparian zones are important refuges for bird species; especially in urban areas. Stoney Creek currently has two groups doing regular bird surveys to assess the health of our bird populations. These surveys also serve as an indicator of the overall health of the Stoney Creek Corridor. At the moment volunteers walk one of three survey circuits varying in length and habitat. Each circuit has been broken up into sections, or stations, to help pinpoint bird sightings.
Birders record what they see and hear:
– bird species
– number encountered
– male or female
– adult or juvenile
– station number
– any unusual activity
Two people must verify visual or audible sightings for accuracy. This data is then entered onto an Excel spreadsheet for further analysis.
Water quality has been monitored in Stoney Creek since 1998 to help identify sources of stream pollution, as well as evaluate changes in the creek’s water quality over time. This activity takes place year-round. Samples are collected at key locations or set stations by individuals on a regular basis and analyzed for physical and chemical parameters back at the Jennifer Atchison Environment Centre.
As salt contamination has been an issue of concern in Stoney Creek, we correlated our measurements with the water’s salt content, which results from road salt storage and use at SFU.See the recent reports on Road Salt and Salmon.
We are also in the early stages of bringing a data-logger online which will allow us to monitor the water quality at a set location on a continual basis!
With success, we hope to bring in additional data-loggers to provide coverage of key areas on the creek and its tributaries.
Aquatic invertebrates have an important role in the ecological functioning of streams. They help break down organic matter such as woody debris which provide usable nutrients to other aquatic life. They eat microscopic plants, and are the primary source of food for fish and some birds, amphibians, and small mammals that live in the area.
Aquatic invertebrates include insects which live part of their life cycle in the water and crustaceans such snails, and crayfish.Aquatic invertebrates are being more extensively used by researchers as a way to monitor stream health. If water quality is poor, pollution sensitive invertebrates perish, while others which are pollution tolerant increase in numbers.
They are also sensitive to physical changes such as increases in siltation or water temperature. In addition, catastrophic events such as chemical spills can often be detected by a complete absence of stream invertebrate populations. By measuring the presence, absence and abundance of different species, habitat problems can often be detected.Invertebrate monitoring has been an on-going activity in Stoney Creek since 1997.
We compare invertebrate populations between locations, season, and monitor changes in these populations over time. In the future, invertebrate sampling may also be used to monitor areas where periodic poor water quality has been reported.
To monitor the health of young salmon and smaller species like the cutthroat trout that are not easily viewed otherwise, small minnow traps are used to temporarily catch these fish. We record the species, numbers of fish trapped, their sizes, and also collect water to check its quality at the time of the survey.From the time the fish are transferred from the trap into a clear bag, the work is done quickly to minimize the stress on the young fish.
Come and join us at this annual event which includes displays and activities provided by our volunteers, community groups and organizations, live entertainment and, of course, the main event: the opportunity to release young salmon into Stoney Creek.
The “GSSO” takes place on the second Saturday in May from 10am to 2pm in the grounds of the Stoney Creek Community School and has a strong reputation in the community, bringing a great turnout of participants and attendees, rain or shine!
Our 2018 event was held on Saturday, May 12 and was very well attended. This was our 28th year!
Community groups and organizations who support the Stoney Creek Environment Committee and the environment are invited to provide a display for this event. We encourage demonstrations, games or activities that provide interactions for families and children. Tent space, tables and chairs can be provided as as required. Planning generally begins in January each year.
For further information and an application to participate in our next event in May 2019, please contact Pat Hargreaves at phargreaves60[@]gmail.com
Friends of Stoney Creek
- Byrne Creek Streamkeepers, Burnaby
- Hoy/Scott Watershed Society, Coquitlam
- Hyde Creek Watershed Society, Port Coquitlam
- Katzie Slough Restoration Project,, Pitt Meadows
- Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS)
- Morrison Creek Streamkeepers, Comox
- Mosquito Creek Watershed, North Vancouver
- Mossom Creek Hatchery, Port Moody
- New Westminster Environmental Partners
- North Shore Streamkeepers, North Vancouver
- Pacific Streamkeepers Federation
- Port Moody Ecological Society (Noons Creek)
- Sapperton Fish and Game Club, New Westminster
- Seymour Salmonid Society, North Vancouver
- Watershed Watch Salmon Society, Coquitlam
- West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society
- Yorkson Watershed Enhancement Society, North Langley
- Alexandra Morton
- BC Nature
- E-Flora BC
- Fraser Basin Council
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Friends of Wild Salmon, North Coast and Skeena watershed
- Metro Vancouver Invasive Plant Council
- Green Club Activities
- Invasive Plant Council of BC
- Vancouver Natural History Society (Nature Vancouver)
- Pacific Salmon Foundation
- Rivershed Society of BC
- Salmon Confidential- the Documentary
- Stream of Dreams
- Vancouver Avian Research Centre (VARC)
- Weeds BC
- Wild Salmon Forever
When you join the Stoney Creek Environment Committee, you lend your voice to our efforts to keep Stoney Creek as wild and as productive as possible in an urban setting.
Membership perks include free streamkeeping training by the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation as well as a subscription to the BC Nature magazine.