Warden’s report -Visit to ER #76 – Fraser River Islands, April 3 2004
Visit to ER #76 – Fraser River Islands, April 3, 2004
sunny, water level low of .6 metres at Mission bridge
Launched kayaks (around 11:00 am) from boat launch ramp on Nicomen Island, north side of Fraser. Fairly easy paddle (ferrying) across maybe 4 channels and walked across 3 islands. Landed on large accreting islands which are being colonized by seral stage cottonwoods and willows, just north of Eco Reserve (OR ARE THESE ISLANDS IN RESERVE? — they should be as they are accreting). Walked across island through reddish stemmed horsetail and small dense thicket of alder. Came upon a man harvesting horsetail. He told us the horsetails need to be 36″ long. He was there with his wife, who was also harvesting. They had come by motor boat, and come most every weekend to fill orders for florists. Later we saw this couple motor over to an island on the Chilliwack side, near Chilliwack Mountain.
These upper accreting islands are crossed by several large swales. Many deer tracks.
Next we carried kayaks to channel that crosses island network, just above largest cottonwood trees. This channel leads in a half circle back upriver, so flow is very low and is really a slough. There’s a beaver house and lots of fresh cutting of willow and other trees. There was a large number of ducks loafing in this slough — about 100, mostly mallards. We next walked down the swale between the two large islands. There was one large and one small pool left in this swale. Saw a frog jump into the small pool. Flowering cherry in bloom. Large cottonwoods just leafing out, salmonberry understorey. Some Himalayan blackberry spreading along the edge of the swale.
We next walked around the southwestern (downstream) tip of the large island. More deer track in this area. Many more ducks were resting in this area with slow moving river water. Estimate about 200 mallards in total, about 5 cormorant and a pair of merganser.
We then walked back up the northern shore of the large island.
We did not walk all the way up this side, only about one-third of the way, and then we cut inland across the large island back to the inner swale. Fairly dense going through the salmonberry. The Himalayan blackberry seems to be limited to the edge on the central swale.
Paddled back down the slough, and did the crossing of several Fraser River channels; returned to vehicle about 5:00 pm.