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Volunteers clear smothering debris from Oak Bay creek to ready for 30K salmon eggs

Groups plan to plant eggs from Goldstream Hatchery Salmonid Enhancement around the end of the month

Streamkeepers started 2023 strong in Oak Bay, spending Jan. 1 clearing Bowker Creek of last year’s backlog.

Volunteers literally cleared space to make room for its second annual salmon egg installation in an Oak Bay section of the creek.

Debris filled the area where last year the Friends of Bowker Creek Society and Peninsula Streams Society – with approval from Fisheries and Oceans Canada – tucked about 30,000 eggs into the creek bed.

RELATED: Out of the streambed gravel comes harbinger of waning pollution in Oak Bay creek

The first batch of thousands of chum salmon eggs planted last January hatched without a hitch and on time.

In mid-March, Val Aloian, tasked with checking the water temperature and levels every day, predicted the eggs nestled into a rock bed would emerge about April 1. When she went down for her daily check-in on March 30, the Oak Bay woman noticed small fry swimming about.

If all went according to plan, the fry followed the current down to the Salish Sea with some anticipated to return in November 2024.

Last year, flooding shifted everything and volunteers were forced to re-prepare the bed. This year, the debris jam was causing silting, which can suffocate eggs. With debris removed and good water flow, the site is ready to receive the next 30,000 eggs from Goldstream Hatchery Salmonid Enhancement around the end of the month.

RELATED: Oak Bay society shares thrill of finding fish fry swimming in Bowker


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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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