Nile Creek Qualicum Bay Enhancement
By Phil Rowley TUC Canada
Qualicum Bay is located approximately 50km north of Nanaimo, B.C. along the east coast of Vancouver Island. This scenic community is home to a number of creeks and streams that flow into Qualicum Bay. In addition to the restored Nile Creek, six additional creeks in particular, Nash, Black, Annie, Ridgewell, Westglade and Thames were once home to historically large populations of sea-run cutthroat trout and Pacific salmon. Regrettably these streams are suffering and now need human intervention to return them to sound environmental health.
Over the years a litany of environmental challenges has impacted these once productive sea-run cutthroat and Pacific salmon streams. Surplus sediment, unnatural modification of shoreline zones, ditching, dredging, stream diversion and urbanization have all had a negative impact on the health of creeks and streams entering Qualicum Bay. Sea-run cutthroat and Pacific salmon require clean cool water and also need specific habitat features to thrive and survive. The Nile Creek-Qualicum Bay Enhancement Program intends to restore the water and habitat resources to the six selected streams from their headwaters to the intertidal region. If successful, this program will be used as a model for the many other small, but formally productive streams that flow into Georgia Strait.
Preliminary funding for the first year of the five year program has been provided through a generous grant through the Royal Bank of Canada's Blue Water Leadership Grant program. Other funding partners will be added as a component of this program's five year goals and objectives.
Goals and Objectives
The Nile Creek - Qualicum Bay Enhancement Program is a comprehensive habitat restoration and enhancement initiative being undertaken by the Nile Creek Enhancement Society (NCES), Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC) and Vancouver Island University (VIU). The program has two major objectives:
Another critical component of the project will include developing a better understanding of the relationship between the historic decline of marine vegetation and the increased wave action impacting the mouths of the selected creeks. These conditions need to be addressed in order to ensure that a full range of freshwater and marine habitats are available for coastal cutthroat trout and Pacific salmon.
For additional information regarding this project please contact Jack Imhof- TUC's National Biologist (firstname.lastname@example.org)