"Committed to the recovery of wild Pacific salmon in mid Vancouver
Island watersheds through habitat restoration and community engagement"
"Committed to the restoration of wild Pacific salmon in mid Vancouver
Island watersheds through habitat restoration and community engagement"


Bridge Over Troubled Water?

MVIHES is participating in a very important monitoring program run by the BC Conservation Foundation (BCCF).




You may have already heard of a chemical that comes from vehicle tire wear called 6PPD-quinone. 6PPD is a tire preservative which becomes 6PPD-quinone when it reacts with ozone in the air. This chemical, which  collects in rain water, is lethal to Coho and Chinook Salmon in concentrations of parts per billion.


                                                                                                                                                                                         Photo Credit: Hannah Letinch, The Nature Conservancy Washington State




Bridges that cross creeks and rivers often have stormwater drains that empty directly over these waterways. When it rains, stormwater flushes whatever is on the bridge through the drains into the water below, including 6PPD-quinone. There is a term for a die-off of salmon caused by flushing this toxin into waterways: Urban Runoff Mortality Syndrome (URMS).


 BCCF is partnering with stewardship groups on the east coast of Vancouver Island to learn what extent 6PPD-quinone exists within our waterways, focusing on those that are utilized by salmon. Sampling events are based on weather, particularly heavy rain following a 48-hour dry period when contaminants are most likely to be flushed into waterways. Our sampling site is the Englishman River at the Orange Bridge in Parksville.

MVIHES volunteers were trained and have already collected water samples during two rain events. The samples were sent to Vancouver Island University’s Applied Environmental Research Lab which has developed a rapid, cost-effective method to analyze for 6PPD-quinone. We have received our first set of results which indicated no 6PPD-quinone was detected.

BCCF will use the data collected across the east coast to determine mitigation measures needed to protect salmon. According to biologist Dave Clough, piping the drainage from bridges into vegetation on the side of the road will remove a lot of the 6PPD-quinone before it reaches waterways. One method of reducing the production of 6PPD-quinone is reducing tire wear by replacing worn tires and swapping out snow and all-season tires for summer tires as early in the season as possible. Inspections of transport truck tires could be more important than ever.

Many thanks to BCCF and our volunteers Dick Dobler, Ben and Janet McManus, and Barbara Wildman-Spencer.

2022 Annual General Meeting

On October 1, we held our Annual General Meeting  at the Parksville Community Centre on 223 Mills Street from 10 am to noon. 

During the business section of the meeting we elected officers to the Board for the coming year while saying goodbye to Peter Law who is stepping down from the Board.





Peter Law (left-hand photo) was on the Board for more than a decade and at different times served as Secretary, Vice President, and President. Pete contributed a great deal to the progress and growth of MVIHES.  But there's no escaping us since he continues to volunteer with MVIHES. Thank you Pete for your years of service to the Board! See you on Shelly Creek.





President Barb Riordan gave a presentation on our projects and activities for the year which can be viewed here.

Our Guest Speaker was Nikki Wright, Executive Director of SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, an organization that works to conserve and restore marine nearshore eelgrass habitats in BC in partnership with coastal communities, from Boundary Bay to Haida Gwaii. Nikki gave a fantastic presentation on Eelgrass which can be viewed from the link below.

Re-visiting Eelgrass in Parksville/Qualicum: What Can it Tell Us?”

The video included in Nikki's presentation can be viewed here.

EelgrassEelgrass has been described as a “secret weapon” against Climate Change for its ability to sequester carbon. It provides habitat for young fish and crustaceans, protects our coasts from erosion, and is good for water quality. MVIHES was involved in mapping Eelgrass in the Englishman River Estuary in 2008 and is interested in doing this again to determine if changes have occurred and if restoration of Eelgrass beds is required. We will be relying on Nikki's expertise to get this done. If you are interested in this project and haven't yet signed up, send us a note at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Shelly Creek Fish Habitat Restoration - Phase III

This time last year we had just completed Phase II of the Shelly Creek Fish Habitat Restoration project on a section of Shelly Creek that runs through the Shelly Farm located on Standford Ave in Parksville. Coho fry rearing habitat was restored along a 400 m section of creek which is not only supporting fry, but also supported around 25 Coho Salmon spawners last Fall. Woohoo!

This summer, fish habitat restoration work was completed on a 200 m section of Shelly Creek that flows downstream of Shelly Farm through private property (shown by the red line on the map below); a continuation of the work completed last year (shown by the blue line). The creek then flows through Martindale Pond (the site of restoration work in 2020) and under Martindale Road on its way to the Englishman River. The fish habitat restoration work was designed and supervised by our Biologist, Dave Clough. Funding was provided by the Pacific Salmon Foundation.




Trawoger before


This section of creek had filled with sediment and was overgrown with mature red-osier dogwood and invasive reed canary grass and yellow iris, leaving little space for rearing Coho fry (left-hand photo).  








Although there was no flow in this section, it contained some open water making it necessary for MVIHES volunteers to remove fish using minnow traps and  transferring them to the Englishman River before work could begin. Volunteers installed a sediment fence, as seen in the right-hand photo, to contain sediment generated by the restoration work and prevent fish and amphibians from moving into the work area from other areas of the creek.  





Sediment and vegetation were excavated from the creek bed by Parksville Heavy Equipment (PHE), as shown below in the left-hand photo. The middle photo shows that piles of sediment were placed a distance away from the creek and contoured to a smooth surface to prevent it from washing back into the water during heavy rainfall. The creek embankment was contoured to a shallow slope, as seen in the right-hand photo, to prevent erosion and maximize the volume of water that can be stored during storm events. Another awesome job by PHE.






Stumps, commonly referred to as woody debris, were supplied by the Snaw-naw-as and installed in two areas along the creek bank to provide cover for fry and habitat for other animal species. The stumps were secured to boulders with cables by Snaw-naw-as member Chris Bob. 






Ten volunteers handseeded the newly restored creek bank with a fast-growing erosion control grass seed mix, donated by PHE, and covered it with a layer of hay. The hay will hold the seed in place until it germinates, hold moisture for the growing grass, and add organic matter to the soil, enhancing vegetation growth. The hay (40 bales!) was graciously donated by Walter and Donna Paravicini of Qualicum Beach and delivered to the site by Ryan Christie (PHE) and MIVIHES volunteer Dick Dobler. 

 Below are some photos of our volunteers in action, including Anne Bailey spreading grass seed in the left-hand photo, a gang of super spreaders in the middle photo, and Mark Hutchinson spreading hay in the right-hand photo. 





Many thanks go out to:

Werner and Antje Trawoger who gave us authorization to conduct the work on their property;

Ryan Christie and Bob the excavator operator at Parksville Heavy Equipment; 

Murray and Shelly Laplante, owners of the Shelly Farm who allowed us to cross their farm to access the creek on the Trawoger property; 

Walter and Donna Paravicini who donated 40 hay bales

Andrew McNaughton and the Snaw-naw-as First Nation

Dave Clough (DR Clough Consulting):  project design and "Notification for Changes in a Stream";

Laura Terry, Community Advisor for Department of Fisheries and Oceans: supported project and submitted "Notification for Changes in a Stream".

and MVIHES Volunteers: Carl Rathburn, Shelley Goertzen, Dick Dobler, Rick Walz, Randy Walz, Anne Bailey, Al McLean (Mid Island Castaways Fly Fishing Club), Bob Williams, Brian Lea, Doug Herchmer, Jo McIlveen, Mark Hutchinson, Terry Baum, and Barb Riordan