Amelia Clark and daughter Elizabeth watched the salmon splashing in their back yard creek from the second floor of her townhouse.                                 Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Amelia Clark and daughter Elizabeth watched the salmon splashing in their back yard creek from the second floor of her townhouse. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: Salmon influx a sign of success

A Langley woman was surprised by a sudden influx in the small stream that runs past her urban home

From the second floor of her Langley townhouse, Amelia Clark could see fish splashing in the tiny stream that runs behind her backyard.

“Point to the salmon,” she told her one-year-old daughter Elizabeth.

“Where are they?”

Elizabeth looked carefully, then pointed at the splashes in the water below.

During a four-hour period, Clark and her children counted 22 salmon spawning in the fast-moving water.

“I did see it last year (salmon spawning), but only saw about maybe five,” Clark said.

“This is just really cool for us to be in the heart of the city, technically, and just see nature out our back window,” Clark said.

‘It’s pretty exciting. I hope the salmon keep returning to our little creek and that the Township of Langley and City of Langley will help protect and keep sustainability of our salmon a priority.”

The creek that runs though her backyard passes through a densely populated neighbourhood just off 200 Street and Willoughby Way.

Maps of the area show the narrow waterway, connected to Logan Creek, runs through a series of culverts as it passes underneath and around the townhouses and single family detached homes in the area.

Nat Cicuto, president of the Yorkson Watershed Enhancement Society in Langley, told the Times urban streams, like the one behind the Clark residence, are seeing more spawning activity because of heavy fall rains that have increased runoff and raised stream levels.

“The heavy November rains bring higher water levels,” Cicuto said.

“Late fall runs are different (from summer salmon runs) because they come from the heavy fall rains.”

Current weather records show that, even after a week of dry weather from Nov. 3 to Nov. 10. over 180 millimetres of rain has fallen so far, making it the dampest month recorded in the Lower Mainland since March.

Cicuto said other “local small streams” in Langley will likely experience increased spawning activity as well.

Salmon are facing fewer obstacles to get upstream in Langley thanks to projects like the Yorkson Watershed Enhancement Society’s 86 Avenue culvert project that added 100 metres of spawning habitat to Yorkson creek beneath the road that connects 204 Street to 205B Street.

The replacement for the old culvert under the road opened up the waterway and came with fish baffles inside to help protect the fish from people and predators.

Prior to 2004, there weren’t any salmon spawning in Yorkson Creek.

Now, as many as 50 have been seen.

READ MORE: Culvert design aimed at saving salmon in Langley Township

READ MORE: All salmon fisheries on the Fraser River slam shut to conserve sockeye



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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