PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 19 June 2015

Club Events
1. Evening Presentations
The regular evening presentations are on hiatus for the summer, so the next scheduled event will not be until September. It is expected to be a presentation by the President of BC Nature, Kees Visser, on Wednesday, September 9 – watch this space for details.

2. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Planting Party 
Many thanks to all the people who dug up invasive plants and planted over 200 native plants and some spruce trees at the new observation deck  near the footbridge. Over 20 adults and young people turned out. The City watered the plants the following Monday. By the end of last week it appears that 90% of the plants will survive – we’ve been told that’s a high survival rate for reclamation sites, especially former snow dumps.

      Special thanks go to Club volunteer Andrea Eastham who guided the event, Penni Adams of Northwest Invasive Plant Council, and Katryna Schreiner and her crew from Spectrum Resource Group Inc. Clive and Sue Keen deserve special mention for their intrepid wheelbarrow work with the compost. A grant from Pacific Salmon Foundation covered the cost of the plants and other event expenses.
See Bob Steventon’s shots at
Related Events 
1. Centennial Celebration Interpretive Walk, Sunday July 12
The Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Club will lead a nine-kilometer heritage interpretive walk through the Hudson’s Bay Wetland, South Fort George and back along the Gunn Trail atop the Fraser River cut banks. This two to three-hour loop walk is part of the City of Prince George’s Summer Centennial Celebrations and will arrive back at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park (formerly Fort George Park) before noon in time for the Centennial Canoe Race finish and BBQ. Please bring a morning snack, water to drink, clothing appropriate for the weather, and of course a camera. The Gunn Trail has some steep and rugged sections, so wear appropriate and comfortable walking shoes. Participants must sign a liability waiver, and anyone below the age of 19 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Participants will receive a commemorative gift while supplies last. Please meet at 8:15 a.m. in front of the bandstand at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.

2. Go Wild! BCWF Youth for Conservation Camp, July 20 to 24
BC Wildlife Federation is running a leadership youth camp in Prince George from July 20 to 24. Youth aged 13 to 17 are invited to attend. There’s no charge for this event. Members of the Prince George Naturalists Club are assisting with the event which includes learning about wetlands and how to care for them.
The camp is a wonderful way to get young people involved in nature and the outdoors. For more information see the poster at:

3. Bird Banding Volunteers Needed
Mackenzie Nature Observatory is looking for volunteers for the fall banding season at Mugaha Marsh.  The station runs from July 19 to September 23. To date, we have volunteers just for August 25 – Aug 31 and September 1 – 5. If you are interested in helping please let us know the times you would like to come and your experience with birding or banding: contact Vi or David Lambie at

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, May 30, 2015

First a reminder:

Annual Mt Robson Provincial Park Bird Blitz, June 5 – 7   This blitz has been taking place for more than 25 years: for details email Gail Ross at Registration will occur between 7 and 9 pm in Robson Meadows Campground on the night of Friday 5th. Camping is available at Robson Meadows or cabins can be rented at the nearby Mt Robson Lodge.

Club Event

Hudson’s Bay Wetland Planting Party Saturday June 6,8:30 a.m. to 12 noon Volunteers are invited to the Prince George Naturalists Club’s first planting party at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. We will be working around the new deck and trail on the south side of the channel, close to the footbridge that crosses the channel. Parking is available at The Exploration Place in Fort George Park. From there it’s a short walk across the grass to the footbridge. People can also walk in from Regents Crescent along the paved trail.

The planting party will remove invasive plants and replace them with native plants. We will be planting over 250 individual native plants including prickly rose, northern gooseberry, thimbleberry, willow, native lupine, yarrow and blue wildrye. Our efforts will improve habitat for birds, pollinators and other wildlife. All plant and nature lovers are invited to participate!

Volunteers should wear closed shoes. If possible bring your favourite digging tool and a wheelbarrow, a large pail or a bucket to carry compost a short distance to the planting areas. We will provide shovels, spades, hand clippers and extra work gloves, also water, juice and energy bars. Coffee and donuts will be waiting for volunteers arriving at 8:30 a.m.

The Club’s first planting party is made possible with the support of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Northwest Invasive Plant Council, City of Prince George, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, and the expert guidance of volunteer Andrea Eastham. For more information please contact Anne at

 Other Events

 Chinook Fry Salmon Release at Hudson’s Bay Wetland, Monday June 1 to Friday June 5 Everyone is invited to observe the release of chinook salmon fry at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland footbridge, June 1 to 5 between 9:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. Students from Prince George elementary schools will be releasing salmon fry into the waters of the Fraser River at intervals of an hour and a half starting at 9:00 a.m. each day. The students rear and release the fry as part of the Salmonids in the Classroom program run by REAPS since 2008. For more information, contact

BC Wildlife Federation presents Wetlandkeepers in Quesnel, June 5, 6 and 7 If you missed the very successful Wetlandkeepers course in Prince George last year, here’s another chance to take it. Join the BCFW over 2.5 days and learn about wetland classification, the many benefits of wetlands, GPS wetland mapping, wetland plant identification, soil classifications and more. This hands-on fieldwork course provides participants with the technical skills to steward their wetlands. Where: Hallis Lake Ski Trail Lodge, Hallis Lake Forest Service Road, Quesnel BC. Cost: free (value $100). Contact Neil Fletcher, Wetlands Education Program Coordinator or 604-882-9988 ext. 232. For more information or to sign up, see bcfw upcoming events. Only a few seats left!

