Spanish Banks Creek

Spanish Banks Creek is located in the most western part of the City of Vancouver. It flows through Pacific Spirit Regional Park, under Marine Drive, and into English Bay at Spanish Banks beach.
The creek was salmon-bearing prior to urban development.


Salmon are able to return to Spanish Banks Creek for the first time in over fifty years thanks to a community-inspired project that brought citizens and government agencies together to restore fish access and fish habitat to the creek's lower reaches.
Sections of the creek were daylighted and an old culvert was removed that prevented adult fish passage. A natural stream was recreated, including pools and riffles, spawning gravel, and woody debris to provide cover for young fish. Banks were armored with large boulders to provide stability.
The banks were replanted with native vegetation, and the foreshore on the beach side of the trail was planted with dunegrass to stabilize the area.
The most visible part of the creek is near Spanish Banks beach where the creek now flows under a pedestrian trail, formerly a parking lot.
The creek is cared for by volunteer Spanish Bank Streamkeepers who are also responsible for ongoing community stewardship activities.
Spanish Banks Creek


Coho and chum salmon fry have been released into the creek in an attempt to develop a viable population of returning fish.
Through Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) community involvement programming, about 20 local schools have been learning about salmon by rearing chum salmon fry in classroom incubators for release into the stream.
If salmon are successful in recolonizing Spanish Banks Creek, it would become one of only three remaining salmon-bearing streams in the City of Vancouver where over 30 historic salmon streams have been lost to urban development.
Beginning in 2001, coho salmon have been been returning to the stream to spawn. The stream habitat has shown itself to be very productive and the returns have been earlier and larger than expected.
The restored and expanded riparian habitat is also attracting additional species, including river otter and mink.


Members of the Vancouver Salmon and Stream Society first identified the creek's potential for habitat restoration and gathered initial support for the project.
Other contributors included the Vancouver Parks Board, the BC provincial government's Urban Salmon Habitat Program, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DF0) which funded the program through their Habitat Restoration and Salmon Enhancement Program.
Spanish Bank Streamkeepers is continuing ongoing stewardship programs with local schools and university programs.


Dick Scarth
Spanish Bank Streamkeepers
4433 West 1st Ave.
Vancouver, B.C. V6R 4H9

Sandie Hollick-Kenyon
Community Advisor Burrard Inlet, Indian Arm, Vancouver
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
100 Annacis Parkway, New Westminster, BC, V3M 6A2
Phone: 604-666-0743
Fax: 604-666-6627
Web: Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Community Advisors

September 9, 2002
March 10, 2006