Open Bay Creek has been a system of concern to the Quadra Island Salmon Enhancement Society (QISES) for many years due to its apparent abnormally low numbers of coho salmon. The creek?s coho population estimates are lower than almost all other creeks on Quadra Island, this to spite its outwardly healthy looking habitat conditions and consistent summer supply of cool water. Local concerns for fish production in the creek were even further accentuated during the early winter of 2006 when a large alluvial fan appeared in the upper reaches of Open Bay Creek mainstem shortly after a severe November rainfall.
An overview watershed was commissioned just a few months after the alluvial fan formation was discovered and was conducted by this author, on behalf of QISES. That study found that the creek suffers from chronic injections of fine sediments, originating primarily from the upper tributaries of the system. The large amounts of fine gravel and sand clog the pores in the stream bed gravels in the upper system?s coho spawning areas, blocking interstitial water flow (with its associated oxygen flow) and thus limiting the success of egg hatch and coho fry emergence from the gravels. The report contained six recommendations, chief amongst them was the need for a through inventory of point sources of sediment generation in the upper reaches of Open Bay Creek and its tributaries.
Bowles, L.M.. 2008. Open Bay Watershed Program. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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