This category features all post related to Project Watershed Puntledge River projects, and Streamkeepers and Wetlandkeepers activities.

Call for Volunteer Invasive Removal – Tuesday, June 06

Hello Volunteers,

Project Watershed in partnership with CV Nature and the Courtenay Air Park are removing invasive blackberry next Tuesday.

This is a call out for volunteers to help with the removal of invasive species.

Date: June 06, Tuesday
Time: 830 am – 1130 am
Where to meet: Dan and team will meet you at 8:30 am at the Air Park Cafe (
102 20 St, Courtenay)
Please bring work cloths, a shovel/or garden shears, and gloves, water, snacks. Gear will be available.
Watch the weather and dress accordingly.
For more information, please call 250 703-2871 or email
Thank you for supporting Project Watershed. Together we are Keeping it Living

Update on Mallard and Glen Urquhart Stream Surveys

Glen Urquhart and Mallard Creeks both flow into Dyke Slough on the north side of the K’ómoks Estuary. The Dyke Slough in turn drains into Hollyhock Flats one of the most productive natural habitats left in the K’omoks Estuary. The creeks have been severely impacted by agricultural practices and upstream urban development. They each support salmonids at present, but available spawning and rearing habitat is very limited. Water quality from development in the upper reaches is also an issue. Preliminary topographic survey of both creeks was needed to determine options for future stream restoration. Project Watershed obtained seed funding of just under $5,000.00 from the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program in 2016 to carry out stream surveys of both creeks.

Read more

Streamkeepers Training Workshop

Are you interested in learning more about the health of our local streams and creeks? Project Watershed is hosting a Streamkeepers Training workshop this September for $50. The Streamkeepers Program is a series of modules which provide a protocol for assessing stream health. Participants will learn how to asses physical habitat, water quality and quantity […]

Puntledge Hatchery Open House

SEP Logo for Newspaper

Open House

The Staff of the

Puntledge River Hatchery


Invite you to:

  •     Journey behind the scenes,
  •      View returning adult salmon,
  •      Watch us sort and handle live fish,
  •      View Volunteer Community Group displays.

Sunday, October 18, 10 am – 3 pm

38 Powerhouse Road (off Lake Trail Road) in Courtenay

For more information phone: 250-703-0907


Courtenay, BC, October 5, 2015– The annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup event is upon us and Project Watershed will once again be undertaking a clean-up of the Simms Park waterways. The work party will take place on October 11th, from 10 AM until noon, at which time a tally-up will be done and refreshments provided for participants. You can get further details and register your interest in participating at:

Some of the 2014 cleanup crew stand beside their garbage haul.

Some of the 2014 cleanup crew stand beside their garbage haul.

“We again will have mutual assistance from the Comox Valley Nature folks – many hands make light work!” states Bill Heidrick, Project Watershed Director and Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee”.

Everyone is welcome! Please bring gloves and appropriate footwear and your enthusiasm to create a cleaner, healthier environment.

If you would like more information about this event, please contact Project Watershed at 250-703-2871 or email:

Project Watershed’s Salt Marsh Project Featured in Stream Talk



Project Watershed’s Salt Marsh Project at Royston was featured in the March 2015 Issue of StreamTalk. We encourage you to visit their website and read or download the entire issue there. For your convenience we have posted the article related to our project as an image below.




The upstream battle to save our rivers

Image Caption: The huge Thompson River has a drainage area of more than 50,000 square kilometres. British Columbia has tens of thousands of rivers that contribute greatly to our quality of life, Mark Angelo writes.

A changing climate will impact our waterways but it’s a challenge we should not give up on.

By Mark Angelo

Rivers face an array of challenges and much has been written about the more obvious pressures; pollution, urbanization, the excessive extraction of water and the building of dams. These are certainly cause for concern on many specific waterways but it’s the sometimes subtle and far reaching impact of climate change that could ultimately pose the greatest obstacle to protecting our rivers.

