Archive for July, 2012

SEAS Internship – Week 4

Check out this video that Gene created during the fourth week of the internship program:

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SEAS Internship – Week 3

Here are a few notes and a photo slideshow from this past week.


Well my week went something like this: it was busy, fun and awesome. Day 2 was busy. We went to set some g-traps up river two times in two places. We actually caught a lot of fish this time: Chinook and coho fry. Then as we were coming back to camp we saw a bear. That day was pretty awesome. And the last day of the week is always fun watching the kids from camp dance in the big house.

Coho fry


Wednesday was the day we went to Namu. We left early in the morning at about 9:00am. I thought it wouldn’t be much fun to catch and tag fish, but I thought wrong. On the first set we caught two fish, which was exciting at the time. As soon as they were tagged, we let them go. It was also a fun experience trying to catch fish in a seine net. Everybody would be in hip waders or shorts in the water pulling in the net. Some things were challenging, but after one or two sets I got the hang of things. I liked that we went to Namu to do the tagging because it was fascinating but also eerie to see all the old buildings there; some collapsed in, some half intact. Overall, it was hard work but enjoyable. I am looking forward to the coming weeks of working at Koeye and surrounding areas.

Richard’s Slideshow on the Tagging Process


On Thursday the 19th we went to do Dolly Varden stomach content research for Will. We caught a whole bunch of Dolly Varden. As soon as we got there Louis and I tried to cast. Within a minute we both lost our hooks. We had to hike back to the big house and Louis ran back to the lodge to get more buzz bombs. Then we had to hike all the way back to the kids camp. We got the hooks all set up on the fishing rods and Louis and I cast off again. Louis caught a fish but the line snapped off and he lost the fish when it was within five feet of him. Louis was trying to chase the fish and he did an epic roar. We caught ten fish that day and eight of them had stomach samples to collect. After that we went up river to see if there was a stream to survey in the future. We were checking it out to see if it was surveyable. On the way back to the lodge we were going down the river and we saw a grizzly bear just past the grass flats. We were roughly 25 feet away from it.

Gene with a Dolly Varden

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Taking a Stand

This is an excerpt from friends of Pacific Wild, Mike Reid and Sarah Stoner’s blog. To view the full blog, and read a letter a day to Mr. Harper, visit

Dear Mr. Harper,


It’s been a crazy week.  With the release of the US National Transportation Safety Board report, revealing Enbridge’s lack of response and inaction to the Kalamazoo spill in Michigan two years back, the media has been in a bit of a frenzy.  Some of your colleagues in the political world have caught wind of this frenzy, and the sheer ineptness Enbridge displayed in dealing with the leak, but we have yet to hear anything from you, Mr. Harper.

The report reveals that Enbridge pipe operators failed to acknowledge the constant drop of pressure in the pipeline to be caused by a leak and instead chose to increase the volume of oil being pumped through in an effort to keep up the pressure.  After 17 hours, the leak was reported by an employee in Michigan, not one of the operators choosing to throw in the towel and recognize all the alarm bells going off in front of him.

As a result, 3.8 million litres of crude spilled into the Kalamazoo River causing the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.

Since the release of this report, we’ve seen action and clear stances being taken by your colleagues, our elected officials, in opposition of this pipeline.  Thomas Mulcair declared that the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project be stopped and referred to the NTSB report as “the final nail” in the proposed projects’ coffin.  Even the fence-sitting Christy Clark said that if Enbridge plans to operate in BC the way it did in Michigan, then they can “forget it”.

And here’s the thing, Mr. Harper… it all comes down to human error.  No matter how state of the art Enbridge’s pipeline technology has become in the last few years, nothing can make up for the fact that 3.8 million litres of crude were spilt as a result of human laziness and incompetence.

We can’t let that be our fate.  This place is too special.

For the coast,

Sarah and Mike

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Band Together BC – 170 km down, 1,000 km to go!

