All the following tasks are led by a Streamkeeper volunteer called Coordinator. This person will provide you with all the necessary information to have a rewarding Streamkeeper experience during your volunteer time.
1. Community Events: There are three main Streamkeeper events held annually - Adopt-a-Fish (in mid-to-late April), Community Day (first Saturday in June) and the Coho Festival (second Sunday in September). Each event requires a commitment of 2 hours, at the Streamkeepers’ display booth at Ambleside Park or assisting children at the Adopt-a-Fish event in Memorial Park. These activities require interacting with the public to tell the story of salmon, stream habitat and the activities of the Society. A Safety Protocol is followed for the Adopt-A-Fish event.
2. Hatchery Operations: The Nelson Creek Hatchery is operated by a volunteer team raising chum and coho salmon eggs to fry stage which are then released into local streams. Seven volunteers each go to the hatchery for one or two hours one morning a week from January until the time of the fry release. Cleaning and maintenance are also required. The hatchery work ends in June each year.
3. Fry Releases: Salmon fry from the Nelson Creek Hatchery are released into local streams on two separate outings – one in April and the other in late May. The fry are transported by the DFO Community Advisor to release sites. Work entails carrying garbage can sized containers with water and fry from the tank truck to the creeks for releases. Time required is 3 hours per outing on a week day. This is a physical activity, and is not a children’s fry release event.
4. Spawner Salmon Surveys:
- Creek Monitors to gather and submit the results of creek surveys for returning adult salmon each fall. All 22 creeks and tributaries in West Vancouver are monitored weekly during this period. Fall surveys commence in early October and finish in mid-December, except in uneven years (i.e. 2017, 2019, etc.) when pink salmon return. Surveys commence in late August in those years. Requires enumerating returning adult salmon on a weekly basis and submitting data on a Survey Form following each survey. Time commitment – half and hour to one hour per outing, every week for 9 to 13 weeks.
- Surveys are also conducted by teams of senior secondary school students, each led by a Streamkeeper Sponsor. Sponsors meet with a team of four to six students each week and attend the survey to teach students about the life cycle of salmon, the spawning process and the final outcome of emerging fry. You will be provided with information for the students about stream habitat, plants (native and invasive), aquatic animals and stream life. Time commitment – one hour a week for seven weeks – starting in mid-October until the end of November. Conducted following a Safety Protocol.
5. Emerging Fry Surveys: To confirm successful spawning during the prior fall, Creek Monitors also conduct surveys for emerging fry in the spring. Surveys start in March and end in May. Requires one survey a week which takes about half an hour for a period of several weeks. Once the presence of fry has been confirmed, this task is largely completed.
6. Storm Drain Marking – Elementary Schools: Six teams participate at each event. Accompanied by a parent volunteer, you will assist a small group of students to paint “yellow salmon” on the road at storm drain locations within the vicinity of a local elementary school. There are usually four events each spring and are conducted only during school hours. Time required – 2 hours per outing. A Safety Protocol must be followed.
7. CreekTalk – Elementary Schools: Provides in-classroom presentations on creeks and estuaries focusing on habitat and aquatic life – fish, insects, amphibians, crustaceans, birds and plant life. May include a creek visit or a shoreline walk. Time required – one hour per classroom visit or nature walk.
8. Temperature Logging: Visit one of eight local streams to download the data from temperature loggers which are installed at certain locations. Can be moderately physical – going in-stream in waders to recover and download the logger. This requires connecting the logger into a shuttle to initiate the downloading operation. May need to attend to the repair of the logger installations. Time required – one half hour per logger, four times a year.
9. Citizen Science: Become a member of a team that conducts citizen science on one of eight local creeks (the same creeks as temperature logging). This initiative includes aquatic insect sampling in the spring and water quality sampling to record data for pH, dissolved oxygen and turbidity twice a year – in January and August. Time required – one hour per activity.
10. Herring Spawn Program: Assist with the installation of herring spawn nets at Thunderbird Marina, West Vancouver Yacht Club and Sewell’s Marina. Requires on site visits to inspect the nets and record the results of the herring spawn during the months of January to March each year. Time required – one hour per week for up to 15 weeks in winter time. Must be done by adults, in pairs, and following a Safety Protocol.
11. Brothers Creek Viewing Platform: Volunteers check weekly throughout the year to ensure the Viewing Platform on Brothers Creek at Keith Road is kept clean and welcoming to the public. Time required – be available to be “on shift” for a two-week period, twice a year. Requires periodic site visits during this two-week period and may require collecting and bagging refuse at the site.
12. Administration: All the following administrative functions are currently managed by members of the Society. We welcome professional assistance from time to time to provide guidance. If you have worked in any of the following areas, would you be willing to act as a resource and offer your expertise in an advisory capacity? These administrative functions include:
- Environmental science – salmon, creek habitat, aquatic life
- Municipal Bylaws – Watercourse Protection Bylaw and Creeks Bylaw
- Record keeping – membership and volunteer lists
- Construction and repair – hatchery and other locations
- Fund raising – both project funding and sustained annual funding
- Communication – writing skills – newsletters, website, Facebook