Stream restoration cannot be completed without also restoring the riparian (stream side) habitat. Healthy creeks depend on large diameter trees which provide a living network of roots strong enough to withstand flooding, slow the movement of spawning gravel and provide stability to overhanging stream banks which shelter small fish. Water quality is also greatly affected by the surrounding forests, which also provide necessary nutrients and shade for fish and wildlife.
Today, some conifers have responded well to planting programs but until recently log jams caused extensive flooding. This excessive water is favourable to willows and shrubs, but greatly deters the growth of large conifers. Without intervention, recovery of this system would take hundreds of years or more. With silviculture (tree planting, pruning and spacing) this recovery period could be shortened to 25 to 50 years.
Adult cutthroat trout, chum and coho salmon returning to the creeks to spawn and die also enriched the local wildlife and plants with a rich source of nutrients.
Adult salmon spawn in these creeks in the late fall. They will lay up to 4,000 eggs per pair. About 800 of these eggs will survive to hatch, 200 smolts will go to sea and of these only ten will reach adulthood. Adults may travel as far as Alaska, California or even Asia depending on their species
People who live, work, and play in the Clayoquot Sound area are very much aware of the state of their environment. As responsible stewards much time and effort is invested in habitat enhancement and restoration activities.