Members of the Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers Society rescued more than 300 salmon smolts and 80 cutthroat trout were discovered in Beach Creek on the Qualicum Beach Memorial.
The fish were discovered as the golf course was set to embark on a project to remove sediment from a large pond used for irrigation.
Before excavation was undertaken, fisheries management required that fish found should be moved upstream for safety.
Volunteers, led by fisheries technician John Dunn, donned chest waders and used a large seining net to find and capture the fish for relocation.
The society’s David James indicated the number of coho salmon confirmed Beach Creek is an active and healthy wild salmon stream.
“The finding is noteworthy during a particularly dry and hot summer, and points out the critical role that groundwater plays in supporting fish populations,” said James. “The coho, unlike other salmon species, spend at least one year in the freshwater streams before migrating out to sea, so they are dependent on stream water during the summer months.”
— NEWS Staff