Road closures starting soon in Chilliwack for toad migration

Western toadlets and other amphibians could be on the move any time now in Ryder Lake above Chilliwack.

Juvenile Western toads could be on the move any time now in Ryder Lake above Chilliwack.

Selective road closures on Elk View and Ryder Lake Road can be expected when the mass migration of dime-sized toads begins.

“The migration hasn’t quite started yet. It’s hard to say exactly when,” said Suzie MacMillan of the Fraser Valley Conservancy.

It’s usually sometime between late July and the end of August.

When the migration starts, closed signs will appear periodically at the bottom intersection of Ryder Lake and Elk View Road to help cut down on vehicle traffic, thereby reducing the mortality rate of the threatened species.

It’s one of three migrations involving six amphibians species in the area.

Curious members of the public are being asked to kindly stay away from Ryder Lake for safety and conservation reasons.

“There’s no parking up there and no shoulders on the road, so we’re discouraging people who may want to run up there to take a look once it starts.”

FVC started the road closures to encourage safe and natural crossings for the blue-listed toad a few years ago, after obtaining approval and cooperation from City of Chilliwack officials. It’s part of their Amphibean Protection Program.

New this year is a fundraiser by Gingerbread Giant owner Dawn Ogden who is donating 20 per cent of her frog pattern sales to the Fraser Valley Conservancy to help the Western toads.

The FVC also raise funds for the project through the ‘Toonies for Toads’ Campaign to pay for migration monitoring, traffic control and maybe one day, an amphibian tunnel structure and fencing.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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