Regular walkers of the path along Bowker Creek may notice some plants moved recently.
Volunteers from Oak Bay High and the community set about weeding and strengthening the native plantings along the waterway that the Friends of Bowker Creek Society hopes will once again host salmon – as early as next year.
Volunteers planted 23 new native shrubs including thimbleberry along the riparian areas as well as tall Oregon grape and snowberry along the drier upper banks. They also relocated sword ferns, evergreen huckleberry and salal shrubs from dry, sunny locations to shadier, moister spots.
Many native shrubs got new mulch and invasive Himalayan blackberry got the boot.
The ongoing work is part of a larger project to reinvigorate Bowker Creek, which also runs through Saanich and Victoria.
For the second consecutive year, the Friends of Bowker Creek, through its Bowker Creek Salmon Recovery project, packed more than 30,000 chum eggs to incubate in a man-made rocky bed downstream from Oak Bay High.
Planted in February, the fertilized eggs donated by Goldstream Hatchery, are expected to hatch any day.
If all went according to plan, the 2022 batch of juveniles followed the current down to the Salish Sea with some anticipated to return in November 2024.
Two more spring sessions are set for anyone interested in volunteering labour along Bowker Creek at Oak Bay High. The sessions are April 16 and April 30 from 10 a.m. to noon with tools provided.