Chums of Terrell Creek to restore waterway

Published on Thu, Jul 10, 2003
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Chums of Terrell Creek to restore waterway

Residents of the community are banding together to restore Terrell Creek.

The Chums of Terrell Creek, a group of concerned citizens, are raising money to expand canarygrass removal upstream from Jackson Road. When the canarygrass is removed, the group will re-plant native trees and shrubs to shade out the canarygrass and prevent re-growth.

These efforts can speed up re-introducing salmon to the creek in 2004. Stable salmon runs will make Terrell Creek a better home not only for salmon, but for great blue herons, bald eagles and other wildlife, Chum members say.

�Terrell Creek is ours and it is up to us to tend to it and return it to a state that will enhance the lives of the wildlife and our own,� member Eliana Steele-Friedlob said. �From sport fishermen to the bald eagles, we all have a stake in its health and there is very little downside.�

She hopes that people who live along the creek will stop throwing their grass clippings and weeds into it. �Those practices result in diminished oxygen to the fish�one of Terrell Creek's water quality problems. Whatever happened to garbage cans and compost heaps? That�s the place for clippings and weeds. We must all learn and grow,� she said.

�We are raising funds to have a section of the creek cleansed of the grass and replanted with native shrubs and trees to improve the habitat and retard re-growth of the grass,� Steele-Friedlob said. �Our goal is $5,000.�

The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) will remove the canarygrass from the creek in the fall.

The group will present project descriptions, as well as samples of the shrubs and vegetation that will be planted after the channel is restored, at upcoming events, including next weekend�s Birch Bay Discovery Days and the Settler�s Picnic in Ferndale on July 26.

�We hope to begin active reintroduction of salmon via eggbox as soon as it�s feasible after the work is completed,� she said. �Hopefully in the winter of 2004.�

Terrell Creek was home to stable runs of chum and coho salmon during the 1970s. Runs significantly decreased over the years because of water temperature, oxygen levels and flow in the creek.

Reed canarygrass, an invasive plant, slows water flow, raises water temperature and lowers oxygen levels during critical spawning periods. It also acts as a physical barrier, choking the Creek�s channel. Because of this, salmon can�t get past Jackson Road to spawn.

For further information, call Elie Steele-Friedlob at 371-3441 or email Eliana.steele-friedlob@medstat.com.

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