Students, sticklebacks and a stream

Adrienne Vance

Gabriola Streamkeepers

Monday, June 3 2013

On Friday, May 24, the Gabriola Elementary School Grade 6/7 class joined volunteers from Gabriola Streamkeepers to explore Goodhue Creek next to the Commons. Volunteers Melanie Mamoser and Carrie Culbard set a gee trap in the Commons pond the previous evening and in the morning caught an array of pollywogs, salamanders (seen to the right) and sticklebacks to share with the students as part of the Streamkeeper overview (all were later humanely released where they were caught).

Students were divided into three groups to discuss field identification of invertebrates, native streamside trees and vegetation and general watershed health. Each group met for about 20 minutes and then rotated through the next area of study.

Many were surprised to learn the difference between, a newt and a salamander (newts are nubbly while salamanders are smooth), and an insect and a bug (bugs are a type of insect but not all insects are bugs; for more information come to a Streamkeepers meeting). 

“The bug thing really surprised me because you can hit the bottom of the stream and pull up so many insects from the water,” said Grade 6 student Conner Maddison. The group spent that sunny morning exploring and concluded with a lot of smiles and mutual appreciation. 

The Gabriola Streamkeepers started last summer to monitor and evaluate stream conditions. Development of the Streamkeepers Program began in 1993, as an initiative of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The Gabriola group meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the WI Hall. New members are always welcome. Our next meeting is on Thursday, June 20 and will be a planning session. For further information, please call Melanie Mamoser at 250-247-2008, or visit the Streamkeeper section of the GALTT website: www.galtt.ca.