Volunteers at the stop net at the end of Second Street.  Photo by K Clouston

Volunteers at the stop net at the end of Second Street. Photo by K Clouston

Morrison Creek Streamkeepers are busy with two restoration projects designed to improve fish passage and increase available fish habitat. In partnership with Current Environmental, Morrison Creek Streamkeepers has been awarded grants from three agencies for in-stream rehabilitation this August. The projects will improve fish and lamprey passage at the culvert on the Comox Logging Road and the old wooden weir at the foot of 2nd street in Courtenay. Rock riffles will be constructed to make natural stepped pools while stream banks will be stabilized with rooted logs. Streambank planting in the fall and watershed walks are other important components of the work.
Excavators and other heavy equipment will be used during construction so the public is asked to avoid these areas until the major work is complete. There will be opportunities to see the site and to help finish the projects once the machine work is done.
Environment Canada through the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk has provided some of the funds, recognizing that this work will improve access to habitat for the endangered Morrison Creek Lamprey, Lampetra richardsoni var. marifuga. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) rates this animal as Red Listed (endangered). A Recovery Strategy is now in place for this unique population of the common Western Brook Lamprey that is found only in Morrison Creek.
Other funders of the project are: BC Hydro; through its Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. In kind and cash donations have also been received from Fortis Gas, Timberwest and Current Environmental. According to Jim Palmer, long time member of Morrison Creek Streamkeepers “Volunteers are a big part of these projects as is the help and co-operation by neighbours, landowners and the business community. Taking care of this creek is a real community effort and something that inspires many of us who choose to live here.”

Prize find while 'fishing' in Morrison, a recently metamorphosed Morrison Creek Lamprey!  Photo by K Clouston

Prize find while ‘fishing’ in Morrison, a recently metamorphosed Morrison Creek Lamprey! Photo by K Clouston

For more information about the projects, or to volunteer, the public is encouraged to contact the group at morrisoncreek@yahoo.ca. Or visit the website at morrisoncreek.org. If you want to help meet us at 9:00 am on Aug 4 at Second Street and Morrison Creek with gloves and clothes that can get wet and/or muddy.  Your help would be much appreciated as we are ‘fishing’ the reach empty right now in preparation for dewatering that stretch starting on 4 Aug.  Anything left on that date will need to be moved, as well, so the more the merrier.

Salmon Enhancement