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.
There are no comments to display.
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.