The letter in the March 31 edition of the The NEWS regarding Grandon Creek in Qualicum Beach captured my interest.
Grandon Creek is indeed a “nice and peaceful place,” as the letter stated. It is also an excellent example of an urban salmon stream which, like hundreds of others in British Columbia, has faced challenges resulting from human activities. The stream itself was only returned to a salmon spawning ground 15 years ago when a new, fish-friendly culvert was installed to enable coho salmon to once again return to the stream.
The Town of Qualicum Beach, Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers and many supporting organizations co-operated to install the new culverts and have continued to enhance the stream habitat. This includes planting native trees on the steep banks and along the stream-bed to reduce erosion and create pools and shade.
The March 31 letter asked what the “dozens of white wooden posts” along the stream were there for. I can answer that question. They are opaque seedling protectors placed over newly planted trees, primarily cedar and Douglas fir. The protectors let the sunlight in yet make the seedlings less visible to deer. The protectors are removed after a couple of years, once the trees have grown and become less appealing to our deer friends. Without the protectors, the new seedlings struggle to survive.
With respect to the observations regarding water drainage pipes and retaining mesh, erosion control along a steep bank such as Grandon Creek is an ongoing problem; the high rain events of past winters have added to the challenge. Better ways of managing the water flow is a topic of ongoing discussion and review by the Town of Qualicum Beach and interested groups such as Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers.
David James, president Qualicum Beach StreamkeepersQualicum Beach