Garry Elgear isn't surprised by any of the garbage he pulls out of the Coquitlam River anymore, and therein lies his motivation to do something about it.
The owner of Port Coquitlam's Riverside Fly & Tackle will head up the second river cleanup event of the year this Sunday (Oct. 21).
"I'm passionate about the river and on top of that, this is how I was raised," Elgear said Wednesday. "My dad always told me that everything you pack in, you pack out. That was put into my head from a young age."
Those interested in lending a hand are asked to meet up at Elgear's shop, located at 2847 Shaughnessy St., at 9 a.m. From there, volunteers will chart out a cleanup path that will stretch from the Pitt River Bridge to the northern parts of the watershed near Pipeline Road.
The City of Port Coquitlam has donated some items to help with the cleaning, while Elgear will provide the rest.
Volunteers are asked to dress for the elements and be prepared to haul out all sorts of things that have no place near a river.
In years past, Elgear and his volunteers have removed dishwashers, tires, fishing line and hooks, and virtually any household item imaginable from the local waterway.
At a cleanup event earlier this year, 27 needles were also removed from the river and its banks.
"Nothing really surprises me anymore," he lamented. "People use the river as a garbage dump. We're really trying to bring this river back to health."
Prize packs will be offered to those who participate, with prizes ranging from rods and reels to kids activities and fly-casting lessons.
On top of those incentives, those who chip in will get to witness nature at work, as both chum and spring salmon are spawning in the river.
"Not a lot of people get to see the salmon spawn, and it's a special time," Elgear said.
"These people can witness something that's really cool."
Sunday's cleanup wraps up at 3 p.m. For more details, see http: //rsfat.com.