Community Papers

Streamkeepers keeping tabs in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Streamkeepers measure the flows of Englishman River where Peter Law (from left), Lindsay Orr, biologist Shawn Stenhouse and Doug Herchmer spent time recently. - Auren Ruvinsky Photo
Streamkeepers measure the flows of Englishman River where Peter Law (from left), Lindsay Orr, biologist Shawn Stenhouse and Doug Herchmer spent time recently.
— image credit: Auren Ruvinsky Photo

Some local volunteers spent a morning in the Englishman River recently to learn how to measure the flow rates.

Members of the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES) got the chance to train with Shawn Stenhouse, a project biologist with the B.C. Conservation Foundation.

“We are basically a Streamkeepers group with our main focus being on the Englishman River watershed,” explained MVIHES’ Faye Smith.

Stenhouse explained that they measure the width of the river or stream, hopefully where the flow is most even, divide it into a minimum of 20 segments and use a tool to measure the flow of the river 60 per cent below the surface, which gives them the best measure of the amount of water passing at that point.

The 20 or more measurements are then averaged out to give overall flow rates, which he said has proven to give very accurate estimates.

“The training was part of the program we call ‘Watershed Health and You’ which is funded by a Community Gaming Grant,” smith said.

The program aims to observe the river’s health to help keep the public and various governments informed.

For more information visit www.mvihes.bc.ca.

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