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Feet, paws and bike tires in a creek can harm fish: Squamish Streamkeepers

Streamkeepers install a fence at Coho Park to remind visitors of fish in the stream.

When poet Robert Frost penned the saying, "Good fences make good neighbours," he likely wasn't thinking of fish, but in this case, the saying applies. 

Squamish Streamkeepers have installed a fence around part of the fish-bearing stream at Coho Park to protect the fry. 

It is not continuous fencing, but sections placed in areas of Meighan Creek where it is possible to access the stream from the trail. 

"The goal is to keep it not just during spawning but also during the whole year because Coho Park is actually salmon-bearing 12 months of the year," said Zoe Blue, community outreach director with the Squamish Streamkeepers. 

Blue added that folks using the trails may not be aware, but there's fish and fish fry there, even if you can't see them. 

Previously, dogs have been seen in water chasing after spawning salmon, or people are standing in the little pond, not realizing that disrupting the silt in the water suffocates the fish, because it gets into their gills. 

She noted that it is often just a matter of education. 

Once people know what is happening in the stream, they want to do the right thing. 

Currently, there are coho in the fry stage in the creek. 

In the fall a big chum run will go through. 

With it being so dry and hot this year, water is low in many of the streams. 

"The water table at coho has dropped a lot and a lot of that stream has become sub-surface. It has definitely been challenging. Fish volunteers have been moving fry in Squamish to deeper areas.... it is definitely a challenging situation and especially for coho and chinook species, which are in the streams year-round." 

One way locals can help with the water levels in the parks is to monitor and reduce their own freshwater use at home. 

"Decreasing your own freshwater use is actually really important because all of our freshwater is connected, so when we are depleting our freshwater sources... we're depleting the water table," she said. 

GFL helped fund the project by donating $4,976 and a crew of four that helped the Streamkeepers put it up. 

Find out more about the Streamkeepers on their website.