2014 River Clean-Up Report

2nd Annual Middle Shuswap River Clean-Up Day Report

canoeing on the shuswap rivercanoeing during river clean-up daykids can canoe, too!

There was a modest, yet enthusiastic turnout for the Oct 11th River Clean-Up day.  We paddled the entire lower stretch of the Middle Shuswap, from Wilsey Dam on Mabel Lake Road to Mabel Lake.  This year we decided to register our cleanup with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup www.shorelinecleanup.ca so that we could see how our efforts play into the bigger picture.  You can visit the website to see where other cleanups are happening and take part.  In 2013, over 99,000kg of trash was collected from 3,035 km of shoreline!

Relatively speaking, the Middle Shuswap is a very clean river, and it was an easy task to bring it back to a pristine state.

So here are our stats….

  • Number of km of shoreline cleaned up:  17
  • Number of participants:  8
  • Number of boats:  4
  • Number of participants under 2 years old:  1
  • Number of spawning Chinook, Sockeye, and Kokanee:  thousands
  • Number of full XXL garbage bags of trash collected:  4
  • Number of punctured inflatable rafts hauled out of log-jams:  2
  • Dollars in deposit money collected from beer cans and bottles:  $2.15
  • Number of times the ‘back-ferry’ manoeuvre was used to recover a piece of trash:  3
  • Number of lawn-chairs hauled out of the river:  1
  • Number of office chairs???  taken off gravel bars:  1
  • Number of mergansers darting across the water:  6
  • Number of participants that went for an unintentional swim:  0 (whew)
  • Number of bald eagles flying overhead:  8
  • Number of gulls gorging themselves on dead salmon:  hundreds
  • Number of moments spent thinking, “This is a FANTASTIC way to spend a sunny autumn day!”: countless

This was a perfect time of year for this activity, because the low water exposed a lot of junk and allowed us to manoeuvre our boats into tight spots around log-jams that would otherwise be quite dangerous.  It also tested our boating skills to recover some of the trash, as most of the garbage wasn’t exactly floating nicely in a big, calm eddy pool!

Our intention is to continue this annual gesture, of putting the river to bed for the winter, getting together local paddlers, and raising awareness for this gem of a river in our back-yard.

Contact Charles charles@elementsadventures.com if you want to be on the notification list for next year!

sockeye salmon seen while canoeing

The Sockeye Salmon said, “Thanks!”

river clean-up

We found all kinds of trash wedged in log jams!

river clean-up

Our most unusual junk find – an office chair in the river!!??!