Squamish Streamkeepers Update September 12/09
Ashlu Channels Pink Salmon counts-Final Totals for 2009
All channels were counted to compare with previous mid-Sept counts. With high and silty water only live and dead fish seen were counted which means many in deep pools went uncounted. Since the same conditions existed during previous years counts the missing fish need not be allowed for. As in previous years, the first wave of pinks has spawned and died and the second wave is now spawning. Only the Ashlu Channels were counted, not the Ashlu River.
-Intake Channel Total 87 Pinks
-Y junction to 1st Footbridge-228 pinks
-1st Footbridge to 2nd Footbridge-637 pinks
-below Second Footbridge-302 pinks
Total South South Channel-1167 Pinks
-Y junction to bottom 2nd Pond-39 pinks
-bottom 2nd Pond to Hunter Connection-1472 pinks + 1 dead 15 lb. male chinook
-below Hunter Connection-41 pinks
-Zigzag Connector Channel-598 pinks and grizzly tracks.
-Bear didn’t seem interested in plenteous pinks as few were eaten.
Total North Channel-2150 Pinks
-Below Zigzag-252 pinks
-Above Zigzag-492 pinks
Total Hunter Channel 744 Pinks
-N. Channel to Groundwater Channel-211 pinks
-Groundwater Channel-23 pinks
-Groundwater to bottom Y-669 pinks
-Y junction-55 pinks
-Central/Squamish Connector-398 pinks
Total Central Channels-1356 Pinks
-above Stump Pond-306 pinks
-Stump Pond Big Outlet-162 pinks
-Stump Pond Little Outlet-90 pinks
-#4 Culvert Channels-26 pinks
-#3 Culvert Channel-6 pinks
-#2 Clearing Channel-4 pinks
-Buck Creek Channels-0
Total Wapiti Channels-600 Pinks
Grand Total for 2009 Ashlu Channels-6,104 Pinks
Totals for Ashlu Channels in 2007-2,190 Pinks, 2005-572 Pinks, 2003-887 Pinks (flood occurred after spawn).
-On Sept 12/09 Grizzly Channel had 29 pinks and Volunteer Channel 1674 but these weren’t included
In our assessment today as these channels weren’t counted in previous years.
The pinks have spread out quite evenly through the many channels, some of which were just dug this year. They find the gravel with the appropriate flow and dig up a nest. This tail powered excavation is steadily expanding the amount of gravel available to other salmon as well as putting important nutrients into the stream.
Assuming that half of the 6,000 spawners are females and they carry 2,000 eggs that would put 6 million eggs in the gravel. With the good gravel and if flow is maintained, there should be a few million pink fry heading to sea next Spring.