Members of the Victoria Real Estate Board donate $10,000 to Peninsula Streams Society during a tour of the restored Swan Lake salmon bearing stream that flows into Colquitz River. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Peninsula Streams given $10K towards restored Colquitz watershed

Victoria Real Estate Board donates time, money to Saanich waterway

It was on a walk and talk along Swan Creek last week that the Peninsula Streams Society was awarded $10,000 from the Victoria Real Estate Board towards its Colquitz watershed stewardship program.

Ian Bruce, the executive director of Peninsula Streams Society, showed a group of members from VREB just how resilient the local salmon are.

“My first introduction to this creek was a home heating oil spill that leaked in Swan Creek,” Bruce recalled. “I’m in the water, hip deep in my waders with a film of oil across the top of the creek and something bumps me in the back of the leg. I find this [massive] coho swimming under me and I’m thinking, what is this doing here.”

Before the Marigold area was developed, Colquitz and Swan Creek were key spawning grounds for coho salmon and cutthroat trout. At some point at least 50 years ago, Swan Creek was split and had two salmon-bearing tributaries which rerouted through a new channel of Swan Creek, which was dug out by an excavator near Violet and Daisy avenues.

“It’s amazing they didn’t think to throw a few shovels of gravel in here,” Bruce said.

The Friends of the Swan Creek Watershed, one of the many hyper-local volunteer efforts that Peninsula Streams Society supports and works with, put in hundreds of hours into restoring the Swan Creek stream in the last few years. Even despite decades without a gravel base, which is paramount for the spawning fish, the fish continue to return. Upwards of 80 salmon came through in the most recent spawning cycle.

“We have a number of principles and one of them is the environment and being a good steward,” said Anthony Wick, chair of the VREB’s community relations committee.

VREB has made previous donations to Habitat for Humanity and HeroWork. This year it was to Peninsula Streams.

“We value the community, clean water, clean air, the more we clean up the environment the better our communities can be,” Wick said.

Peninsula Streams runs three education programs across the Peninsula free of charge. In Saanich, the Grade 3 program Watershed and Salmon Life-Cycle Program is now in its 12th year, with 550 students per year at Prospect, Lochside, Cordova Bay and McKenzie eleemntary schools.

The Grade 5 program ‘Cool Carbon Connections,’ is now in its 3rd year and is also delivered to McKenzie elementary, while the Grade 6 program Creatures of Habitat reaches 700 students per year, including Royal Oak and Colquitz middle schools.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Saanich Police receive another report of a cougar sighting

The big cat was spotted in the area near Saanich Road and Blanshard Street

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read