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 23 May 2015

Club Events

1. Annual Mt Robson Provincial Park Bird Blitz, June 5 – 7.

This blitz has been taking place for more than 25 years: for details email Gail Ross at Registration will occur between 7 – 9 pm in Robson Meadows Camp-ground on the night of Friday 5th. Camping is available at Robson Meadows or cabins can be rented at the nearby Mt Robson Lodge.

 2. Further Events over the Summer

Plans are being made for a tour of the plants on a private acreage; a trip to the Mugaha Marsh bird banding station; a Shelley shorebird ID trip; a Livingstone Springs botanical walk; and a trip to discover the unexpected riches of life on old tree stumps in Wilkins Park. If you have ideas for other summer field trips – preferably with a named trip leader – please let us know.

Club Notes

1. Presentation on the Wetland Project to City Council, 6:00 pm, Monday, 25 May

The Club will be giving an update on progress to date, and will report on future plans. Supporters of the project are encouraged to attend. Council Meetings start at 6:00 pm in City Hall Council Chambers on the second floor.

2. City Signage Project

Some good ideas have been received for the 30 signs to be created around a 30-kilometre city walking route, but many more would be welcome. In particular, ideas are needed for signs relevant to particular locations. A reminder of details, with a map of the route, can be found here.

Clive Keen

Another Observation Deck at Hudson’s Bay Wetland

A new observation deck has suddenly appeared on the north side of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland east of Queensway. Twelve volunteers put in 176 hours last week to built the deck over a period of four days. Special thanks go to volunteers from Caledonia Ramblers, Prince George Singles Activity Group, and Prince George Naturalists Club: George Roberts, John Glass, Ron Neukomm, Lynda Cawley, Blair Rice, Ruth McNeil, Sarah Boyd, John Vogt, Bill Dunbar, Ron Caldwell, Clive Keen and Nowell Senior. George, Sarah and Ruth provided a tasty and very welcome lunch over the weekend when construction was completed. The deck was built with the help of a Pacific Salmon Foundation grant and support from City of Prince George Parks staff.

The deck allows for observation of water birds and other animals in the wide area of the channel, which fills with water from the Fraser River spring freshet. Young salmon seek refuge in the channel during the freshet. An interpretive sign on Chinook and Interior Fraser Salmon will soon be placed at the deck.

Who knew that salmon hung out in this part of the channel!

Next steps this summer are to build a nature trail to link Queensway and Taylor Drive at Fort George Park and make the new deck fully accessible. Removal of invasive plants and replanting with native plants around the decks and trails will follow. The new decks and trails provide safe access to the channel and open up many possibilities for education, information and habitat restoration.

HBW platform north side day 3 2 Unloading cementHBW platform north side day 4 8 Work Crew

Photos by Nowell Senior

PG Naturalists Club: Interpretive Sign Program

We need your ideas for signs!

The PG Naturalists Club is partnering with the City to create 30 signs, and four information kiosks, along the 30-kilometre walking route shown in the attached map. The signs will cover all things natural  (flora, fauna, geology etc) – which is why the Club is involved – but will also cover points of Prince George history.

Each sign will ideally tell a story relevant to the particular point on the trail.

The plan is to have all the signs up and ready by the middle of the summer, so we need to move fast on this. The first stage is to gather ideas – please fire in as many as you can by return email.  You’re encouraged to walk the trail for inspiration.  Ideas can be honed in the second stage.

Jack Bowling, Carolyn McGhee, Clive Keen and Doug Wilson (Club representatives on the City project)

Naturalist club map Small

Naturalists Club Events and Notes, April 24, 2015

Club Events

1. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Cleanup, Sunday, April 26, 10 am to 2 pm
The PG Naturalists Club will be cleaning up the Hudson’s Bay Wetland this Sunday. Everyone is invited to come out for a few hours to help. Meet at Hudson’s Bay Slough Park off Queensway across from Regents Crescent. We recommend that you park on Regents Crescent or on the east side of Queensway as parking is almost non-existent at the park site. Please RSVP Heather Meier via email so the right number of bags/gloves can be provided. Coffee and donuts are available for those arriving at 10 a.m!
Please consider bringing:
1. Your own gloves (especially if you have very large or small hands)
2. Wheelbarrows and similiar tools
3. Reusable coffee cup and/or a water bottle to save on paper waste

2. Curlews?
The Shelley Curlews haven’t so far appeared in the huge numbers of previous years. Just a dozen have been seen at a time so far, so the annual Curlew Watch might be called off this year. Fingers remain crossed for the snake hibernaculum.

