SWSS’s stream restoration project is going full swing!

Last week SWSS received an important shipment of logs that will be used for stream restoration projects in the Salmo River. These will be used to build bank mounted structures to stabilize banks and enhance fish habitat. Some of the logs have been washed out by the River and were collected at the Seven Mile Dam. So in a way, these pieces of wood will be returned to their home land! Construction at the mouth of Erie Creek is scheduled to start this week and more projects are expected to start next year.

Sourcing wood for this project was not an easy task and we are grateful to our partners. We would like to thank Government of Canada – Environmental Damages Fund, ATCO Wood Products Ltd., Monticola Forest Ltd, BC Hydro and Custom Dozing.

Water is Life – Courthouse rally

Water is Life. It truly is. It is also a fundamental right threatened by inaction and greed. Fortunately, people like Jessica Dawn Ogden have the courage to stand up for our rights and fight to secure clean water and healthy ecosystems. Her actions and courage is taking her in court where she will explain why she, and others, needed to take direct action to stand up and defend the Balfour Watershed, and all watersheds, from further risks and impacts due to destructive logging practices and lack of legislation.

You can support this cause by showing up on Monday, July 22nd, before 9:45am at the Nelson courthouse. Jessica is set to arrive at the courthouse at 9:45 am for her hearing at 10:00 am. Her hearing is expected to take 2 hours.

For more info follow this link.

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Fishy Art Mural at the Salmo Valley Youth & Community Center

Isn’t it beautiful!? We just finished installing this beautiful mural at the Salmo Valley Youth & Community Centre. Chad Thompson, a local artist and long time SWSS friend painted this beauty for Streamkeepers. The fish on top of the mural were painted by Salmo residents during our Salmon painting activity at the Salmo Fall Fair. If you have a chance to see it in real life, pay a close attention to details… you’ll be amazed by the life in this piece of art.

Salmon, Salmon, Salmon!

The Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society will be at Tiny Lights Festival on Sunday, June 9th for a Salmon painting activity. Come by our booth and paint a Salmon. Everyone is welcome and the activity is FREE! This is part of our Imagine Salmon campaign which aims at bringing back Salmons in the upper Columbia River and the Salmo River. We will also be displaying a wonderful Salmon sculpture made by local artist Chad Thompson.

We’re Hiring a Coordinator!

The Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society seeks a full-time Coordinator. The Coordinator of the SWSS builds upon and expands the organization’s local and regional impact; contributing to the understanding and stewardship of the Salmo River Watershed within the Columbia Basin. They are passionate about environmental issues and ecosystem health and possess scientific and business acumen, working to ensure the organization is a true partner to community, First Nations, government, education, industry, corporations, and individuals in the region. The Coordinator will work in collaboration with the SWSS dedicated team; providing and receiving support to further SWSS Projects. For more information, visit this link: SWSSCoordinator2019.

Summer Job Opportunity – Environmental Assistant

The Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society is seeking a motivated individual who enjoys working outdoors and with others to join our team. The successful applicant will be assisting in both field and office-based activities with our coordinator and full-time Environmental Assistant. Check out the full job description by following this link.

One River: Ethics Matter Conference

An important conference centered around a sustainable, ethical and respectful management of the Columbia River Basin will be happening at the Selkirk College – Castlegar college on May 30-31th. The 2019 One River, Ethics Matter conference will explore remedial options through respectful dialogue and further public education specifically regarding the Columbia River Treaty by the following considerations:

  • adding a third Treaty purpose co-equal to existing Treaty purposes of hydropower and flood control, and
  • new approaches to ethical governance of the river that strengthen river and community resiliency, restore salmon and other fisheries, and right historic wrongs done to the Upper Columbia River region, indigenous peoples, and other citizens of the watershed.

SWSS’s coordinator, Gerry Nellestijn will be one of the guest speakers. Many experts, First Nation representatives and other influential people will be present for what should be a very constructive and insightful conference.

This a FREE event and is open to the public. For more information and FREE registration, visit this link.

Here is the schedule of the event. For a full description of the schedule, visit this link.

