2021 has been one for the books when it comes to stream keeping activity in Perseverance Creek. This year also marks the first year of formal collaboration between the Perseverance Stream keepers and Cumberland Community Forest Society.

In the first week in May volunteers started to see young Coho and trout fry along the length of Perseverance Creek, from the creek canyon downstream to the mouth  and along the length of the Lake Channel. Even after the huge freshet (high velocity river flows) in January , it was clear that this was a big year for emerging salmonids.

But as in other years, the water level in Perseverance began to drop below the gravel bars, stranding fish in pools. So with the help of seasoned rescuers and a wonderful turn out of new volunteers a season of rescues began!

The numbers:

Stretches and pools we rescued from – 12

New volunteers (recruited through new partnership with the CCFS), many of whom helped out more than once  – 16

Places we released fish [ thereby spreading out their chances of survival ] – 5

Number of fry rescued? Our latest guesstimates are…..

5,100 coho, 400 trout, 100 stickleback and 300 sculpin += Total fish – 5,900.

Because we have adapted out counting approach (using slowed down video during release) we may well have undercounted our earlier catches. That means it’s entirely possible we rescued and released over 6,000 fish this season !  From our recent stream check, we guess is that there still are several thousand Coho in the remaining deep pools [where the stream flow re-appears from under gravel build up ] . In previous years, these pools have not dried up, so here’s hoping the fish will be able to shelter in place till the fall rains ! Now we wait to see what the return looks like this winter when the Coho return to spawn!

Huge thanks to Perseverance Stream keeping lead organizer Heather Mathers for her leadership and mentorship of new volunteers!

Stay tuned for updated about training and education sessions for volunteers and other opportunities to support the resilience of Perseverance Creek.

Reminder – please do not attempt rescues or relocated fish without proper aeration equipment.