Here’s how to be a chum to the Chum
The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) will host its next tree-planting party and barbecue on Terrell Creek this Saturday, November 6, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Birch Bay Bible Community Church at 7039 Jackson Road.
Hosted by the Chums, local Birch Bay and Blaine area members of NSEA, the tree-planting and stream enhancement that began last year has progressed upstream into habitat owned by the nearby BP Cherry Point Refinery, which has contributed to the work. A grant from Fish-USA has also allowed NSEA to do additional in-stream channel work and add more woody debris for migrating fish.
This is Chums’ third tree planting day that they’ve sponsored on Terrell Creek, and each time they’ve planted about 1,000 native trees and shrubs of various kinds from near the border of Birch Bay State Park west of Jackson Road to the half-mile or more of creek that parallels the road.
Spokesperson Elie Friedlob said that their efforts, which began in the fall of 2003, are to “restore the old habitat that was here before the trees on the creek bank were cut.” To that end, Chums will also install an egg box this year, and add one per year as the capacity of the creek to support fish increases.
“We’ll begin with Chum Salmon, of course,” Friedlob laughed, “because they go out to sea right away and spend less time in the creek than other species, and when they return they’ll bring a lot of biomass to rot and support generations of bugs that will feed the new fish.”
Participants are encouraged to wear appropriate clothes, including sturdy shoes or boots and dress in layers. Gloves and shovels will be provided by NSEA, Friedlob said, and as with previous planting days Chums will host a barbecue afterwards. “We’ll be selling our T shirts,” Friedlob concluded, “to buy more trees for next time and to buy our first egg box.”
For more information contact Friedlob at 371-3441, or Rachel Vasak at NSEA, 715-0283.