This creek was identified by the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation as a culturally and ecologically significant stream that had been damaged by historic timber harvesting activities and World War II era settlements. Coho Creek is located at the west end of the Kennedy Flats Watershed in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The creek drains into Grice Bay just five kilometers north of Esowista Village in the ha’houlthee (chiefly territories) of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. Historically this creek supported healthy populations of salmonids but historic harvesting practices resulted in a series of debris jams that impeded fish access and affected water and habitat quality.
A total of 7 yards of spawning gravel was placed in-stream by hand by 6 volunteers over two days, and with the help of a helicopter during the summer of 2015. This work increased available spawning habitat by 50 m2. Sixteen pieces of LWD were repositioned, 1 m3 of SWD was removed, 30 boulders were repositioned and 8 western redcedar planted. Furthermore, 2 spawner surveys were conducted in November 2015
Lost Shoe Creek
Wild steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and coho (Oncorhynchus kitsch) populations are in decline in Lost Shoe Creek due to habitat degradation caused by historic logging practices. In the late 1960s, 90% of the riparian corridor adjacent to Lost Shoe Creek was logged. Spawning gravel was removed for road construction and large volumes of wood waste were left in the stream degrading salmonid spawning and rearing habitat. Although little information is currently available, traditional ecological knowledge suggests that steelhead and coho populations are declining or depressed relative to historic levels.
This year, 2015, stream monitoring included juvenile fish sampling, smolt trap monitoring, water quality monitoring and restoration effectiveness monitoring. In total over 50 volunteers helped check smolt traps at 2 sites on Lost Shoe Creek. Including smolt trap data and juvenile fish trapping, a total of 515 coho smolts, 136 coho parr and fry, 44 cutthroat trout and 5 Dolly Varden were captured in the traps; these fish were all identified, measured, weighed and released downstream.
Grade 5/6 students helped plant a total of 76 native trees, including: 35 Sitka spruce, 21 western redcedar and 31 amabilis fir on the Lost Shoe Creek off-channel. In addition to volunteer opportunities, people were engaged in restoration and stewardship through social media posts, interpretive talks, and media releases in the local newspaper. Monitoring information, results and project reports were also shared with DFO, PRNPR, Thornton Creek Hatchery, Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society, West Coast Aquatic and Raincoast Stream Keepers.