"Committed to the recovery of wild Pacific salmon in mid Vancouver
Island watersheds through habitat restoration and community engagement"
"Committed to the restoration of wild Pacific salmon in mid Vancouver
Island watersheds through habitat restoration and community engagement"

The Shelly Creek Dozen

In our last article, we learned that 7 of the approximately 20 Coho Salmon observed spawning in Shelly Creek in November 2023 had been PIT tagged as smolts in our smolt trap in 2022, while on their migration to the ocean. Woohoo, they came home to spawn! The excitement continued throughout December.



Our last data download (left-hand photo) from the antenna array that detects the tags was on January 3rd. We sent the data to Thomas Negrin of BC Conservation Foundation (BCCF) so he could identify the fish from the tag data. And what interesting results.



A total of 12 individual tagged fish crossed the array in November and December.

10 were Coho spawners and 2 were Cutthroat Trout parrs (< 1 year old).

8 of the spawners had been tagged at our smolt trap in May 2022.

The ninth spawner was an adult that was tagged off Entrance Island (near Gabriola Island) in 2023 during the marine micro-trolling program. BCCF micro-trolls using miniature trolling gear (hooks, spoons, flashers) to capture juvenile fish for PIT tagging (right-hand photo). Except this wasn’t a juvenile. It was 21 inches long. And it had been clipped so it was a hatchery fish and therefore, not from the Englishman River. Thomas Negrin tagged that fish so we’re sure he’s thrilled to see it in Shelly Creek. You can watch a video on micro-trolling here.

The tenth spawner had been tagged in Centre Creek in 2022 at the BCCF/Snaw-naw-as smolt trap.

One Cutthroat Trout was tagged at our smolt trap in 2023 but the second was tagged in 2023 in Centre Creek. Centre Creek flows into the South Englishman River 250 m upsteam of where the South Englishman enters the Englishman River, as seen in the map below.  Those little guys sure can boogie. Mind you, the Flow is with them.


BCCF will be PIT tagging the fish we capture in our smolt trap again in 2024. And we'll be tracking them! May the Flow be with you.

Many thanks to the land owner and his tenant who allowed us to install the array, batteries and datalogger on their property, as well as giving us access for downloading data and switching out the batteries several times from November to January.