Keep our streams clean for spawning salmon, group urges

SURREY – As salmon return to their spawning grounds in B.C., Surrey’s Salmon Habitat Restoration Program (SHaRP) is reminding the public to be careful of what they put down the drain.

 

"Whatever goes into a storm drain is going to go into a stream or a watercourse so we just need to be careful what we put down there," said Chelsea Nerpio, SHaRP coordinator.

 

In its current campaign, SHaRP is targeting landscaping materials like concrete and asphalt as well as the proper disposal of waste water from pools and hot tubs.

 

Nerpio said that with the latest rainfall, salmon will begin swimming into Surrey’s 1,400 kilometres of watercourses anytime now, making attention to water quality even more important.

 

"Usually they start coming up when the rain starts falling and I’m thinking by the end of September we are going to see Salmon within Surrey streams," she said.

 

Surrey’s waterways are spawning and rearing grounds for five species of salmon and trout. According to the city’s website, more than 900 Chum salmon have been counted in Bear Creek in one season.

 

Concrete and chemicals that are flushed down storm drains can contribute to raising the acidity level of the water.

 

Nerpio said that because salmon can only survive at a narrow pH range, any changes can have a huge impact.

 

"It can affect their entire system … adding that into the water really affects their system and oxygen levels and their ability to spawn and swim upstream," she said.

 

SHaRP will be working with local landscaping, pool and hot tub businesses to ensure that any products and chemicals do not contaminate streams and rivers.

 

While the current public-awareness campaign targets specific materials other products like paint, pesticides/herbicides and soap used to wash cars can also impact fish.

 

"The best management practice for washing your car is to do it at a gas station where they actually have a catch basin that restricts the soap from going into the storm drain system. Or if they wash their car on their lawn it will allow the grass to pick up the soap before going into the storm drain," Nerpio said.

 

SHaRP is looking to the public for help in identifying contaminants and bad disposal practices. Nerpio is encouraging anyone who sees products being disposed of in an unsafe manner, or signs of contaminants in or around streams, to contact the city’s 24-hour Service Request Hotline at 604-591-4152.

 

matt@mattlaw.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey councillors wary of ‘streamlining’ environmental development permits process

Mayor Doug McCallum notes B.C. government only agency that can issue environment permit

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help Surrey boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

City buys century-old East Delta church

St. Stephen’s Church to be renovated and restored, used as community services and programming space

COVID-19 exposure at Surrey rave prompts warning from Fraser Health

Party was held at Royal Beauty Supply in Whalley

Man charged with manslaughter in Surrey woman’s death

Duncan Ryan McCabe, 47, is charged with manslaughter in June 2, 2020 death of Karlee May Dixon, 40, of Surrey

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic hihg-water levels that halted migration runs

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

COVID-19 could mean curtains for film and TV extras

Background performers worry they’re being replaced by mannequins on film and TV sets

Most Read