The River Runs Through Us All

Posted: 23rd October 2012 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography

Our deep love for Vancouver Island is hardly a secret, and when we get a chance to participate in trying to help active conservation and stewardship practices underway, we do so with joy in our hearts.  Just this summer we discovered a catastrophe unfolding in our very own backyard.  The Cowichan River in the Cowichan Valley is one of only three BC rivers that is categorized under the Canadian Heritage Rivers System deeming it a national resource that must be preserved and maintained.  Due to the lack of rainfall in the valley in the second half of the summer and the fall, the river levels fell to very concerning levels resulting in a reduction in the number of salmon being able to spawn.

Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

We were very happy to learn that a group of people who care about these issues have come together in an effort to find a way to make sure this problem doesn’t happen again.  The Cowichan River flows out of Cowichan Lake further upstream.  A weir is located at the spot where the lake flows into the river, allowing for great control over both the lake’s and the river’s water heights.  We believe the core issue is the understanding that with proper management, both levels could be managed and near catastrophes like the one we encountered this year could be averted.

Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This group is called One Cowichan, and they are hosting their first meeting on this issue Thursday evening, October 25th, 2012, at 7:00PM at the Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Center.  We’re definitely going to be there to add our voices to the rising chorus of concerned citizens.

Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

We’ve been asked to provide the photography for the event, and we are honored and humbled to do so.    The ability to give back a little to the community that has been so gracious and generous to us over the years means a lot.

Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Please sign the active petition and come join us this Thursday to make our voices heard.  It’s always a shame when a calamity like this is the glue that brings a community together and only through the acts of those who care can we band together and avoid a problem like this again next year, and for many years to come.  Both the fish and the Toads thank you.

We really appreciate you taking the time to come by and see us here at The Hollow today.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so we encourage you to leave us any comments you may have!

Visit our online gallery “Cowichan River” to see all 11 HDR images of the Cowichan River.




  1. avatar ehpem says:

    A great series Toads! I love your processing of these images – all the soft colours and misty river scenes. Very familiar too since I have been to some of these places.
    It does not look too dry now, but I know it was a very long dry spell this summer. The kind that is hard not only on fish, but amphibians as well. I can tell this is an issue close to your heart.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so very much for all your support and kindness, my friend! Indeed, we have secondary concerns regarding the amphibians; we just can’t afford to lose any more family members here in the valley this year! The Cowichan River is one of our favorite resources here on the island, it’s a place we frequently visit and marvel in the majesty of. It really means a lot to us to have a chance to bring a bit of awareness of the issue to our audience here, with folks just like you Ehpem. Thank you for everything.

  2. The trick with this river is to catch that Cowichan River feel, rather than coming up with photography depicting any old river or the Koksilah or whatever, and you did just that. Very, very nice photography indeed.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      This just means so very much to me, Joseph! Thanks for noticing those details and sharing your thoughts here, we sure do appreciate it! Perhaps you might make it to the meeting on Thursday night? 🙂

  3. Thanks for all you do in preserving this wonderful resource. As you know, I am a fan of rivers and streams and you have done this river great justice with both your art and your act. Thanks my friend!!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much for your kind support here, Mike! It’s great that we can connect in terms of our love for nature like this, that really means a lot to us. Thank you for taking the time to pop on by, and for leaving us your great comments, Mike, we really appreciate it!

  4. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    This is a wonderful cause Toad. Not only do you keep posting terrific images and prose but you are so active in making the world better. As you know, I love the natural world around us and wish that everyone would take up similar causes. Well done, my friend.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We’re humbled and honored here today by your fabulous comments, Len, thank you my friend! Coming from you, that means an awful lot.

  5. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    I need to follow your example and do more to help better this world. You are an amazing set of peeps!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We do what we do exactly because of great friends just like you, Chris! Thanks for all your support and encouragement, it really means an awful lot to us!

  6. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Such a wonderful cause, Toad! If only more people got involved. Colorado had drought conditions this year as well. The rivers and lakes were very low. Hopefully we get some good snowfall in the high country this year.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much, Rick, sincerely! We’ll be sending plenty of good vibes your way for a heavy snowfall this winter, the mountains, rivers and lakes in Colorado are truly gorgeous and could undoubtedly use a little help from Mother Nature. Thank you for taking the time to pop by and see us, and for leaving these fabulous comments!

  7. avatar Edith Levy says:

    That is a great honor to be asked to photograph this worthy event & cause. Congratualtions. These are incredible images that truly showcase the beauty of this location.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much, Edith, we’re very excited and proud to be asked to be a small part of this really important initiative! It’s really a great group of folks who are coming together, and tomorrow night’s meeting is going to be VERY interesting! Thanks for both taking the time to come by and for leaving us your comments here, we really really appreciate it!!

  8. avatar Rose Richard says:

    Just beautiful! You have done them proud I am sure.

  9. What a fantastic cause! I hope the meeting went well for everyone! Looks like a very beautiful river Toad!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      The meeting was fabulous, Micheal, thank you! There’s plenty more work to do here in the community, but it was a fabulous start! We were very thrilled to have our photos on display, it was a real highlight for us!

  10. avatar Karen says:

    I was hoping to get to Vancouver Island this past summer when I was out west but unfortunately there wasn’t time. A river is a most worthy cause!
    (Our river here in Ottawa was awfully low also.)
    Lovely images!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so very much, Karen, those are some mighty nice comments you’ve left, and we sure do appreciate it! We hope that your river in Ottawa came through OK this year, we’re lucky as the rains have started now and things look to be improving for this year. Now, we’re focused on trying to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Best wishes, my friend!

  11. avatar Perry Bailey says:

    Another worthy cause you’ve found, and a great set of photos to support it. Great work, Toad!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much Perry, that really means an awful lot to us my friend! Very happy to see you pop by today, and thank you for your kind comments, good sir!