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

Vancouver Island man runs 500 km for anti-trophy hunting campaign

The 13-day run saw Giordano Corlazzoli run nearly a marathon a day

Travel tips for passing through the Victoria airport this holiday season

It may be small in size but Victoria International Airport was voted one of the top 10 busiest in Canada

Taxpayer watchdog treats Victoria to candy cane awards

Grumpy Taxpayer$ honours councillors and boards who helped with transparency in 2018

Saanich won’t be big in Japan; council rejects potential sister-city relationship

Council also refuses to reimburse former mayor Richard Atwell

Heavy rain spurs public health advisory for Greater Victoria beaches

Wastewater along shoreline may pose a health risk

Miniature Christmas Land is back in Saanich

Local family continues to open intense Christmas-themed basement to public

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Scientist awarded $100K for work on Arctic contaminants that led to ban

Derek Muir has received the $100,000 Weston Family Prize for his research that showed those carcinogens were able to move into the Arctic.

Manhunt continues for France shooter

Suspected gunman named, had long police record

‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Shining’ added to National Film Registry

“These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Most Read