August 21, 2014
by Suzanne Barnes
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The Big Picture

I was talking this morning about the big picture in regards to the new fishway and I thought it was worth sharing with hopefully a few more people because I don’t think we always know what we have / what we are looking at even when it’s right in front of us. I think the fishway is one of those things – it has been a very co-operative project. One where many groups, organisations and individuals have played a variety of parts – some bigger than others but all equally important to the success of the project.

To me, this project is a wonderful example of what we can all achieve when we come together and work for a “higher good” – the fish got away up the Bowmanville Creek to spawn; Goodyear Veyance Technologies got access to water for their fire suppression system; anglers got a healthy salmon and trout population; people, schools and other educational groups got an place to come and see and connect with nature in action (a functioning ecosystem).

This is what a responsible, respectful, healthy relationship with nature can look like. We can achieve all our goals when we work co-operatively and respectfully with one another and the environment – it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

August 7, 2014
by Suzanne Barnes

Getting ready for the fall salmon run

There has been a bit of preparation work being done lately to get ready for the fall salmon run (protective mats are hung at an angle, barricade across the old fishway opening)  .

Fish ladder preparations for the fall salmon run.

Fish ladder preparations for the fall salmon run.

June 14, 2014
by Suzanne Barnes

Trail Safety

Just a reminder to cyclists to use your bell when you’re using the path, especially when you’re coming up behind someone or coming around a curve – the nice weather is here and there are lots of people walking and cycling in both directions. Thanks! Stay safe!

May 27, 2014
by Suzanne Barnes

A Friendly Reminder

Just a reminder when you’re out enjoying the Valleys please leave the rocks, trees, flowers, plants and wildlife where they are for everyone to enjoy! Thanks.

If you feel the need to “pick” something feel free to bring gloves and a bag with you and pick up as much garbage as you like and deposit it in the garbage cans provided. No matter how many groups volunteer to help out with this there always seems to be more. Thanks! Or practice for your camping trips this summer “pack in, pack out”  :)

April 19, 2014
by kevin anyan

Bowmanville Creek Fishway Spring 2014

All eyes have been on the Bowmanville Creek Fishway this spring as the steelhead trout are making their annual run up the creek. The Bowmanville Creek Fishway was successfully completed late in the fall of 2013 with the grand opening held on a very cold day in December. The fishway is being monitored by CLOCA, members of Valleys 2000 and the Municipality of Clarington among others as this spring is the first season that it has been operational for migrating fishes. Rainbow Trout are successfully making it through the fishway but flow conditions have been less than ideal this spring. A long cold winter has been followed up by a cooler than usual spring and a slow melt with considerable rainfall meaning water temperatures have not warmed up and water levels have been high. Typically, as the water flow decreases and the creek temperature increases the fish are able to make it through fishways with less difficulty. Other potential improvements/adjustments to the fishway will be discussed once its performance has been monitored through various conditions, e.g., high flow vs low flow etc. throughout the year. With files from the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA).

March 21, 2013
by admin
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Latest News

 What is happening at the Fish Passage:

The current fish passage at the Goodyear (now Veyance Technologies) dam has been recognized for quite some time as being inadequate for the role of transferring larger fish upstream to spawn.  Of particular concern are the Salmonoids population, some of which have been declared as ‘Species at Risk’.

The current dam has a slope of 20%, which is too steep, and has only a width of 1.2 m, which is too narrow.  It is generally estimated that between 1 – 10 % of the larger migrating fish get past.  This effectively prevents fish from reaching some 25 km of upstream spawning & nursery habitat.

In 2010, CLOCA formally proposed that Valleys 2000 spearhead the fundraising for a new fish passage to address these concerns.

Thus began the saga of the Bowmanville Valleys Fish Passage Improvement Project.

Along with some 30 community leaders who volunteered to work on our fundraising committee, sufficient funds were raised to initiate the build process.  Including in-kind donations of materials & labour, about $500,000 has been raised so far.  Many community businesses & private donors have contributed – I couldn’t begin to list them all now but the finished project is to include a donor recognition board.  (This is an on-going fund-raiser – the more money we have the better the finished project will be as relates to donor board, educational components, etc. All donations are gratefully accepted.)

Designs were studied & consultants were consulted & a design was declared the most cost-effective & functional for our needs.  The new fish passage is to include a 36 meter channel, including 4 riffle-pools, which have a maximum grade of 4% and average top width of 5.5 meters.  This natural design channel will include a jumping component to keep invasive fish species (Carp, Goby, Sea Lamprey, etc.) from getting upstream to compete with the salmonoids for spawning grounds.  A viewing platform in the form of an overhead bridge will provide an exciting view of the fish from above.

An engineering company was selected, soil testing was done, engineering drawings were completed, and construction was about to begin last year.  One of the critical steps to be done before construction was to begin was to shut off the old fish passage – it’s being replaced.  The Bowmanville Creek Anglers Association was asked to solve the problem by lifting the fish manually past the dam.  With the fantastic help of community volunteers, they lifted some 5,540 fish last year (this year’s count is over 8,000 so far).

Unfortunately, technical glitches occurred  which prevented the fish passage from being built last year and it was postponed to 2013.

Once again this year we had to close off the soon-to-be-replaced fish jump prior to construction & the construction began.  Once again the Bowmanville Creek Anglers association agreed to lift the fish & once again they are doing a super job.

Shortly after construction began this year it was halted.  The reasons for this are still not 100% clear, but the result is that a new contractor has been hired & is to resume construction in the very near future, to be completed by the middle of November 2013.  There is no fear of the spring fish run being affected – CLOCA & the Federal Department of Fisheries & Oceans are all over that.  There is no intention of attempting to lift fish in the spring – out of the question.

As far as the garbage issue goes, we couldn’t agree more that it is shameful.  Valleys 2000 has been lobbying folks to help clean up the creek valleys & to report people who litter.   As far as responsibility goes, it is all of ours – yours & mine.  Town has provided us with large garbage containers which are emptied regularly. The problem is getting the garbage into the containers.  It is acknowledged that the vast majority of folks who discard their garbage carelessly are out-of-town fishermen.  We can only encourage everyone to report these polluters to the by-law folks & contact your local reps. to tell them how you feel.  There are laws against littering – nobody would get away with discarding that crap on the streets nowadays- but unless the laws are enforced they will not be followed, especially by people who don’t have to live with the mess.

Thanks again for caring enough to contact us.  Members of Valleys 2000 are available at any time to discuss any concerns regarding the valleys – we appreciate people caring!

PS  We also encourage volunteers to help with our chores – volunteer contacts are on our web site.