Musqueam Creek Wild Salmon Habitat Stewardship & Restoration Project: Hydrological Assessment Phase1

Year 2008
Proponent Musqueam Ecosystem Conservation Society
Project type Habitat
FSWP funding source DFO Fraser Basin Initiative
Grant amount $40,000.00
Total project value $41,640.00
ID number FSWP 08 D 110

Location: Greater Vancouver,

Project Summary

Musqueam Creek is Vancouver’s last wild salmon stream supporting runs of wild Coho, Chum and Cutthroat Trout. It is estimated that at one time this system supported returns of more than 300 Coho per year. Today returns are much smaller hovering around 50 Coho per year.  Being the last stream to survive Vancouver’s urban development, it is ironical that Musqueam Creek was
also the first stream visited by a European explorer. As Simon Fraser’s canoe paddled up the north arm of the Fraser River and into the mouth of Musqueam Creek on July 2, 1808, the ancestors of today’s salmon may have been poised there in the current under his canoe.

It is our mission to work through science and traditional ecological knowledge towards protecting and restoring the full diversity of species and their habitats within the Musqueam Creek ecosystem, now and for future generations. The Musqueam Coho stock is wild and therefore holds the genetic variability needed to bounce back and once again support abundant runs of wild salmon. Further, the Musqueam community having been steward to these stocks for more than 4000 years, has a unique cultural relationship with this system.  This years project will use these strengths and build upon the work we accomplished with last years FSWP grant and the capacity we have invested in our Streamkeepers, to address the factors limiting production in this creek. Through this work we will take steps towards restoring the Musqueam creek salmon runs to their historic abundance.

Togeteher our Streamkeepers and consultants will work together to review and compile all information available on the Hydrology of the Musqueam/ Cuttthroat Creek watershed and then produce a Phase One Hydrological Assessment report.

This report will include the collection and analysis of:
1. Hydrological and geology data on the Musqueam and Cutthroat Creek stream channels (Nov 08 - Mar 09).
2. Hydrological and geology data on the UBC Endowment Lands, the UBC EL Ecological Zone #74 and teh GVRD Pacific Spirit Park surficial aquifer.
3. The flow capacity of teh Pacific Spirit Park Imperial Trail wells and their potential for creek flow augmentation.
4.Detailed Geographical Information Sysytems (GIS) data, Light Dectection & Ranging (LIDar) remote sensing, and stream survey information for the entire Musqueam / Cuttroat Creek Watershed.
5. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and historic records on teh historic development of teh watershed and its stream channels.

This report will provide us with a clear picture of the hydrology of the Musqueam & Cuttroat Creek watershed highlighting the factors that are affecting the low flow of water in this system.  Further, this report will serve in part to help revise a detailed plan for the restoration of Musqueam & Cutthroat Creek.


Final Results

Through this report we collected and analyzed…
1. Preliminary hydrological and geological data on the Musqueam and Cutthroat Creek
stream channels.
- 3 -
Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program 2008 Final Report
2. Hydrological and geological data on the UBC Endowment Lands, the UBC EL
Ecological Zone #74 and the GVRD Pacific Spirit Park surficial aquifer.
3.Detailed Geographical Information Systems (GIS) data, Light Detection & Ranging
(LIDar) remote sensing, and stream survey information for the entire Musqueam/
Cutthroat Creek watershed.
4. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and historic records on the historic
development of the watershed and its stream channels.
5. Historic biological data on fish production and water quality.
This report has provided us will a clearer picture of the hydrology of the Musqueam &
Cutthroat Creek watershed highlighting a factors affecting the flow of water in this
system. Further, this report has provided us with some preliminary recommendations for
further study as well as, recommendations for potential restoration opportunities. (See
attached Final Reoprt and Executive Summery on the right hand side of this page for more details.)