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Volunteers scour Hoy Creek for trash

Volunteer Chris Fox wades through Hoy Creek to pick up trash. On Aug. 9 about a half-dozen volunteers from the Hoy/Scott Watershed Society cleaned out a stretch of the waterwa - SUBMITTED PHOTO
Volunteer Chris Fox wades through Hoy Creek to pick up trash. On Aug. 9 about a half-dozen volunteers from the Hoy/Scott Watershed Society cleaned out a stretch of the waterwa
— image credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

A group of volunteers spent a recent Saturday wading in Hoy Creek but they weren't just taking a cooling dip.

The Coquitlam group was on a mission to clean out the urbanized creek so salmon can run freely during spawning season this fall.

"It's a risk to wildlife," said Rodney Lee, Hoy/Scott Watershed Society hatchery manager, of the trash that ends up in the creek system, explaining that when people carelessly drop their litter or discard larger items instead of taking them to the dump, fish and animals can be harmed.

This is the second year in a row the group has picked up garbage and debris in the creek system that runs roughly from Westwood Plateau to the Coquitlam River. Sometimes trash can block up a creek or create impediments to salmon spawning, Lee said, noting that the amount of trash was down compared to last year but there was still a lot of junk such as tires and even a shopping cart in the creek.

One shopping cart couldn't even be pulled out because it was so covered in debris and silt.

During their Aug. 9 stream cleanup, the six volunteers scoured the creek from behind the No. 1 firehall off of Pinetree Way to Glen Drive, filling up six garbage bags full of trash, collecting two bags of recyclable items, and pulling out three chairs, three tires, a garage door opener drive mechanism and a shopping cart.

"What is apparent is that garbage left on nearby trails does find its way into the stream," said Lee, who asked that people not treat this important urban stream as a garbage dump.

Aug. 9 was selected as trash pick up day because it was during the fisheries window when there aren't any spawning salmon, eggs or fry in the creek. More of the creek system could have been cleaned up with more people to help out. Those interested in helping out next time or taking on other volunteer duties can email hswsociety@gmail.com

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

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