Area: 5.1 sq km
Length: 4.94 km
Elevation range: 0 to 1130 m
Nelson Creek is located in the westernmost part of West Vancouver near the entry to Howe Sound. The creek originates on Black Mountain plateau. It flows down the steep forested mountainside and discharges into Burrard inlet at Fisherman's Cove.|
Nelson creek was used as a water supply for Horseshoe Bay and Whytecliff from 1923 until the late 1980ís.
The intake at 143m elevation, is now used to supply water to the Nelson Creek Hatchery.
The estuary was dredged in 1967 to allow the development of a marina.
The hatchery consists of three troughs for small fry, two tubs to hold large fry and pre-smolts, a shed containing 32 egg incubation trays and a storage shed all within a securely fenced area.
Chum and coho are primarily raised for release to West Vancouver creeks with fish access problems. These are creeks where salmon spawners can no longer go because of man-made barriers, but where habitat is still good for rearing young fry.
In 2003, 148,000 chum fry were released to Cypress, Nelson, Eagle, McDonald, Rodgers and Larson Creeks.
PROBLEMS FOR SALMON|
Dredging done to create the marina, eliminated the lower 75 metres of the creek and the estuary. Estuaries are necessary transition habitat zones for young salmon as they adjust to saltwater on their way out to sea.|
Retaining structures in the former estuary limit upstream migration. Spawning salmon must now wait for high tide - above 14 ft - to enter the creek.
The culverts under Telegraph Trail, Marine Drive and Cranley Drive restrict or block fish passage.
The creek channel was altered to accommodate urbanization, reducing instream habitat for fish.
West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society
Community Advisor for West Vancouver and Howe Sound
Department of Fisheries and Oceans