BIFWC sponsors salmon enhancement workshops
The Bowen Island Fish & Wildlife Club (BIFWC) hopes for 2013 are related to community, education, volunteerism, and being supported by organizations focused on salmon enhancement and marine protection.
Residents of the community of Bowen Island care deeply about the environment and our natural surroundings. One of the features of Bowen which connects us directly to nature is salmon and the many streams in which they grow and where they eventually return to spawn.
The fall of 2012 saw the return of chum spawners for the first time in three years and there was a feeling of joy on Bowen. Because of strong chum returns, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) recently delivered 210,000 chum eggs which are now incubating in egg trays at the Terminal Creek Salmon Hatchery in Crippen Park. The eggs become fry and will be released into Bowen streams by April. Our hope is that salmon continue to return to Bowen streams in growing numbers.
One of the activities we volunteers really enjoy is being present when parents with young children learn about salmon and our streams. Families are such a valuable component of growing communities. Our club works with all the schools on Bowen: Bowen Island Community School, Island Pacific School, and Island Discovery Learning Centre. Our hope is that we can continue to be reinvigorated by the enthusiasm of children.
Club members are all dedicated volunteers and the health of salmon in our hatchery and streams depends on their commitment. With the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation, we are sponsoring the Salmon Enhancement Program (SEP) Community Workshops 2013 over the Victoria Day long weekend in May. The venues will be the Bowen Island Community School (BICS), the BICS outdoor classroom, Terminal Creek, the salmon hatchery, and Crippen Park. This conference is an opportunity for DFO and the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) to thank all salmon hatchery and streamkeeper volunteers working throughout B.C. and the Yukon for their conservation efforts. There will be between 100 and 200 delegates and the objective is to source virtually all services locally. Our hope is that SEP delegates see Bowen at its best and that businesses in our community will benefit.
The current mayor and council, as well as municipal staff, have offered strong support for our initiatives. As mentioned earlier, DFO and the PSF fund many of our activities and are key contributors to the SEP Community Workshops 2013. Metro Vancouver Parks has been tremendous to work with, whether we require assistance maintaining the hatchery or removing beaver dams so salmon can travel to their spawning beds. Our hope is that these organizations continue to recognize the importance of the Bowen salmon hatchery and streams, as well as our beaches and marine life throughout Howe Sound.
On behalf of the BIFWC, we wish everyone all the best throughout 2013.
TIM PARDEE & BILL NEWPORT