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Squamish Streamkeepers looking for volunteers to help Pacific herring

Volunteers will help spawning herring at Fisherman’s Wharf in False Creek from now until April.
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The spawn of Pacific Herring on algae.

Squamish Streamkeepers are looking for volunteers to help with a project based in Vancouver over the next few months.

In an effort to help spawning Pacific herring, volunteers are needed to repair, install, clean and monitor nets at Fisherman’s Wharf in False Creek between January and April.

“A team including Squamish and West Vancouver Streamkeepers, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and others are attempting to provide Pacific herring with continuously submerged spawning panels suspended from the floats of Fisherman's Wharf in False Creek, Burrard Inlet,” reads a news release.

The release notes that eggs on the creosote-preserved pilings do not survive due to toxins, which is why the panels or nets are necessary. 

“Herring will not spawn on the submerged panels covered with silt, filtered suspended solids, and filamentous algae colonizing the panels. Therefore, the panels need to be cleaned every three or four days.”

As such, Squamish Streamkeepers are seeking volunteers to attend an outdoor training down at the wharf on Jan. 13, 14, 27 or 28—then pick at least one date in the months that follow to help again. After the training, the tasks largely consist of cleaning the panels, assessing the egg coverage and recording the data.

The training workshops are estimated to last between about 10 a.m. and 2 or 3 p.m. and will have warm beverages and light snacks available.

If interested in volunteering, you may email Douglas Swanston at nwseacology@gmail.com or text 604-987-4675 and include your name, contact details and which workshop you plan to attend.

The release notes that volunteers should be prepared to walk a few kilometres and wear weather-appropriate clothing such as rain gear, gum boots and gloves. There is limited free parking available near the wharf.

For information about Squamish Streamkeepers, check out its website at squamishstreamkeepers.org

 

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