The Nahwitti River is one of the largest watersheds on Northern Vancouver Island, with a drainage area in excess of 225km2 (Figure 1). Many of the tributaries within the Nahwitti watershed are large, and provide valuable spawning and rearing habitat for several species of anadromous salmonids. Several of these tributaries have experienced industrial development, including forest harvesting, and have been degraded in some instances. One of the tributaries identified for habitat improvement through the WBFSP process was the Cave Creek drainage, located to the northeast (upstream) of Nahwitti Lake. Cave Creek drains an area of approximately 3 km2, and empties directly into the east end of Nahwitti Lake. Historically, the drainage provided spawning and / or rearing habitat for sockeye and coho salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout, and possibly dolly varden char. The construction and subsequent failure of logging roads, coupled with natural slope failures, have resulted in large inputs of sediment into the system. The sediment input has resulted in significant damage to fish habitat. A re-assessment of the lower reaches of Cave Creek, immediately downstream from the 2005 restoration works was conducted on March 14, 2006. Specific habitat restoration work plan designs for this section of Cave Creek have been produced as part of this report. Included are the maps, survey drawings, work plan, photo points, budget and schedule for the proposed project. One of the tributaries identified for habitat improvement through the WBFSP process is the Chalk Creek drainage, a system which empties into the Nahwitti mainstem at the East main bridge crossing (Figure 1). Chalk Creek drains an area of approximately 6.44km2, and flows in a south to north direction. Historically, the drainage provided spawning and / or rearing habitat for coho salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout, and possibly Dolly Varden char. The past construction of logging roads and previous harvesting of riparian zones has caused severe impact to both spawning and rearing habitat, particularly in the lowest reach of the creek. While salmonid species still utilize the system, habitat conditions are such that the current condition limits fish production (Triton, 1996). Through the Nahwitti WBFSP process, the lower reach of Chalk Creek was identified as a habitat restoration opportunity (Gold and McCorquodale, 2003). A large pond, separated from the floodplain of Chalk Creek by the construction of a logging road, could provide excellent rearing habitat for salmonids (especially coho) if it were restored. Subsequent assessment of the drainage was conducted in 2003 and 2006, following a modified Level I Fish Habitat Assessment Procedure (McCorquodale, 2004 unpublished). Specific habitat restoration designs for the lower reach of Chalk Creek have been produced as part of this report. Included are the maps, survey drawings, work plan, photo plates, budget and schedule for the proposed project.
Pacificus Biological Services Ltd.
Pacificus Biological Services Ltd.. 2006. Fish habitat work plan designs for Cave Creek (Project # 6426002-a), within the Nahwitti River watershed. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2006MR229