The living ecosystem in Delbrook creeks needs protection

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Keegan Casidy, who has written on this site before on environmental issues and our creeks today offers us a fascinating video of salmon fry in Mission (Thain Creek). Mission Creek is an important tributary to Mosquito Creek.

Keegan writes, “Did you know that Coho fry spend a year in their Creek/Stream before leaving to the Ocean?

“This extended rearing phase is often the limiting factor for the species success. In the Summer months the fry have to deal with hot temperatures and low flows, and during the Winter they rely on deep slow moving pools for refuge.

“Mosquito Creek like many urban streams have their challenges.
One of which is they generally have large storm drain networks that are fed by our roads. Mosquito has seen mass fish kill offs in the past from negligent residents. Low flows during Summer and Winter months make this a very challenging time for the life under the water.

“Also, many urban streams have lost complexity created by large fallen trees and the deeper pools that come with it. These deeper pools are few and far between. It is likely almost every fish within several hundred meters has come to seek refuge in this one pool, making it critical to the species success on this watershed. The challenge here is there is literally so few of these refuges that you can count them on 1 hand.

“Another challenge is that Mosquito Creek has a large off leash dog area and with it these refuge pools have become dog swimming pools. There are 4 areas on Mosquito that were created specifically to help the Salmon. 1) The channel south of the skateboard bowl (Griffin Channel) 2) The channel below HWY 1 which runs parallel to Fell Ave (Fell Channel) 3) The two Alcoves that hold deep still water, there’s one just south east of the trailhead coming down off Fell Ave hill (West Alcove) 4) The other just a few steps up from the closed trail sign from the access on 19th to the East trail (East Alcove). Although Fell Channel is highlighted at every entrance as a “No Dog” zone, many trail users ignore these signs. There is very little water that enters this channel regardless of the time of year, and very little summer and wintering refuge, so dog pressure is magnified.

“East Alcove has significant dog pressure, especially during Summer months when dog activity kicks up silt and sediment to suffocate the fry.”

Editors Note: One of the uses the Delbrook Community Association has suggested for the Delbrook Lands site would include environmental education on issues such as this.

An earlier post by Keegan can be found here:

https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/delbrook-project-needs-to-consider-environmental-issues/

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