911 Stranded Fish Rescue
Last week MVIHES was informed by a local resident that there were smolts stranded in a small pool at the end of Parrys Park Rd off Martindale Rd. The pool was left over after the banks of the Englishman River overflowed following The Great Rainfall last month. According to an Environment Canada weather station, we received 228.5 mm of rain in January compared to 43.9 mm in January 2017. In fact, we received almost as much rain this past January as January, February and March 2017 combined (239.3 mm).
Time to call on 911 Stranded Fish Rescue Ladies. In other words, Barb and Shelley. Armed with nets large enough to restrain the feistiest guppy, a couple of pails for transporting, and a bright pink coat to stun the smolts into submission, we approached the pool. OK, it was a puddle. The smolts were immediately alerted by the pink coat and took refuge under the rocks. Rats. Our new strategy was to take the rocks out of the puddle and scoop up the fish. In just over an hour we caught a total of 38 coho smolts and fry, plus one sculpin.
We had to toss out a lot of rocks to get at those fish (see photo)! We transported the fish just around the corner to the Martindale Pond in Shelly Creek where they were released and last seen looking for refuge from the pink coat. Home Sweet Home at last.
Photography by Shelley Goertzen