The latest press release

McBride, BC- July 13, 2012: On July 8, Kim Slater began her journey across the province to engage Northern communities in dialogue on renewable energy and alternatives to expanding the tar sands. She has begun to share these informal conversations on the campaign website and blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

One of the people she has spoken with along the way is Seth McDonald of Dunster. “An energy strategy should fit local and regional realities;” he says. In addition to working in the silviculture industry, Seth started his own biodiesel company called Robson Valley Biodiesel. He is committed to reducing his dependency on fossil fuel at work and at home, and helping others in the area to do the same. He runs his vehicles on waste veggie oil and biodiesel and grows much of his own food. He donated a large quantity of waste veggie oil to the Band Together Support vehicle.

So far Kim has traveled 170 km west along Highway 16, with stops in Mt. Robson and McBride, heading towards Prince George. The Sea to Sands Conservation Alliance will be hosting a gathering at Artspace at 7 pm on the 24th of July. Anyone with an interest in tar sands alternatives and renewable energy is welcome to attend.

Another dialogue-oriented gathering is planned for the day before (July 23rd) in Williams Lake. It will be hosted by Transition Town and will feature a movie screening.

While Kim intends to primarily ask clean-energy related questions at the gatherings, many of which were shaped and tweaked at an interactive dinner event in Whistler, she will also be inviting community leaders to endorse the Statement of Support for a National Energy Strategy prepared by Tides Canada. The aims of a national energy strategy should be to deliver energy security, create jobs and prosperity and to fight climate change while protecting the environment. For more information, please visit:

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SEAS Internship – Week 2

For the second week of the program, the interns performed more stream assessments (including trapping for juvenile salmon) and crab surveys in Koeye. They also collected data for a Dolly Varden stomach content analysis study and traveled to Namu to seine and tag sockeye salmon. Here’s what the interns have to say about the week:


During the tagging project it was my first time snorkeling other than in my tub when I was a little kid. I thought the wet suit was cool. I never wore one of those before, but it was really hard to get on and off. It was my workout of the day trying to put it on and off. While we were snorkeling it was cool to actually see some sockeye. I saw a lot of little juveniles and shiners and herring in Namu too. It was pretty cool when we caught all those fish on Thursday. We caught and tagged over 20 sockeye. I’d never witnessed fish being tagged before.

Struggling to get out of the wet suit after seining and tagging sockeye.


The stream survey in Cold Creek was really fun. Me, Louis and William were walking up the stream. We caught fish that day too in the g-traps. It was cool because it was like a regular stream walk until we got to the waterfall. It was epic. It looked like it went 50 feet up with a sheer drop off. At the base of the waterfall there was a pool that led to the main creek. It was super jagged and everything on the rocks. It was pretty cool. We sat at the waterfall for a half an hour watching the water fall. Then William looked up and saw massive trees. They were huge, prehistoric trees. Then we picked up the g-traps. There were 3 coho in the first trap that we set closest to the ocean. Then we went to Namu afterwards to go seining with the rest of the group. That was pretty cool. I saw tagged fish as we were coming into Namu that Will had just tagged.

After a successful day of sockeye tagging.


Alright, unfortunately I kinda missed the first day and a half but everyone told me that on Monday night there was like a tropical storm and there was gale force winds with FIFTY FOOT SWELLS, and they called it… Hurricane LOUIS! hahahaha naw, I’m just yanking your chain, but all ridiculous lies aside, it was another fun, sun filled week at Kvai. Seriously, sooooo much sun it was awesome! The way I’ve tanned it looks like I’ve been out there for MONTHS!… and it’s only week 2. We even got to sedate Dolly Varden… never seen a drugged fish before. We used some stuff called “clove oil” and pumped their stomachs to see what they eat. We did more crab surveys and stream assessments which was alright. As a matter of fact me, Gene and House did a stream assessment at Cold Creek and I’ve gotta say, they don’t call it “Cold Creek” for nothing! I almost fell in, it wasn’t cool, but Gene did so that made me feel better. We got about 250/300 meters in and couldn’t get any further because we were stopped by a HUGE waterfall… alright it wasn’t “HUGE” but at least 25 feet. It was still pretty wicked!

