Byrne Creek Streamkeepers

These volunteers monitor the health of Byrne Creek that drains a large urban watershed along the south slope of Burnaby, BC, runs through a beautiful ravine park and spawning habitat, and into the Fraser River.

Streamkeepers help maintain the creek through community projects and public education, and monitor its rejuvenated populations of coho salmon, chum salmon and cutthroat trout.

December Meeting and AGM Dec. 6 at 7:00pm at the Tommy Douglas Public Library near the corner of Kingsway and Edmonds in SE Burnaby.

Feel free to bring cookies, cake and other goodies to our year-end celebration and annual general meeting.

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Facebook Group

2016 Salmon Run Results

New record for Byrne Creek since it was reconnected to the Fraser!

Returning Spawner Counts for 2016 as of Nov. 23, 2016
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   133  130
Coho   12  12

Salmon spawn in Byrne Creek from mid-October to late December. Streamkeepers patrol the creek regularly to count spawners and process them to collect data after they have died. Counted carcasses are cut in half and returned to the creek to provide nutrients for the ecosystem. Please do not bother spawning salmon - observe from a reasonable distance and stay on trails. Dogs? Please keep your owners out of the creek from October to May, when the eggs have hatched :-).

2015 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2015 as of Nov. 18, 2015
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   30  29
Coho   8  6

2014 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2014 as of Dec. 22, 2014
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   7  2
Coho   29  10

2013 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2013 as of Jan. 7, 2014
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   2  1
Coho   30  26

2012 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2012 as of Dec. 29
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   21  19
Coho   7  7

Burnaby Now story on salmon returning to spawn in Byrne and Stoney Creeks.

Video of chum salmon spawning in Byrne Creek, Oct. 16, 2012:

Volunteer Organization of the Year presented to the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers by the Washington-BC Chapter of the American Fisheries Society: BCSS cited as "Volunteers who have made exemplary contributions to fisheries conservation, education, and science." Certificate presented on Sept. 13, 2012.

AFS volunteer certificate AFS award presentation

Congratulations to longtime Byrne Creek Streamkeeper volunteers David and Jane Burkholder who received a 2012 Environment Award for Community Service from the City of Burnaby! (photo by Yumi Kosaka)

burkholder environment award

Kids from Neilson Grove Elementary interviewed a Byrne Creek volunteer about streamkeeping activities:

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers from Neilson Grove Elementary on Vimeo.

Thanks to Choices Markets for $1,500 raised at Choices in the Park BBQs in 2011 to support streamkeeper activities on Byrne Creek!

2011 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2011 as of Dec. 30
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   18  15
Coho   21  21

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers 'elder' passes Oct. 21, 2011

One of our "elders" and founding members has passed away. Bert Richardson was a mentor, a keeper of lore, and a fine and gentle man. We will all miss him, though his spirit will always accompany streamkeepers as we continue our salmon life-cycle activities through the seasons along Byrne Creek. Thanks for everything, Bert. And thanks to the Burkholders for this great photo of Bert on spawner patrol some years back.

Bert Richardson

Byrne Creek Watershed 2010 Status Report Released

Download here - 5.7MB PDF file

Coho Fry Born Spring 2011!

After one of our worst spawning seasons ever, with only one female coho found spawned, streamkeepers have identified coho fry (babies) popping up in the creek. This is amazing news!


Coho fry

Fish Kill Nov. 28, 2010

Byrne Creek has suffered yet another fish kill. The source appears to have been runoff from a house fire. This is very unfortunate for the residents, and the creek. We commend Burnaby firefighters for ensuring the safety of the community, and hope to meet with them on possibly exploring ways of controlling runoff. An initial report and photos can be found here.

Burnaby Now coverage here.

2010 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2010 as of Dec. 6
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   9  5
Coho   10  8

We're now the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society!

While we've been functioning just fine with a minimum of structure for over ten years, we have incorporated as a registered BC non-profit society. New regulations for volunteer insurance were the final straw, though we've talked of establishing a more formalized administrative structure for years. Stay tuned for updates on the new board of directors, executive, and membership information.

