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. In an effort to address the decline in fish populations within the Nahwitti watershed, Richmond Plywood Corporation Ltd. provided funding to conduct a Watershed-Based Fish Sustainability Plan (WBFSP), which was completed in 2003 (Gold and McCorquodale, 2003). The development of the plan involved a diverse assemblage of local stakeholders from the north island. The plan identified data gaps, constraints to fish production and habitat productivity, and specific areas and projects where intervention could improve fish habitat. One of the tributaries identified for habitat improvement through the WBFSP process is 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. Through the Nahwitti WBFSP process, the Cave Creek (referred to as Unnamed Tributary 8 in the WBFSP document) channel stabilization was identified as the first habitat restoration project (Project 1) (Gold and McCorquodale, 2003). Subsequent assessment of the drainage was conducted in 2003, following a modified level I Fish Habitat Assessment Procedure (McCorquodale, 2004 unpublished). Specific habitat restoration designs for portions 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.
Pacificus Consulting Inc.. 2004. Fish habitat restoration designs for Cave Creek, within the Nahwitti River watershed. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2004MR019