The Peninsula Streams Society is hoping to get the West Shore community inspired to become stewards of the Millstream watershed and is planning an information session to do just that.
On June 27 starting at 6:30 p.m., the society will be at the outdoor covered area of Millstream Elementary School to talk about the work it has been involved in on the watershed already, how its efforts to restore the coho salmon return in the watershed are going, and how the community can help keep those efforts going.
“It’s time to get the community more involved with (Millstream watershed) and its stewardship,” said executive coordinator Ian Bruce. “The work that we do, the community is essential for us to achieve our goals. That’s what this meeting is about – the community coming out and helping us.”
The society has been working with the City of Langford and other community groups since 2016 to help restore the watershed and its coho salmon returns. In 2020, a fishway under Atkins Road was completed as a complement to the existing fishways which were built by Goldstream Hatchery volunteers.
That additional fishway opened up an additional seven kilometres of the Millstream Creek to salmon, and it is expected to help bring salmon return numbers up from around 700 in 2016, to 3,000 to 4,000 over the next five years.
Beyond installing fishways, the society is working alongside other community groups – some of which it is mentoring to help them achieve their own goals – to restore the natural habitat of the watershed and surrounding areas. Bruce said that work, in particular, requires a lot of help from community volunteers.
“Planting, riparian management, especially near Millstream school, stream cleanups, fry releases, adding gravel, protecting banks, these are all types of activities the community can be involved in,” said Bruce. “Just being the eyes and ears of the creek is important too, so if something is not going well, there are people out there who care and are part of something which can help.”
Bruce said the society would have held this community event two years ago, however, the pandemic forced them to delay it until now.
The info session will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 626 Hoylake Ave., and people of all ages are encouraged to attend. Seating will not be provided, so attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.