Other Events

1. Free Pacific Stream Keepers Federation Training Opportunity, September 14-16/2015 
The Pacific Stream Keepers Federation is prepared to hold a free stream keepers training session this fall at a location between Williams Lake and Prince George. Topics may include:

•         Stream Habitat Survey Introduction
•         Water Quality/Quantity
•         Stream Invertebrates
•         Spawner counts

Interested attendees will receive the Streamkeepers Handbook (value $30). If interested in participating, please contact Guy Scharf at or  Judy Hillaby at for more details.

2. Wildlife youth camps
Spruce City Wildlife Association is holding two youth camps this summer. Each four-day camp will involve a maximum of 25 youth. Go Wild! Youth for Conservation is a leadership workshop for youth ages 13 to 17. Wild Kidz provides a real-life connection between children and nature. This camp is designed for children aged 9 to 12. More information is available from Tara Lees at

Club Notes

1. A second Observation deck for the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project
Next week will see volunteers building another observation deck, this time on the north side of the Channel. Reports will  be sent out as the work unfolds.

2. New web pages of interest: 

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 5 April 2015

Club Events

1. Long-billed Curlew Watching – coming at short notice
Any day now we could be getting the annual influx of amorous Curlews, but we can’t know in advance when the best sightings will be, so watch this space.  A trip is likely to be organized with only a day or two notice. The same will be true, in a few weeks time, for a visit to a snake hibernaculum.
2. Presentation  – Exploring the Universe – Thursday, April 16, 7:00 pm, The Exploration Place
Keith Egger will give a talk entitled Adventures in Astrophotography: Exploring the universe from my backyard.  Keith Egger is Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management Program, at UNBC. His daytime occupations concern molecular ecology, but at night, as we’ll see, his interests turn to the heavens. Before Keith’s talk there’ll be a brief report by Ian Curtis, a UNBC fourth-year student, on long-term data from the Club’s Mount Robson Bird Blitz.
3. Wetland Area Clean-up, Sunday, 26 April, 10:00 am start, Hudson Bay Slough Park
As part of the City’s annual spring clean-up, the Club will be tackling the area around the wetland. Last year, with plenty of volunteers, we were finished by 1:00 pm. Meet at the small park off Queensway across from Regents Crescent. We recommend that you park on Regents Crescent or on the east side of Queensway as parking is very limited at the park site. People coming by 10:00 am are likely to find coffee and donuts.
4.  Club Show and Tell, Thursday, May 21, 7:00 pm, The Exploration Place
This will be partly a report on progress on the Hudson’s Bay Wetland project, but it will also include a show-and-tell by members, similar to the highly successfully gadgets night held a year or two ago. If you’ve interesting images from your trail cam, or some footage of wildlife, some particularly fine or weird photographs, or anything else of the kind interesting to naturalists, be prepared to come along and share. More details later.


1. Up Your Watershed, 23 April, 7:00 pm, Vanier Hall, and Recycling Round-up, London Drugs parking, 25 April, 10:00 – 3:00

The Wilds – Holly Arntsen and Kevin Wright – with children from local schools, are performing at Vanier as part of a celebration of salmon, habitat restoration and recycling. The Wilds are great supporters of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project, and we’ll have a table both at that event and (if we get volunteers to staff it) at the Recycling Round-up. If you have old tyres or old electronics, bring them to that Round-up.

2. Trumpeter Swans

Cathy Antoniazzi counted 1371 Trumpeter Swans during the Club’s visit to Vanderhoof on March 22, following the very interesting and well-attended visit to the Sturgeon Conservation Centre. One of Jeff Dyck’s terrific shots (attached) showed that there were Tundra Swans mixed with the Trumpeters. (Look for the yellow mark in front of the eye). Mike Nash put up a short youtube feature on the swans at .

3. Northern Caribou

The reduction of wolf numbers to help preserve declining caribou is controversial; much less controversial is moving caribou cows to a maternal pen with shepherds on-site, to reduce mortality. This is now taking place near Mackenzie in the Klinse-Za maternal pen.

4. Sightings!

Shows a American Martin between two garbage cans looking at the camera

American Martin

Members have been reporting a number of interesting sightings of late, including multiple sightings of Lynx. One of the most entertaining threads we’ve had on our ncenbird listserv concerned identification of scat appearing in the Club Secretary’s woodshed. The debate concluded when Bob Steventon positioned a trail cam, and found the intruder – an American Marten.

Clive Keen
PO Box 1092, Prince George, BC V2L 4V2