Beautiful French Creek located on Vancouver Island
French Creek is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, halfway between the City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach. Draining a watershed of approximately 68km2, French Creek is considered to be a senstive stream under the Fisheries Protection Act, and the watershed is a designated community watershed.
Up until the 1960′s, French Creek was very healthy ecologically. It supported large populations of coho and chum salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout, migratory birds and other diverse wildlife. Unfortunately, the ecological health of the Creek has declined in recent decades due to human activities that have lowered water quality, reduced flow levels, and damaged the natural habitat.
“As the east coast of Vancouver Island continues to develop, the land is subject to the various demands from the public. We harvest timber, work farms, locate housing, manage waste, expand commercial and industrial opportunities against a spectacular backdrop of wilderness, faunal diversity, clear streams and open wetlands – initially our footprint is small, but as we grow we cannot avoid indelibly changing the landscape. It seems prudent to periodically take stock of where we are in the developmental stage, what we have affected and what remains.”
*French Creek Watershed Study 2001/2002 produced by the Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection; Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management.
The Friends of French Creek Conservation Society know the value of wetland and estuaries to watersheds and wildlife. Currently we have three ongoing projects. The newest being the French Creek Estuary Conservation Effort.
Dudley Marsh is part of the French Creek watershed. The Marsh is a fish and wildlife restoration initiative supported by Ducks Unlimited, Nature Trust, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Friends of French Creek.
Friends of French Creek monitor the water level of the marsh on a weekly basis, and ensure the water flowing out of the marsh is sufficient to protect the fish in Dudley Creek which drains into French Creek at the Grafton Bridge. As the water warms in summer the fish migrate into French Creek. The creek also supplies a continuous amount of water to a parched French Creek during the summer months.
To see the water level protection system and view the marsh , one takes Grafton road to Ward. Follow Ward to Tintern and proceed down to Tintern about 500 metres to the driveway on the left. There a path to the left just past the big rock, (removed from the marsh bed when the weir was renovated about 8 years ago), the path leads to a lookout which will give a good view of the marsh. Swans, geese, and numerous other types of winged creatures can be seen.
Hamilton Marsh is the largest body of water in the French Creek Watershed. The wetland is 36 hectares and sits within 360 hectares of forest. It’s the most prolific waterfowl brood marsh on Central Vancouver Island a remnant of what once existed. “Little Hamilton Marsh” as it’s known is Kitty corner (as the crow flies) to Big Hamilton Marsh where Pheasant Glen Golf Resort now sits.
For over 40 years local community groups have tried to preserve and protect Hamilton Marsh. The Friends of French Creek Conservation Society – Hamilton Marsh Committee for the last 12 years. See our video about the necessity of saving the entire 360 hectares. For more information visit out website http://hamilton-marsh.com
Watch our video below!
French Creek Estuary
From its headwaters in the mountainous central spine of Vancouver Island, French Creek flows into the Strait of Georgia through a spectacular estuary that supports an abundance of wildlife, including wild Pacific salmon and migratory birds like the Brant goose.
Parts of the estuary have been developed with housing, a restaurant and a marina but its 23-acre heart remains intact. This property, the last remaining coastal greenbelt between Parksville and Qualicum Beach, is currently for sale. Even though it is part of the Parksville-Qualicum Wildlife Protection Area and the UNESCO Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, its future hangs in the balance. It can either become more housing and commercial development or it can be preserved in perpetuity as a park and educational centre. The Friends of French Creek Conservation Society and the French Creek Residents Association have joined hands to save the estuary but they need your help. We look forward to working with you to make this opportunity become a reality.
The Friends of French Creek Conservation Society is a non profit society dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the French Creek Watershed. We have 150+ members and some of them are very hardy volunteers.
Part of the pleasure and privilege of visiting or living in the French Creek area has been the opportunity to enjoy the woods, wetlands, birds, and wildlife associated with the Creek. Looking toward the future, the society aims to protect and restore the natural environment and ecological health of French Creek, including the estuary lands.
To protect and restore the natural environment and ecological health of French Creek, its tributaries and riparian zones by:
- undertaking or funding fish and wildlife habitat restoration projects;
- acquiring and preserving ecologically important sites
- educating the public about the ecology of the French Creek watershed
President: Ray Smith
Secretary: Liberty Bradshaw
Treasurer: Sunshine Goldsberry
What We do!
- Hamilton Marsh. A dedicated group of volunteers within the society is working to preserve and protect this exceptional wetland located directly south of Qualicum Beach. Hamilton Marsh is the largest body of water in the French Creek watershed. It provides significant wildlife habitat, and functions as a carbon sink for airborne pollutants. For details visit our Hamilton Marsh website.
The year 2012 is the seventh consecutive year we have performed flow measurements, at the request of DFO. Flow in French Creek was low, but not as low as in the previous summer. We are having a report compiled of the results of five years of measurements.
New Hogweed Team Leader! We are very happy to announce that our longtime hardworking member of the society - Sunshine Goldsberry - has taken over the lead as our Hogweed Team Coordinator. She also serves as our Treasurer. Contact Sunshine by filling out...
On May 24th Ceri Peacey backed by a large number of supporters made a presentation to the Regional District Board at their headquarters in Nanaimo. Ceri began the presentation with a short video of Hamilton Marsh. Ceri then continued with a presentation underlining...
The summer drought in the recent past has resulted in French Creek barely being able to support the native coho and trout population. Ensuring that none of your yard waste, such as grass clippings and tree trimmings reach the shores of French Creek is a major step in...
The Regional District of Nanaimo, Island Timberlands, and Crime Stoppers have recently joined together to battle dumping. Hopefully this initiative will help prevent the dumping refuse on forest lands. This initiative has been welcomed by the Friends of French Creek...
The Friends of French Creek Conservation Society is a non profit society dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the French Creek Watershed. We have 150+ members and some of them are very hardy volunteers. Part of the pleasure and privilege of visiting or...
Would you like to know more about the Friends of French Creek Conservation Society? Here is our contact info:
Phone: Liberty Bradshaw (250) 248-8809
Regular post:Friends of French Creek Conservation Society PO Box 331 Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1S8