I went out with the Streamkeepers on July 12 to assess the condition of Chaster Creek above the lodge and below the highway. This was no casual stroll. We waded upstream among extremely slippery rocks and clambered over a series of deadfalls, before scaling the very steep slopes of the ravine to emerge near the end of Fitchett. I have the bruises to prove it.
The good news is that there are plenty of cutthroat trout in the creek. Larry got some great video of them. The bad news is that we could not find any salmon fry, but we did find several active slides and a severely undercut embankment that bears an unhappy resemblance to the new Whittaker Creek canyon.
Local Streamkeepers will be applying for a grant to undertake an ecological assessment of the Chaster creekshed, which is extensive, covering much of Area E, and extending well up Mount Elphinstone.
Meanwhile, the Town of Gibsons is undertaking a Source to Sea Assessment of their aquifer’s watershed. The report to the July 28 council meeting describes the project area: “The northern project boundary is the top of Mt. Elphinstone and the southern boundary is the ocean at the Town’s waterfront. The western boundary includes Chaster Creek watershed, and the eastern boundary includes the Gibsons Creek watershed.”
I’ll be seeking opportunities to collaborate on this project with the Town.
Volunteers are more than welcome to help assess and monitor the health of Chaster Creek and its tributaries—or, for that matter, any other creek in Area E. If interested, email email@example.com. (Not all streamkeeping activities involve bushwhacking expeditions, really!)