May 29th marked the sunny opening of the trout monitoring season on Bee Creek. Daryl and I were joined by ELSI volunteer Jordyn, for her third year working on the creek and Bree, who is… More
With summer end brings cooler weather and healthy cutthroat numbers in Bee Creek. We retrieved 20 trout today with fork lengths ranging from 70 to 120 millimeters…a mid range fork length as opposed to last year, when we saw 40 to 180 lengths.
Best numbers appeared in site 1 and 5 with few trout in between, so this month they seem to have spread out upstream to Royal Roads property or have remained closer to the mouth of the creek. Trout colours look good and the creek recorded temperatures of around 11 degrees.
Overall, the creek looks to be healthy with trout numbers similar to last year.
We were happy to see Jordyn and Jean come and join us, since the weather was fine and the trout numbers have improved.
The warm weather has changed our trout count and we can see some healthy numbers of Cutthroat especially close to the mouth of Bee Creek.
Water temperatures are rising gradually and the creek is getting heavily covered at site 1 with weed, horse tail and other shrubs. Each site produced trout and we measured 28 in all.
Site 5 which is a pool just north of the bridge, produced five trout including one which had died. It is uncertain if the trout died then floated into the trap, or died after swimming into the Gee trap, but it looked as if it had been dead for some time. A photo of the trout, which had hardly any colour was sent to our colleague at Royal Roads for comment.
The trout seemed overall healthy, with good colour and very active while being measured.
June brought one new site to explore on Bee Creek. Just north of the bridge at Pacific Landing, this site is located just under a large log, to provide shade and just out of the main flow of water. The pool also has good depth. We recovered only one trout here, but like the site as it is just south of the Royal Roads site.
We were joined by Jean, our new ELSI volunteer who measured the water temperature and was taught by Daryl how to measure the trout. Jean is pictured here at site 1 with Rod and Daryl, where we retrieved four Cutthroat.
On May 31st, we began our third season of monitoring Cutthroat on Bee Creek. Site one was quite active, much like last year and we were happy to see the trout back in the creek. With sizes ranging from 90 to 110 mm, it looks like last years trout were still close to the creek mouth.
Further upstream a few similarly sized trout were observed and recorded. A total of eight trout is a quiet start to the season. June will likely see an increase in activity in the creek
Rod is pictured here by the stone bridge which which crosses the creek and will be widened this year.
The end of our Cutthroat monitoring season with Amy, Jordyn, Rod, Daryl and myself was great fun. We have now established five productive sites where we can expect to document a consistent trout count.
One of the new sites is hidden inside the riparian zone and provides a pool just under where the creek flows over well placed logs. Here Jordyn lands the gee trap directly into the pool where four trout were found.
The second is a very small pool just above where the creek falls over logs and is deep enough to hide trout. The trap needed to be hidden under the bank overhang. Daryl found a healthy 95 mm trout there.
After placing traps, we decided to try another new site just below the bridge. The small quite shallow pool produced four Cutthroat
On retrieving the traps on October 27th, the range of fork lengths provided food for thought. The smallest Cutthroat retrieved measured 45 millimeters, suggesting that the trout for this year, have spawned well up in Bee Creek.
This Cutthroat, with a fork length of about 170 mms was very healthy, well fed, with great colour. It was retrieved from site 5, approaching the creek source in Royal Roads property. Freshwater shrimp are active here which may explain a consistent trout count.
The smallest trout measured about 50 millimeters and was retrieved just below the bridge where we tried a new site. Fortunately we found three Cutthroat here. This one appears to be a year one juvenile cutthroat.
September brings us close to the season end of monitoring cutthroat trout on Bee Creek, so the team has decided to drop a couple of sites that have not shown any trout population. One site we dropped is along Cottonwood Lane (Site 5) which hasn’t shown any trout, partly due to the fact that it is landlocked and is a popular for dog swimming. So we will concentrate on sites south of here and explore two new sites that look interesting.
The new site 3 looks promising since Bee Creek creates a fairly deep pool which is seen at the top of the picture. Look closer and you will see the Gee trap neatly submerged. We retrieved two mature healthy cutthroat here, which was interesting in a number of ways. As we get to know the creek, we note that the numbers are smaller approaching October, yet consistent now.
The second new site (now site 4) also showed a healthy 140 mm trout. Located just to the north of site 3, it provides cover where the creek undercuts the bank.
This month we were joined by our neighbour Paulette and her family of helpers; Jay who helped measure the trout, Xavier who gave us GPS readings, Thomas who took the water temperature, and Briana who advised on names for every of the 11 trout retrieved.
At two thirds of the way through the cutthroat monitoring season, we took extra care in gee trap placement this month. The trout are well dispersed throughout the creek and numbers recorded were down. Jordyn joined Daryl and me and recorded a healthy, lively 160 mm cutthroat at site 1 just north of Pendray House.
Sites 2 an 4 continue to show no signs of cutthroat and so we decided to test two new sites throughout this month, to determine if there are any healthy pockets of trout.
Amy and Jordyn took several video shots of the trout being released back into the creek after measuring. You can see the care that is taken!
This month we were joined by new ELSI volunteers Jordyn and Amy, who were very enthusiastic and who handled the young trout with great care. A video showing Jordyn releasing a Cutthroat at site 3…..underwater….taken by Amy, is a wonderful testament to the benefits of volunteerism.
A really good mid summer day, with 12 healthy cutthroat recorded, principally from the mouth of the creek and further upstream on RRU grounds. A surprise at site 3, shown here, was two very small juvenile cutthroat of 40 millimeters.
Site 3 also produced healthy numbers of fresh water shrimp, which can explain why this site attracts consistent numbers of trout.
Thanks, Amy and Jordyn!
With the weather warming up, Rod and I were happy to see increased numbers of young cutthroat in Bee Creek, this month. All locations with the exception of Site 2 produced trout, with nine cutthroat ranging from 70 to 150 mms in Site 3.
Healthy numbers of freshwater shrimp were also noted in Site 3, suggesting that the trout are following the food source.
We retrieved 18 trout in all mostly close to the creek source and further upstream on Royal Roads property.
Comparing data between this and last year will help to identify any relevant trends.
A wonderful start to the season with a visit from Beth, her son and grandchildren. A very rainy day for the trap placement on Saturday was followed by a sunny day where we retrieved ten cutthroat, ranging in size from 60 to 180 millimeters.
We now have a full year of online recording to compare results, which will show the health of Bee Creek.
Site 1 has undergone additional work to revert stream flow back to its original path. Most of the trout retrieved were found in the lower parts of the creek, just north of Pendray House. Sites 2,3 and 4 did not show any activity yet, despite healthy water flow and cool waters.