Development of the Streamkeepers Program began in October 1993 as an initiative of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. With funds provided by the Fraser River Action Plan, FOC created the Streamkeepers Handbook and Modules.
The objectives of the program are as follows:

Fry Trapping
The Streamkeepers Handbook and Modules is the program flagship, and a comprehensive education and awareness program has developed around the manual. While the program will continue to evolve in response to community interest and action, much of the development is now completed.

Over the years, many programs have been started to engage the public in environmental causes. Since 1996, thousands of British Columbia residents have been trained using the Streamkeepers methodology. As volunteer streamkeepers, citizens are able to monitor and evaluate stream conditions, alert authorities when there are problems with local streams.

There are 14 activity modules in the Streamkeepers Handbook and Modules. Modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 11 are the modules that are most often covered in the training.
Stream ecosystems are complex interactions among plants, animals, and their physical environment. Human activities in watersheds make these systems even more complex. This module provides a starting point for studying your stream. It tells you how to find existing information, identify watershed boundaries, and then work on site to identify and map problem areas in your stream. Land and water use activities upstream and on surrounding slopes provide clues about problems you may discover in your stream.
The survey methods show you how to collect consistent data so you can compare sites or streams with confidence, even when different people or organizations have collected the information. Your first step is to decide whether you wish to monitor long-term changes or document impacts of habitat problems. You will learn the function of LWD (large woody debris) and rooted cutbanks, pools as refuge sites. Use this module to become aquainted with the habitat that is available in your stream. Benefit of canopy, diversity of species, riparian zone. Does the stream have room to move?
Water quality surveys provide information about the chemical composition of water. The background water chemistry determines the kinds of plants and animals that can live there. Water quality changes reflect watershed changes. This type of monitoring is not designed to detect transient problems like toxic chemical spills. You would measure these only if you happened to be sampling at the time of a spill. The Observe Record Report Module (Module 9) provides advice on collecting samples from a toxic spill.
Urban, agricultural, resource, and industrial developments often remove natural vegetation along streams and in other areas of a watershed. When buildings and paved surfaces replace natural vegetation, there is less ground surface available to absorb precipitation. Sediment, nutrients, and contaminants wash into streams, and degrade water quality. Water temperature and flow fluctuate more widely and composition of the stream bed changes. Some species of plants and animals die because they cannot adapt to these changes. Pollution-tolerant species become established.
Basic water quality sampling, there are times that more complex sampling would need to be done, but as a monitoring tool, Mod 3 and 4 will help you see if there is a water quality problem.
Pick up a rock from a stream and turn it over. Those wiggly critters you see are benthic macroinvertebrates - bottom dwelling, spineless creatures that are small but visible to the naked eye. Most of them are insects at immature stages of development, but worms, snails, and clams also can be found. The kinds and numbers of invertebrates give a good indication of stream health.
Some species of invertebrates require very good water quality, whereas others tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. Although invertebrates can move about in the stream and drift downstream, they do not move as quickly as fish to avoid adverse conditions. Deteriorating water quality and pollutants usually kill the less tolerant species and encourage other more tolerant ones. You can compare invertebrate populations in different parts of your stream or in different streams in the area. These comparisons will help you to decide whether a stream is healthy or has chronic or periodic water quality problems.
Trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, and primitive plants such as mosses and lichen form riparian or streamside vegetation. These plants tolerate occasional flooding. The riparian zone includes the immediate bank of the valley bottom or flood plain. The riparian area of influence may also include the adjacent lower slopes. Stream size and valley topography help define the width of the riparian zone.
Riparian vegetation is a very important part of a stream ecosystem. Plants stabilize stream banks, reduce erosion, and provide protective cover for fish. Trees provide shade, which helps control water temperatures. Logs fall into the stream, where they create diverse habitat and help dissipate erosion energy. Leaf litter provides an important source of food for stream organisms. Plants trap sediment and filter out pollutants before they reach the stream. They help the soil absorb precipitation and release it slowly during dry spells. The riparian area provides habitat and travel routes for birds and wildlife. Urban development, logging, and agriculture have reduced or destroyed the riparian vegetation of many streams and rivers. Fortunately, streamside planting is an inexpensive, effective restoration project.
Salmon, trout, char, whitefish, and grayling all belong to the salmonid family. They are considered good indicators of a healthy watershed because they require good water quality and habitat.
Salmonids are among the first fish to relocate or disappear when an aquatic habitat starts to deteriorate. Documenting their presence helps identify and protect good quality streams and watersheds. Detecting their absence may identify the need for habitat improvement projects.

The Pacific Streamkeepers Federation was initiated in May 1995, at a Community Involvement Workshop held in Williams Lake British Columbia, Canada, attended by more than 300 stream restoration volunteers from BC and the Yukon. The PSkF is a non-profit society committed to supporting community groups involved in Streamkeepers activities throughout BC and the Yukon. The objectives of the PSkF are as follows: