Chum and Coho salmon spawn in Byrne Creek, with Chum starting to arrive mid-October and Coho a few weeks later. The run ends around mid-December.
During the spawning season, volunteers patrol the creek several times a week, noting live fish, and collecting data including species, size, and spawning status when the fish die.
We also note where the redds, or nests of eggs are, to avoid damaging them.
Volunteers count bugs in aquatic invertebrate surveys twice a year. We use a special net to collect samples, and then count species, taxa, and numbers. Some bugs are pollution tollerant while others are senstivie to pollutants, and we use the standard methodology in The Streamkeepers Handbook to rate the water.
Unfortunately, due to the developed urban environment with lots of pollutants entering the creek through street drains, the water quality in Byrne Creek is usually in the Poor to Moderate range.
Volunteers use Gee traps set to trap fish to see what's living in the creek. We then release them unharmed.
This activity requires proper permits, because trapping salmonids is illegal.
We commonly find resident cutthroat trout, coho smolts (juveniles), crayfish, etc. We identify species and size them.