Salmon released into recently restored Burnaby creek
'To see, in effect, tiny people releasing tiny salmon, it doesn’t get any better than that'
A group of daycare children joined Mark Angelo the chair emeritus of the BCIT Rivers Institute to release thousands of juvenile salmon into Burnaby's Guichon Creek Tuesday, demonstrating how successful creek restoration efforts have been in recent decades.
- Record numbers of salmon spawning in urban creeks
- Endangered Rivers List highlights threats to B.C. waterways
"This creek was severely damaged a few decades ago. It could not sustain any fish, but there's been a real effort to bring it back," said Angelo. "That we can release salmon today, back into this creek, I think that highlights the fact that we can, in fact, restore a waterway if there's a will."
These children seem to really enjoy taking part in the release of 15K juvenile salmon into Guichon Creek. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Burnaby?src=hash">#Burnaby</a> <a href="https://t.co/kB03gjixnT">pic.twitter.com/kB03gjixnT</a>—@raffertybaker
Angelo said when he first saw Guichon Creek in the 1970s, it was little more than a polluted waterway that couldn't sustain any fish.
"The water quality in this creek was terrible," he said. "It couldn't sustain any fish. Much of the shrubs and the forest that you now see beside the creek did not exist back then."
In the time since then, efforts have been made to restore the vegetation and about 15 years ago, Angelo said, a trout fishery was reintroduced to the creek. Last year was the first time salmon were put back into the water that runs through the BCIT campus.
Angelo said Tuesday's seeding of the creek with 15,000 juvenile salmon was extra special to him personally, because his grandson Tucker was one of the children helping to dump the little salmon into the babbling brook.
"He and I walk along this creek all the time," said Angelo. "I'm sure it's something he'll always remember."
"To see, in effect, tiny people releasing tiny salmon, it doesn't get any better than that."
Angelo said only one or two per cent of the salmon will survive, but he hopes that in four years, the children will be able to return to Guichon Creek to see those mature salmon returning to spawn.