Tsolum River Restoration Society volunteeers work on the rotary screw trap. Photo submitted.

Tsolum River Restoration Society AGM upcoming

Special guest speaker will be Dr. Jim Irvine, senior research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Dr. Jim Irvine, senior research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), and pink salmon specialist, will be the guest speaker at the Tsolum River Restoration Society’s annual general meeting on Saturday, March 3.

The event will be held at the Dove Creek Hall, located at 3400 Burns Road, Courtenay from 1–3:30 p.m.

Irvine will share his wealth of information and answer any questions you may have about pink salmon ocean survival and population trends in the North Pacific. Irvine has been a scientist with DFO for 30 years, and focuses mainly on ocean-related salmonid research. He has held various positions at DFO, including chairperson of the Pacific Science Review Committee, science lead during the development of Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy, co-chairperson of the Fishery Oceanography Working Group, and DFO lead for International Year of the Salmon (IYS). He has authored approximately 250 scientific publications, of which about 80 are peer-reviewed.

At the AGM, Tsolum River Restoration Society will share reports on activities in 2017 along with what’s planned for 2018. Updates will also be provided on projects including the Dove Creek gravel trap, the gravel bar assessment and live staking project, and the lower Tsolum gravel bar assessment and flood mitigation project near the confluence with the Puntledge River.

To learn more about the TRRS, its restoration plans for 2018, or how to become actively involved as a member or volunteer, come to the Dove Creek Hall on Saturday, March 3. All new, existing, or interested members, as well as the general public, are welcome. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided. For more information, call Caroline Heim at 250-897-4670, email tsolumriver@shaw.ca /or visit www.tsolumriver.org

Volunteers needed

The next opportunity for volunteers is helping to count the out-migration of salmon fry from the Tsolum River at the rotary screw trap (RST) and smolt counting fences, from early April through May. Training is provided. Students are welcome to join in this monitoring, which requires 1-2 hours of time per volunteer each week. This is a great opportunity to work hands-on with wild salmon as they begin their journey to the ocean.

In addition to year round monitoring of water quality and fish populations, the society has plans for several in-stream projects in 2018 including extensive gravel bar live staking (planting of willows to stabilize gravel bars), riparian planting, and measures to trap bed material to stop excessive volumes moving through the system. Volunteers will be needed for these activities as well.

Free trees

There are also free two-year-old conifer trees available to riverfront landowners! Contact Angela at the number below if you have an area of riverfront that is eroding, or in need of more trees.

For more information on any of the above volunteer activities, or to sign up, visit the volunteer page of the www.tsolumriver.org, or contact program co-ordinator Angela Spooner at 250-650-7637.

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