In spring this year, ARMS received a grant from the Pacific Salmon Foundation to monitor the health of a newly constructed channel in Pitt Meadows for overwintering salmonid species. ARMS coordinated training for Katzie youth to assist in monitoring the channel. This compensation project is a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure initiative to offset lost habitat from Katzie Slough when Highway 7 in Pitt Meadows was expanded to install a bus lane.
ARMS started Year 1 monitoring back in May with Mike Pearson from Pearson Ecological. Mike led a small crew of volunteers from Katzie and ARMS to set and retrieve juvenile fish traps and lay vegetation plots to record the type, number and size of plants occurring in the project area.
Streamkeepers training was completed in July with ARMS volunteers, staff, and Katzie youth in attendance. Coho Creek, Maple Ridge provided a perfect training area. The weather cooperated and we had a great learning experience. Training was provided by the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation.
In mid August, ARMS staff and volunteers had the opportunity to learn about photo-point monitoring camera skills. This is a technique used to monitor changes in habitat over the different seasons.
Our first full day of water testing was conducted at the end of August. We tested the water in the slough and compared it to that of the channel. The water in the slough turned out to be between poor and acceptable water quality, while the channel read an acceptable quality. We did not expect the channel’s water to be better than the slough’s so we were surprised at the results. While out at the site, we laid some traps and found various aquatic life including stickleback fish, pumpkin seed fish fry, and tadpoles.
ARMS will be going out again in the fall to record what aquatic invertebrates (water bugs) are using the blind channel and to record the water quality in slightly cooler temperatures