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!
FFCCS regularly tackles Hogweed a noxious weed that can cause damage. Would you like to know more information and perhaps volunteer? Please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
We undertake or fund fish and wildlife habitat restoration projects. Damaged habitat can be restored. Salmon are particularly resilient, and physical repairs to spawning beds and nursery areas in the Creek will significantly increase spawning and survival rates. The work we have done and will continue to do includes planting trees for bank stabilization, controlling weeds, making physical repairs to creekside to stop erosion and improve water flow characteristics. The restoration work assists the fish populations as well as the birds and other life in this ecosystem. The Society has done some of this work directly but works mostly in partnership with other organizations and agencies such as Streamkeepers, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Pacific Salmon Foundation, and Ducks Unlimited.
Acquiring and preserving ecologically important sites. French Creek runs through an area that is experiencing substantial human population growth. Residential development and industrial activity have potential to further damage the ecological health of the Creek. The Society works to identify the most sensitive sites on the Creek and to preserve them through land acquisitions, conservation covenants and stewardship agreements. Site secured in this way can be preserved and restored to their natural state.
Educating the public about the ecology of French Creek. An important part of protecting and restoring the health of French Creek is to educate the people of the area about the ecology of the watershed and how we must all strive to keep it healthy. This involves public lectures and workshops by experts in the natural sciences. The Society also intends to work with local schools to educate children about the Creek ecosystem, and will continue to cooperate with neighboring property owners in reducing adverse impacts.
- 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 websit
Tree Potting, Planting & Tending. Activities in 2010 included 6 tree planting sessions in the spring and fall, two tree potting sessions at Jacquie Thomson’s and two tree tendings of our previously planted trees. We planted a total of 263 trees in the riparian area of French Cree
Hogweeding. Hogweed is a nasty invasive species and the folks at FFCCS have spent the past several years tackling it.Sunshine Goldsberry heads up our Hogweed Team. Here are some valuable resources on the subject:
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