Byrne Creek Streamkeepers volunteers monitor the health of this urban stream and conduct streamkeeping activities.
The creek drains a large area on the south slope of Burnaby, BC, runs through a beautiful ravine park, a constructed salmon spawning habitat, and then flows into the Fraser River.
The creek has chum and coho salmon, cutthroat trout, stickleback, crayfish, and other species.
Photos by Paul Cipywnyk
The Death and Rebirth of an Urban Stream
1960s: Wild salmon and trout disappear as creek cut off from Fraser River by pump station
1987: Vancouver Angling and Game Association assessment with Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Late '80s: City of Burnaby reconnects creek to Fraser River, volunteers start ongoing cleanups
1989: Coho salmon stocking starts with volunteers and DFO
1997: Chum salmon stocking starts with volunteers and DFO
1998: Toxin dumped into a storm drain on a street kills thousands of fish
1999: Byrne Creek Streamkeepers founded
2004: 91 salmon spawners return to Byrne Creek
2006: Toxin dumped into street drain kills about 800 trout and young salmon
2009: 10 salmon spawners return, a record low
2010: Toxin kills coho fry & smolts, trout in March; house fire runoff kills fish in November
2016: Nearly 140 combined chum and coho spawn, a post-restoration record
All drains on streets and in parking lots lead directly to local creeks and fish habitat.
© 2020 Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society. Linking encouraged with proper attribution.
Streamkeepers monitor the creek, and survey spawning salmon and aquatic bugs using modules from The Streamkeepers Handbook, We lead educational tours for kids and adults, promote healthy watersheds at community events, and remove invasive plant species.
Fish Kill Sparked Community Mural
The first Stream of Dreams mural was unveiled on River's Day 2000 in Burnaby. Over 3,000 wooden fish, painted mostly by schoolkids, beautified the community, turning a chain-link fence into a commemoration of the death of over 3,000 fish in Byrne Creek when a toxin was dumped into the creek through a street drain. The Stream of Dreams Murals Society has since taught hundreds of schools about their watersheds, and how to care for them.