“Ah’ta’apq once supported healthy populations of salmonids,however, early logging and road building activities have resulted in significant habitat destruction.
Ah’ta’apq Creek is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, at the north end of Clayoquot Sound and at the head of Hot Springs Cove. The watershed lies in Ahousaht First Nation's territory and is close in proximity to the Hesquiaht First Nation village at Hot Springs Cove.
Since the 1950’s, intensive industrial logging has occurred in this area and as a result the watershed has been significantly degraded. Historical logging activities have weakened the slopes surrounding the creek, causing persistent landslides. The accumulation of rock debris has buried the channel, resulting in subsurface flows, a widened channel and the destruction of riparian habitat.
Ah’ta’apq Creek once provided spawning and rearing habitat for wild stocks of chum, coho, steelhead salmon, and large populations of coastal cutthroat trout. The eelgrass beds, which lie at the mouth of the creek provide important habitat for clams and spawning herring. The Ah’ta’apq Creek Restoration Project was initiated to restore fish habitat and increase wild fish populations. In order to reach our goals, this project will include creating in-stream features to reduce sediment and debris build-up; introducing large woody debris and spawning gravel for habitat; removing small woody debris and log jams and improving the overall diversity and productivity of the riparian forest.
The project is a partnership between Central Westcoast Forest Society, Hesquiaht First Nation and Ahousaht First Nation with support from DFO RFCPP, the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust.