Signs in three languages warn users: “PLEASE DO NOT SLAM THE DOOR” The door also features a photo of a dead albatross filled with plastic, a reminder not to pollute the area. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Rare squid influx draws crowds to Central Saanich dock

On Tuesday morning, the James Island Public Dock was visibly free of cigarette butts and human feces. No visitors were in sight, except for municipal staff powerwashing the dock. But according to neighbours, that was not the scene a few weeks ago, when a rare phenomenon known as a “squid run” attracted crowds to the normally quiet waterfront neighbourhood hoping to catch the hand-sized cephalopods.

Arn van Iersel, who was picking up some litter near his home on Turgoose Terrace, said he counted approximately 50 cars lined up on both sides of James Island Road and Turgoose Terrace on several mid-August nights.

“Could hardly get into my house because of the people,” he said. A 31-year resident of the area, van Iersel wrote to Central Saanich council asking for their assistance to tidy the area and enforce parking bylaws. He said he was not against the public enjoyment of the dock, but wanted people to respect the properties.

A neighbour of van Iersel’s, who was walking his two dogs, said the spot was becoming more popular for crabbing.

As a result, people were leaving rubber gloves and raw chicken on the ground or near the water after they finished.

According to another letter writer to the district: “The parking situation on James lsland Road verges on the chaotic. The No Parking signs are ignored. The doors of the portable toilets that have been installed slam all night long. Car alarms have gone off. All in all, it has been what we can only describe as barely controlled chaos, that has been highly disruptive.”

As a response, Central Saanich staff met with residents, placed extra garbage cans and portable toilets on the site, and they worked overtime on weekends to ensure they did not overflow. Central Saanich Police also patrolled the area to address parking violations and noise levels.

The portable toilets have addressed the issue of human feces on lawns, but caused a new problem: noise. To address this, signs in English, Spanish and Filipino (each bearing a “shhh” emoji) implored users: “PLEASE DO NOT SLAM DOOR.”

At the end of a six minute-long Regular Council meeting on Sept. 4, Central Saanich council received an update from municipal staff and discussed the issue.

“Council is advised that the people on James Island Dock are not rowdy and there is no loud music,” read the staff comments. “The noise is simply due to people talking while they observe the squid, or while fishing.”

Residents wanted the dock closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., but council has not yet pursued the request.

At the meeting, Coun. Bob Thompson asked whether the phenomenon, which has gone on for several weeks, had ended. Staff replied that it was dying down.

“Very few people, very few squid now,” said Brian Barnett, the district’s director of engineering.

“Calamari at the Prairie Inn, perhaps?” asked the mayor.

The words “too soon” were audible from the gallery amid some laughter.

“Too soon? Naw. Never too soon,” replied the mayor.



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Central Saanich municipal staff were powerwashing James Island Dock Tuesday morning at the end of a “squid run” that attracted hundreds of visitors to a quiet waterfront neighbourhood. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Just Posted

Saanich intersections rank as Island’s three worst

Intersection of Admirals Road, McKenzie Avenue, and the Trans-Canada Highway had the most crashes

British Columbia is mellowing out when it comes to using cannabis

Nova Scotia smokes rest of Canada, with almost 22 per cent usage among individuals 15 years and up

Peninsula youth clinic experiencing growing demand

Clinic seeing rising mental and cyber-health referrals

Value of building permits dropping in Greater Victoria

Victoria’s decline contrasts with provincial and national gains

Stories from the old Edge dairy farm on Panama Flats

Emily Carr once offered a painting to pay her dairy tab

VIDEO: Thousands enjoy Family Day fun in Saanich

Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre hosts Family Arts Festival

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

Homicide police investigate assault turned deadly in Surrey

60-year-old man died at hospital after assault

Most Read