Bertrand Creek (Special to The Star)

Bertrand Creek (Special to The Star)

Bertrand Creek fish need help from Aldergrove residents

Local farmers say Environmental Farm Plan can help keep waterways like Bertrand Creek clean

Farms and green-spaces bring beauty and food production to a bustling community with access to nature a few minutes from downtown – but a local environmental group has said this merge of styles sometimes comes at a cost to the environment.

Two species of fish, the Salish Sucker and the Nooksack Dace, are on the endangered list due to limited and declining habitat.

Bertrand Creek, which runs through Langley and Aldergrove, is one of their homes and local farmers are coming together to help these fish survive.

Environmental Farm Plan (EPF) is a way to help the region better appreciate the creek’s value.

EFPs are offered through the BC Agricultural Research & Development Corporation (ARDCorp), an organization that provides resources to BC farmers and ranchers.

Mark Enns of Alder View Dairy notes his farm is dissected by Bertrand Creek and he has seen first-hand how humans can have a detrimental impact on creek health.

“Sometimes you do find after the winter, garbage floating down,” he says. “Grass clippings, bottles or garbage.”

Enns explained that waste causes blockages, attracts wildlife into the creek and leads to contamination. Water that flows through Bertrand Creek travels into the United States and impacts the environment of the two fish species both north and south of the border.

Dave Melnychuk, a Fraser Valley planning advisor with ARDCorp, says the biggest benefit of the group EFP is that it has the ability to deliver beneficial information to every property along the creek and in the watershed area while improving the survival of the fish.

“Soil tests are a great way to see what’s happening in your soil and how it can be improved,” says Melnychuk. “Not only does this give property owners direction in how to improve their soil, but the group EFP will help them see what steps can be taken to help the creek, the fish and the environment.”

Enns ensures his cows are not permitted anywhere near the creek so that manure doesn’t contaminate the water.

He says erosion seen on properties like his needs to be addressed in order to protect fish habitat.

Looking at creek banks is one aspect of the group environmental plan. He’s seen changes to the creek over the 15 years he has farmed alongside it and the shifts concern him.

“In the last couple of years I’d say it’s higher than it was,” he says of creek water levels. “I think it’s got a pretty steady base flow in the summer, but it can rise significantly in the winter.”

Property owners along the creek are invited to join the fight in keeping local waterways clean.

While normally reserved for farms and ranches, this group EFP will also benefit those with hobby farms, large gardens or beautiful meadows by including free soil testing for participating in the overall plan.

READ MORE: Langley farmers get help to keep creeks healthy

Farms and residents interested in learning more about the new group Environmental Farm Plan can contact Dave Melnychuk by February 26 at

Visit for general information on the Environmental Farm Plan program.

Have a story tip? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

AldergroveEnvironmentLangley TownshipNature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran becomes emotional while recounting what happened on the July 2015 morning when she shot and killed Hudson Brooks in South Surrey. (Inquest livestream screenshot)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

Which came first? Actually, you might not need the chicken at all pretty soon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Painful Truth: Eggs without chickens?

What does that do to poultry farmers?

A player is checked in prior to the start of play in a North Langley Softball video produced to demonstrate COVID-19 safety measures are in place (Danica Reed video/special to Langley Advance Times)
Playing it safe: North Langley Softball produces COVID safety video

Intended to answer parental concerns about precautions while practicing during a pandemic

Vancouver Giants president, governor and majority owner Ron Toigo welcomed the provincial announcement made on Monday, Mar. 1, 2021 that the province could soon allow WHL teams to resume competitive play. (Vancouver Giants/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Return to play report welcomed by Vancouver Giants team

Owner, coach and players pleased by news WHL could soon resume play in B.C.

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Abbotsford Regional Hospital (Black Press file photo)
Nurse assaulted at Abbotsford hospital in same ward as 2019 dumbbell attack

‘Completely unacceptable that nurses continue to be assaulted,’ says union president

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Vancouver Island sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Nanaimo store, cutting himself in the process

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent comes first and last for B.C. industrial projects

Environment minister can still approve permits without consent

Most Read