The Tsolum River Restoration Society always has a station at Vancouver Island MusicFest, where youngsters can experiment with hands-on displays. File photo

Tsolum River Restoration Society AGM and presentation upcoming

The Tsolum River Restoration Society’s annual general meeting will take place on Saturday, March 14, 1 – 3:30 p.m at the Dove Creek Hall, located at 3400 Burns Rd., Courtenay.

Special guest speaker Kate O’Neill, from BCIT/SFU, will present her findings from the 2019 groundwater and stream temperature research project. The Tsolum River has high temperatures and low flows during the summer months, resulting in increased stress on salmonids. As part of O’Neill’s masters research project, water temperature was measured at 28 locations within the river during summer 2019, with the aim of identifying locations of groundwater input. Groundwater serves as a source of cold water during warm summer months, providing thermal refugia for salmonids. These thermal refugia will be especially important for salmonids in the face of climate change; therefore, it is critical that they be identified, protected, and restored.

Methodologies for locating areas of groundwater/surface water interaction were tested so that these methods can be used in other salmonid-bearing streams in British Columbia.

At the AGM, the TRRS will offer an update on activities completed in 2019 and what is planned for 2020. Aquatic insect field trips will be offered to interested school groups in April-June where students can learn hands-on about the variety of life found in the Tsolum River and Towhee Creek. Depending on the timing of spring rains, students may also help transfer coho from Towhee Creek ponds to the Tsolum mainstem. Interested educators can contact trrs.educationoutreach@gmail.com for sign-up information. Some other upcoming projects include the annual counting of the out-migrating salmon from the Tsolum, monitoring of summer flows and water quality monitoring, fish use and riparian planting through landowner contact initiatives in Portuguese Creek, controlling bedload movement in Dove Creek, and upper watershed willow live staking of gravel bars.

Everyone is welcome to come to the AGM to get informed or involved; light lunch and refreshments will be provided. The TRRS is seeking a treasurer to join the board of directors. For more information call 250-897-4670, or email tsolumriver@shaw.ca

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