Alright, that’s all for now. Stay tuned next week for another episode OF “Louis annnd… pals”… kay I haven’t really thought of a good name for it but I will, NEXT TIME!



I enjoyed the seining on Thursday. The dry suit helped out a lot instead of using the waders. We had people holding two lines on shore and one line tied to the boat still. The boat took the net out into the middle of the river and formed a “C”. The first set we went into the mouth of the river. When we were pulling it in to shore the lead line snagged up and Will had to keep going along the net and pulling it up off of the rocks. We didn’t catch any fish. We piled up back up in the boat and set it on the opposite shore. I floated all the way down the river to the new site.  After the whole net was out, the boat dragged it to the shore and we had to close it like a basket. Will was screaming around about the fish we caught. We slowly started picking the sockeye out one by one and started tagging them.

Richard snorkels in a dry suit.


Week 2 was awesome. The kids at Koeye camp got to watch and learn from us how to set the crab traps and how to fill out the crab survey sheets. It’s always fun to teach kids the work we do. Later in the week I got to watch Will tag fish. I also got to see what Dolly Varden eat which is gross but cool! 🙂 I hope to learn more as I go.

Preparing to set the crab traps.

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This is an excerpt from friends of Pacific Wild, Mike Reid and Sarah Stoner’s blog. To view the full blog, and read a letter a day to Mr. Harper, visit

Saturday, July 7th

Dear Mr. Harper,

So you’re probably used to people talking about the devastating impacts that an oil spill will have on the coast. What it will do to the intertidal zone, the estuaries, and the mosaic of life that depend on these systems.

People talk about impacts that an oil spill will have on the salmon, and the whales and communities that depend on these species for sustenance and culture.

Experts and the media talk about environmental harms associated with an oil spill and then scale up those impacts to individuals, harvesters and communities.

These are all very real impacts, Mr. Harper, and things you need to consider.

However, Mr. Harper, what about the impacts associated with the Joint Review Panel environmental assessment?

So many people deal with the impacts associated with an incident, the incident being an oil spill. However, I challenge you to shift your thinking on this Mr. Harper. Let’s look at the project being announced as the incident. Let’s look at the effects associated with the tripe bureaucratic dribble that spews from your office and peppers headlines across Canada.

Your words and your actions have impacted people on this coast more than you know Mr. Harper. I challenge you to imagine the stress associated with someone trying push a project through your backyard. A project that will strip you (and your kin) of everything you have been taught to be, and believe.

Your project is already impacting people up and down this coast. People who feel as though their voices don’t matter.

Show them that their voice matters. Show them that you’re listening. Show them that you give a shit.

For the coast,

Sarah and Mike

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This is an excerpt from friends of Pacific Wild, Mike Reid and Sarah Stoner’s blog.  To view the full blog, and read a letter a day to Mr. Harper, visit

Wednesday, July 4th

Dear Mr. Harper,

There is a common misconception that the Great Bear Rainforest has been designated a conservation.  Yes, this is true to some extent, but in reality less than 30% of the area is assigned into various conservancy agreements.  This reality become all to apparent on our journey south yesterday.  Just North of Klemtu, we came across a heli-logging operation.

From across the channel you couldn’t see a clear cut. No, this clear cut was hidden.  Hidden in a small valley 100 meters in from the waterline.  Hidden from the cruise ships, the pleasure boaters, and the many who transit these inlets.  This represents the smoke and mirror approach to conservation that keeps the public silent and industry, along with Government, happy.

How many of these clear cuts lie just out of site? How much this Great Bear Rainforest will be logged before it is enough?  Our insatiable appetite for resources will ruin this place.

We all have a personal decision to make on this one.  We are all guilty of this glut.  At some point though we need to look in the mirror and say, “Wake up bonehead! Is this legacy you wish to leave for your children”.

You have children, don’t you Mr. Harper?  Look in the mirror.  Don’t be a bonehead and leave them something to look forward to.  A coast to explore, a region dense with life stretching from the ocean floor to the highest peaks.  If you try to pull the wool over our eyes on this Mr. Harper you’ll regret it and your children will never forgive you.

For the Coast,

Mike and Sarah

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