The headwaters of the Assu Creek watershed are Darkwater Lake, drained by Bachus Creek, and Lake Assu, drained by Assu Creek.
To date the project has been unable to ascertain whether the creek between the estuary and the waterfall (a short distance away) supports, or has supported, salmonids.
This watershed includes forest that is known to support endangered Northern Goshawk, including a nesting site. There are remnants of old forest along Bachus Creek.
There has been considerable logging in this watershed, including recently. Cape Mudge Forestry’s Woodlot 1969 and Younger Brothers’ Woodlot 2031 have both seen cutting in the watershed in the last 5 years.
Lake Assu, looking south. See more about Lake Assu here.
Darkwater Lake, looking east over the bog at the lake’s west end. The logging road on the right was built ca. 2018 by Younger Brothers to access Woodlot 2032. See more about Darkwater Lake here.
There are three main headwaters for Beech’s Creek, which flows into Deepwater Bay.
On the west side of the watershed is Long Lake, which drains into Beech’s Creek via Bishop’s Creek (project name). Over the past five years TimberWest has begun extensive road building and logging around Long Lake, on both its west and east sides, and further north toward Deepwater Bay.
At its northern end, the watershed reaches to Laurel Lake and Laurel Creek (project names) drains a number of small lakes as it flows southward. Drone flights show remnants of old forest throughout this area. Laurel Creek plunges over the steep cliffs above Beech’s Creek.
BC government mapping of streams shows Nugedzi Lake emptying into Beech’s Creek, but if this was ever the case, it certainly isn’t now. Nugedzi Lake is part of the Village Bay Creek watershed.
The eastern headwaters of Beech’s Creek are at Beech’s Lake, a small lake high up on the ridge known as Beech’s Mountain.
The project has not yet ascertained whether Beech’s Creek supports, or has supported in the past, salmonids. If anyone knows, please let us know in the comments section below.
There are significant remnants of old forest in this watershed, particularly along the steep slopes west of Nugedzi Lake. Large-diameter Douglas fir and western red cedar veterans along the lower reaches of Beech’s Creek are proof of this area’s capacity for safe carbon storage. The project has found one standing dead Douglas fir that measured approximately 28 feet in circumference at breast height (in 2020).
Beech’s Creek above its confluence with Bishop’s Creek and Laurel Creek.
The Hyacinthe Creek watershed contains five small lakes: Nighthawk Lake, Mud Lake, Little Morte Lake, Lily Pond (near Nugedzi Lake) and Hidden Lake. The main tributaries of Hyacinthe Creek (also known as Hyacinthe Bay Creek) are Nighthawk Creek and McKercher Creek. In areal extent, this is the second largest of Quadra Island’s watersheds. Historically, the watershed has supported a healthy population of salmonids, including chum, coho and pink salmon.
The BC Conservation Data Centre has designated an area of the lower reaches of Hyacinthe Creek as a red-listed ecological community.
Mapping of Hyacinthe Creek often shows it named as “McKercher Creek,” but the latter is a tributary of Hyacinthe Creek that joins it below the Hyacinthe Bay Road culvert. McKercher Creek’s headwaters include a bog east and just downslope of Nugedzi Lake.
DFO records show that Nighthawk Creek once supported a population of coho. The Quadra Island Salmon Enhancement Society have observed coho in Hyacinthe Creek back as far as Tan Creek, which flows into Mud Lake on its south side. In 2020, however, the society recorded only 2 coho.
TimberWest-Mosaic has conducted considerable clearcut logging in the watershed, especially since 2009. In 2021, proposed road building and logging between Mud Lake and Morte Lake was thwarted by a pop-up blockade. Mapping of TimberWest’s planned logging shows it hopes to clearcut a significant area below Chinese Mountain—a well-used recreational area—in 2025.
In early 2022, efforts by Aaron O’Conner of the Open Bay Society, along with others, dissuaded TimberWest-Mosaic from punching in a road and logging just north of tiny Hidden Lake, the headwaters of Leask Creek, a tributary of Hyacinthe Creek. The proposed logging would have impacted the lower reaches of Hyacinthe Bay Creek. The Hidden Lake area is home to such species as the Northern Pygmy Owl and Northern Red-Legged Frog, both blue-listed, as well as wolves and cougars.
Hidden Lake, in 2018. Like other lakes and ponds regulating water supply to Hyacinthe Creek, this lake’s level has been raised by beavers.
Hyacinthe Creek just below the culvert under Hyacinthe Bay Road. This section of the creek has been mapped as a red-listed ecological community by the BC Conservation Data Centre.
September Creek flows into Open Bay two coves over from the bay where the larger Open Bay Creek flows into the ocean. This is a small watershed and may include September Lake as its headwaters. BC government mapping shows September Creek flowing into Open Bay Creek, but drone flights show there is no such creek flowing out of September Lake to the west.
As far as is known, September Creek has no salmonid population. There has been plenty of logging in the watershed spread between four different woodlot tenures that overlap the watershed.
September Creek flows through two wetlands, one of which is a kilometre in length (below), providing rich wildlife habitat. In 1990, clearcut logging occurred right to the edges of this wetland.