Meet the new board of directors:

Toxin kills fish in creek, March 4, 2010

Trout killed by toxin in Byrne Creek

A chemical entered the creek, most likely through a drain on a street or in a parking lot, on March 4, killing hundreds of fish. (Update on March 5: streamkeepers and City of Burnaby staff had counted nearly 500 dead trout, coho smolts and coho fry, in less than a quarter of the creek's length, so the total number of dead is likely well over 1,000.) More photos here.

Media coverage of the kill: Burnaby Now article, Burnaby Newsleader article, CBC Web article, Globe & Mail article, Metro article.

More updates: Burnaby Now on lack of enforcement, Burnaby Now editorial, Burnaby Now on Mayor, Council Push for Education, Call for Public Help, March 11 Burnaby Newsleader followup

Video of salmon fry in Byrne Creek, March 1, 2010

First Spawners of 2009 Seen Oct. 24

2009 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2009 as of Dec. 6
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   9  6
Coho   4  4

Fry Spotted in Creek, March 22, 2009

2008 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2008 as of Dec. 7
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   26  25
Coho   8  8

Two male chum vie over a female spawner near the footbridge.

Adera Donates $10,000 to Byrne Creek Streamkeepers

On June 20, 2008, Adera Development Corp. handed a $7,500 cheque over to the Pacific Salmon Foundation that is designated for projects by the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers. Adera has already printed colour brochures for the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers, so the total donation is $10,000. Thanks! Adera has built several developments in the Byrne Creek watershed, and wanted to give back to the community by supporting the efforts of the streamkeepers. Byrne Creek Streamkeepers plan to use the funds to assist in the construction of stormwater management facilities such as rain gardens and biofiltration ponds in conjunction with the City of Burnaby.

Adera donates $10,000 to Byrne Creek Streamkeepers

Photo by Cindy Sommerfield

2007 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2007
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   18  15
Coho   7  7

Byrne Creek Watershed 2006 Status Report

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers released their Byrne Creek Watershed Status Report - 2006 on March 2, 2007. You can download a PDF of the report (5.8MB PDF file). You can also download the 2005 report (4.4MB PDF file) and the 2004 report (5.1MB PDF file).

2006 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2006 as of Dec. 16
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   31  27
Coho   8  8

2005 Salmon Run Results

Returning Spawner Counts for 2005 as of Dec. 29
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   18  17
Coho   26  26

The 2005 salmon spawning season ended with the last coho found on Dec. 29, 2005. Unfortunately, the return was less than half of 2004. Streamkeepers were also dismayed that very few male coho returned, and almost all of the female coho found had not spawned. The chum run was very low, less than a third of 2004.

2004 Salmon Run Final Results

New record of 91 chum and coho!

Returning Spawner Counts for 2004
  Sighted Confirmed -- dead fish evaluated
Chum   67  67
Coho   24  24

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers have a private mailing list through which we share news, and information about activities and events. You can learn more about the list and apply to join it using this form. Membership is limited to active streamkeepers and volunteers.

Byrne Creek History

1960s: Wild salmon and trout disappear
1987: Vancouver Angling and Game Association assessment with Fisheries and Oceans Canada
1989: Coho salmon stocking initiated
1997: Chum salmon stocking initiated
1998: Toxic storm drain spill kills 5,000 fish
1999: Byrne Creek Streamkeepers founded
1999: Spawning habitat constructed
2000: First Stream of Dreams mural unveiled on BC Rivers Day
2001: 50 spawners return to Byrne Creek
2002: Lowland reach re-excavated
2002: 72 spawners return to Byrne Creek
2003: 62 spawners return to Byrne Creek
2004: 91 spawners return to Byrne Creek

Contact us:

Paul Cipywnyk:  paul@cipywnyk.com
Joan Carne:  tobydog2000@shaw.ca
David Burkholder:  DavidBurkholder@shaw.ca


Home   What's New   Activities   Maps   Threats   Projects   Join Us   Links
Copyright 2010 Byrne Creek Streamkeepers. Linking and copying encouraged with proper attribution.
Email webmaster