There’s no doubt that the world’s climate is changing.  We live in an era of increasing incidents of drought, ocean acidification, super storms, rising ocean levels and water shortages. Adapting to a warmer world won’t be easy and, in a coastal province such as BC, much of the attention has understandably focused on the long term threats to communities and cities associated with rising sea levels.

But as a long time river advocate, I’m also deeply concerned about the impact of climate change on the health of our waterways and the values they sustain. We live in a beautiful, rugged province with literally tens of thousands of rivers which contribute greatly to the quality of life we enjoy. Our waterways have done much to define us as British Columbians and our river heritage ranks amongst the finest in the world.

As climate change progresses though, there will be increasing impacts on water resources. In fact, many of our rivers and streams are already changing. In some cases, flow regimes have been altered; for others, seasonal water temperatures have increased and fish survival rates are not as robust. If these trends continue and worsen, there will be escalating affects on communities, industry, infrastructure, and recreational opportunities.

To address this in any substantive way will require a long term plan that attempts to deal with the changes that are foreseen. Such changes range from vanishing glaciers which, in past, have fed many rivers in summer months, to a greater frequency of floods and droughts.

Compared to other jurisdictions around the world, British Columbia will probably become wetter overall, while experiencing specific seasonal changes. Fall, winter and spring will be warmer and wetter, while summers will be hotter and drier. Many coastal rivers, now dependent on both snowmelt and rain, may become largely rain fed. That will mean higher flows in the fall and winter, but lower flows and higher water temperatures in spring and summer.

Such changes will also impact the many life forms that rivers support. For example, average Fraser River water temperatures have increased by almost 2 degrees over the past fifty years creating problems for fish such as sockeye salmon. This has resulted in higher pre-spawning mortality amongst returning adults while also reducing survival rates for young fish.

To counter this, an appropriate management response requires the development of a more precautionary, conservative approach to the fishery. At the very least, this would provide affected salmon stocks with an increased chance of survival.

In terms of other actions, water and river-related laws should be modernized and strengthened to better protect water resources and ecosystems. On a positive note, the recent modernization of the century-old BC Water Act was generally a step forward but, at the same time, the severe weakening of the federal Fisheries Act last year was, very much, a step backwards.

At local levels, we should develop definitive action plans and strategies enabling us to better manage water in times of drought, not just for the good of the public, but also for the benefit of aquatic ecosystems. Clearly, there are lessons to be learned from the drought experienced in southern British Columbia in 2009. We are often wasteful of water but, if we can manage our water resources more efficiently, we can provide for human needs while ensuring that adequate river flows remain for fish.

Finally, on a broader front, we must continue to pressure governments to take appropriate action to address climate change in the strongest and boldest way.

There’s no question that there will be tremendous challenges in the coming decades if we are to protect rivers and fish in the midst of a changing climate. But in no way are we helpless.

For many local waterways, varying predictions have been made about how salmon and other fish will fare. Many are pessimistic while others hope for an adaptive response enabling some species to adjust to altered conditions.

No one knows for sure what will unfold. Without question, it will be an “upstream battle” – but it’s one we should not give up on. Our rivers and our fish stocks are simply too precious.

Upcoming Streamkeepers Course

Learn to be a Streamkeeper!  

Greenways Land Trust will be offering the Streamkeeper training course from Feb. 27 – Mar. 1 at North Island College in Campbell River.  Streamkeepers is a fun and educational 2½ day introduction to stream stewardship which will be taught by Michele Jones, a qualified environmental professional who has been working in streams for over 20 years and has taught hundreds of volunteer Streamkeepers since 1994.

This weekend course offers individuals an opportunity for hands-on learning and practice of stream stewardship activities such as stream surveying, conducting water quality testing, and stream invertebrate identification.  No experience is necessary, just a willingness to get your hands wet!  Participants that successfully complete the course will be awarded a Streamkeepers Certificate and will be connected with existing Streamkeeper groups in the Campbell River area. 

The course costs $20 for registrations before Feb. 20 and $30 after that

For more information or to register, see or call (250) 287-3785.