Thursday, May 30
10 – 1 p.m. Field Trips (Rain or shine) (Meet at front entrance of the College)

  • Option 1: History Tour
  • Option 2: Hiking Ecology Tour
  • Option 3: Canoe paddle through the navigation lock at Hugh Keenleyside Dam

1 – 2 p.m. Lunch Break – Bring your own
2 – 4 p.m. Spotlight on Youth Program (all ages encouraged) – Staff Lounge
4 – 4:30 Walk to River
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Blessing of the Salishan Sturgeon Nose Canoe (at water’s edge)
6 p.m. BBQ at the Mir Centre for Peace ($15, pre-registration required)
7 p.m. Circle Introductions around fire (Mir Centre)

Friday, May 31
8 – 8:30 a.m. Registration (front entrance) & Coffee (outside Sen-113)
8:30 – 9:15 a.m. Opening, Prayer & Welcome (Sen-113)
9:15 – 10 a.m. Panel – Rivers of our Moment (Sen-113)
10 – 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 – 12 p.m. Panel – Rivers Through our Memory (Sen-113)
12 – 1 p.m. Lunch
1 – 2:15 p.m. Break Out Groups – Rivers of our Vision

  • Room A: Treaty and Governance (Gathering Place)
  • Room B: Ecosystem Function (Staff Lounge)
  • Room C: Salmon Recovery (Kok-11)

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. Break (The Pit)
2:30 – 3:45 p.m. Panel – Rivers as our Responsibility (The Pit)
3:45 – 4 p.m. Closing (The Pit)

Salmo elementary students create a community action project

Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to welcome grade 2 and 3 students from the Salmo elementary school. This was an initiative by Emily Newberry, a local resident and student of the teaching program at the University of Victoria. As part of her 6 weeks practicum, Emily and her student built a community project. Together, they choose to act on the loss of wetland habitat in the Salmo River Watershed. In April, they organized a bake sale at the Salmo Village Grocery and raised 177.15$. The money was used for the purchase of willow cuttings which they planted around SWSS’s wetlands. The students also attended a presentation on the importance of wetlands. This was a very fun experience and will greatly contribute to our wetland restoration effort. We would like to thank everyone who have supported this activity. Many volunteer parents were also present and were very helpful in making this a success. On the picture bellow, a student is handing the money to SWSS’s coordinator, Gerry Nellestijn.

Art Fundraiser!

This year, the Ymir House Art Show have chosen to support the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society with their annual fundraiser. Local artists Paula Ebelher and Caran J Magaw have produced some wonderful pieces inspired by the beauty of our Watershed. Check them out on Facebook at: Ymir House Art Show III.

‘Hatch’ by Paula Ebelher

‘Return’ by Caran J Magaw. A 20×12” ink on diabond. It symbolizes the hope for Salmon to return to the Salmo river. Also available in 6×4″ postcards.

Sightings of Harlequin Ducks Wanted in the Salmo River Watershed:

Harlequin Ducks are striking sea ducks that overwinter on the coast and migrate to the interior to breed. Their ability to swim in turbulent white water, where they dip and dive for aquatic insects, is unmatched. For breeding, they select undisturbed, fast-moving portions of rivers and streams with dense riparian vegetation. Females return to their natal streams, and typically use the same breeding sites, unless they become degraded or disturbed. For all of the above reasons, Harlequin Ducks are sensitive indicators of freshwater ecosystems.
A 1996 inventory of Harlequins conducted in the Salmo River watershed documented a provincially significant breeding population (54 adults: 33 males and 21 females). Since then, there’s been a number of changes in the watershed, and an FWCP survey in 1999 began to document population declines. A 2009 re-survey confirmed a 22% decline in the adult population. Additional stressors have emerged, most notably a March 2019 fuel spill in the South Salmo River which further threatens this population. Pandion Ecological Research Ltd., in collaboration with Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society, is repeating a Harlequin pair and brood inventory from May to July 2019, along with stewardship follow-up at specific sites.

You can help!

Information and sightings are actively being sought from the public to assist in focusing inventory and stewardship attention on active sites, and in detecting oiled birds. Please share your sightings of Harlequin Ducks in the Salmo River watershed.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Marlene Machmer
Email: mmachmer@netidea.com
Tel: 250-505-9978
More info: www.fwcp.ca

This inventory and stewardship of
Salmo Watershed Harlequin Ducks is
funded by the Fish & Wildlife
Compensation Program