Colquitz Creek cleanup reveals low fish stock

Colquitz Creek cleanup reveals low fish stock
Fish stocks in Colquitz Creek are low, while others nearby are reaching record numbers.

A clean-up at a local Victoria creek revealed a low amount of fish in the water without a clear reason why.

While 30 volunteers were out in the ditches and roadsides that feed Colquitz Creek, they gathered around half a tonne of trash. However, they only spotted one Coho salmon and one salmon redd — which is a nest.

The environmental support technician for Peninsula Streams Society Carmen Pavlov says the lack of fish is a concerning sight and is also happening in Millstream and Craigflower creeks.

“I have not seen too many. The creeks that I’ve visited are looking pretty low in terms of stock of fish which is a little concerning,” said Pavlov. “I know that Goldstream is running pretty heavily right now which is a good thing to see but the creek right here at Colquitz is a little waning in the fish action. We’re not sure why that’s happening but we’re trying to get down to the bottom of it.”

Peninsula Streams Society executive coordinator Ian Bruce says in 2015 there would have been around 50 to 60 fish in the same areas, with lots of nests and digging activity.

He says there’s a concern because while numbers are low in the Colquitz, neighbouring rivers are having record years.

“Goldstream has a record year for coho, which is Saanich inlet, as well as Shawnigan which is another Saanich inlet creek with coho,” said Bruce. “So why there’s record-high years on that side and record lows here is a little bit of a mystery.”

While Bruce says the situation is ‘very disappointing’, he says there’s still hope and other ways to stock the creek including moving eggs into the Colquitz.

However, Bruce says there’s only so much they can do and what happens in the ocean is out of their control.

READ MORE: ‘Pesky’ otters continue to prey on Colquitz River salmon population


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