At the request of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation, a fish habitat assessment was planned and conducted in the Heydon Creek watershed. The assessment was planned to provide an overview of the current stream and lake habitat conditions, with the purpose of identifying potential impacts to habitat that could be limiting fish production. The survey was further focused on habitat for sockeye salmon in the watershed, but made note of habitat conditions that would affect all species present. The survey area included the Heydon Creek mainstem between the mouth and the outlet of Heydon Bay Lake, Heydon Lake and Heydon Bay Lake, and seven lake tributaries. The assessment of the stream habitat areas (mainstem and tributaries) was completed in the fall of 2008. The lake assessment was not completed during the 2008 field season and is planned for early summer 2009.
The stream assessments were conducted according to the procedures for a Level 1 Fish Habitat Assessment in the Watershed Restoration Program (FHAP) Fish Habitat Assessment Procedures (Johnston, N.T. And P.A. Slaney, 1996). These assessment methods allow for a detailed assessment of habitat parameters using a stratified systemic sub-sample of naturally occurring habitat units. Channel width, gradient, substrate composition, cover type and amount, presence of barriers to fish migration and disturbance indicators are assessed at a pre-identified ratio in order to collect unbiased
representative data on habitat condition. Heydon Creek was divided into three distinct reaches at the conclusion of the field assessment. The majority (approximately 1.9 km) of the mainstem habitat (Reaches 1 and 3) consists of low gradient riffle, glide and pool habitat separated by approximately 0.5 km of cascade-pool habitat. Overall, rearing habitat for resident and juvenile fish was rated as poor to fair in the Heydon Creek mainstem due to cover limitations. The highest quality spawning habitat for anadromous and resident fish was observed in the lower 200 m of the mainstem, with other potential spawning habitat noted throughout the remainder of Reaches 1 and 3.
The presence of sand and the heterogeneous substrate compositions limited the quantity and quality of potential spawning habitat in the mainstem.
Stewardson, Monica, Lansley, Kate. 2009. Heydon Creek Watershed Preliminary Watershed Fish Habitat Assessment. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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