1979 Fish and Wildlife Values: Howe Sound Area

Posted January 21, 1979 | Categories : 48,Management,Marine Reserves,Reports,Research |

Abstract-This reports purpose is to provide the ELUC Secretariat with base information regarding the fish and wildlife resources of the Howe Sound area. From this data, compiled with data from other agencies concerned with the development of Howe Sound, the ELUC Secretariat will propose a plan of acceptable land use and resource management activities for the Howe Sound Area.

The Howe Sound study area encompasses Howe Sound to the height of land, with the northern boundary located approximately two kilometres north of the confluence of the Squamish and Mamquam Rivers. The area supports diverse fish and wildlife types. This report is concerned with freshwater and anadromous sport fish, terrestrial mammals, birds, salmon of commercial importance, and marine mammals. There are nine salmonid species that occur in the Howe Sound area. Principal among these are steelhead trout, cutthroat trout, coho salmon, chinook salmon, and chum salmon. Habitat quality for the salmonids is varied throughout the study area. The creeks on the west side of the sound and of the islands are fair to moderate salmonid producers while those of the east side tend to be of low value. The estuary of the Squamish and those of the smaller creeks are perhaps the most important habitat type in regard to the salmonid resources of Howe Sound. The creek and river estuaries are very productive of salmonids, and yet they are rapidly dwindling due to encroachment by industrial use. Only a few lakes are found in the study area, with most having poor access. Grafton Lake, on Bowen Island, supports the most viable population of cutthroat trout for a sport fishery on that island. Browning Lake near Squamish presently supports an age-restricted fishery in an area of easy access and high use. The Howe Sound area supports many wildlife types, however, little is known about them beyond species types and basic areas of occurrence. Mountain goat, Columbian blacktail deer, cougar, American black bear, bobcat, coyote, as well as a host of other furbearers, waterfowl, shorebirds wader, raptors, upland game birds, passerine birds, and marine mammals inhabit the study area. There are several areas of special importance to the fish and wildlife resources of Howe Sound. The Squamish estuary, which supports many fish and wildlife forms, as well as recreational use in the form of hunting, birdwatching, and nature study, is of major concern in view of the possibility of future developments occurring in this area. Christie Islet is an established bird sanctuary, and as such cannot be developed, but disturbance of the islet by recreationists or other resource users must be avoided. Other areas of interest are Passage Island, eagle Harbour to Point Atkinson, and the ecological reserve on Bowen Island. Future management of the fisheries resources of the Howe Sound area will be a general policy of maintaining present resources, coupled with reconnaissance of these resources for the feasibility of future enhancement techniques such as hatchery stocking, habitat improvement, or construction of artificial spawning and rearing channels. Future management of wildlife in the area will be directed towards maintaining present population. This will be accomplished through control of hunting seasons and harvest limits. No definite plans for future wildlife enhancement are being considered at the present time. The fish and wildlife populations of the Howe Sound area can be maintained through careful consideration of their habitat needs. Protective zones of undisturbed vegetative cover along streamsides, protection of productive estuarine areas, and maintenance of ungulate wintering areas are some of the ways of achieving this end. Protection of habitat will ensure that the fish and wildlife populations using the area will continue to do so.

Link to PDF report: 1979 Fish and Wildlife Values Howe Sound Area.

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Author: Alan Peatt

Date Published: Jan 1979

Report ID: 10805

Audience: Government and Public

Report Type
Fish and Aquatic Habitat Information
Fish and Fish Habitat – Angler Use   Fish and Fish Habitat – Fish Inventory   Fish Species – Brook Trout – Salvelinus fontinalis   Fish Species – Chinook Salmon – Oncorhynchus tshawytscha   Fish Species – Chum Salmon – Oncorhynchus keta   Fish Species – Coastal Cutthroat Trout – O. clarki clarki   Fish Species – Coho Salmon – Oncorhynchus kisutch   Fish Species – Dolly Varden Char – Salvelinus malma   Fish Species – Pink Salmon – Oncorhynchus gorbuscha   Fish Species – Rainbow Trout – Oncorhynchus mykiss   Fish Species – Sockeye Salmon – Oncorhynchus nerka   Mammals – Black Bear: Ursus americanus   Mammals – Columbia Black-tailed Deer: O.hemionus columbianus   Mammals – Cougar: Puma concolor   Mammals – Mountain Goat: Oreamnos americanus   Mammals – Rocky Mountain Elk – Cervus canadensis nelsoni   Region – Lower Mainland    Terrestrial Information – Broad Ecosystem Inventory (BEI)