Klaskish River Overview

Posted April 21, 2005 | Categories : 129,Reports,Species List |

Original Purpose: To protect an outstanding estuary and adjacent alluvial forest in the
Hypermaritime subzone of the Coastal Western Hemlock Zone.

Physical: The reserve encloses the lower 1.5 km of the Klaskish River, the northern half of Klaskish Basin, alluvial lowlands along the river and in its estuary, and valley slopes to 30 m elevation west of Klaskish River and Basin and the 150 m level east of the river. Soils include Regosols in alluvial areas, Gleysols and Humisols in the inner estuary and Podzols on the uplands.

See the Complete PDF from BC parks website: klaskish

Biological: The main feature of the reserve is the near-pristine estuary of the Klaskish River. This has formed at the upper end of Klaskish Basin, a steep-walled lagoon connected to Klaskish Inlet by a narrow channel. Marine communities dominated by eelgrass and rockweed occur in the lower intertidal zone. Three saltmarsh communities have been described on rich flats in the upper intertidal zone. The Lingbye’s sedge community is the most seaward of these, and is replaced toward the forest edge by tufted hairgrass-red fescue-silverweed- springbank clover brackish meadow.
Forest stands dominated by Sitka spruce occur on alluvial materials adjacent to the Klaskish River and estuary. Old-growth western hemlock-western redcedar and hemlock-amabilis fir associations, with blueberry, fern and moss understories, dominate the uplands.
Sitka spruce in this reserve are not of great stature as older specimens are subject to periodic blowdown. Evidence of a catastrophic blowdown that may have occurred 100 to 150 years ago is still seen in the form of large rotting logs on the ground.
At least one rare plant, the Western lilaeopsis is present. The native Olympia Oyster, of limited occurrence on the British Columbia coast, occurs in Klaskish Basin.
The estuary is important for wintering waterfowl, including Trumpeter Swans. Black-tailed Deer and Black Bears utilize the reserve and Roosevelt Elk were reported in the past. Significant runs of Chinook, Pink, Coho and Chum Salmon spawn in the Klaskish River, some of these within the reserve. The lower river and estuary provide important rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids.

Queen Charlotte avens  Red listed
Sea Otter Blue listed
Grey Whale Blue listed
smooth douglasia  Blue listed
three-forked mugwort  Blue listed
alp lily Blue listed
Bald Eagle
Black Oystercatcher
Calder’s lovage
Chinook Salmon
Chum Salmon
Coho Salmon
Pink Salmon
Trumpeter Swan
Great Blue Heron
Olympia Oyster*

Red listed Blue listedBlue listed Blue listed Blue listed
No status Blue listed


avens, Queen Charlotte (Geum schofieldii)
blueberry (Vaccinium spp.)
clover, springbank (Trifolium wormskjoldii)
douglasia, smooth (Douglasia laevigata var. ciliolata)
fescue, red (Festuca rubra ssp. rubra)
fir, amabilis (Abies amabilis)
hairgrass, tufted (Deschampsia cespitosa)
hemlock, western (Tsuga heterophylla)
lilaeopsis, Western (Lilaeopsis occidentalis)
lily, alp (Lloydia serotina)
lovage, Calder’s (Ligusticum caldera)
mugwort, three-forked (Artemisia furcata var. heterophylla)
redcedar, western (Thuja plicata)
sedge, Lyngbye’s (Carex lyngbyei ssp. cryptocarpa)
silverweed, coast (Potentilla egedii)
spruce, Sitka (Picea sitchensis)

Bear, American Black (Ursus americanus)
Deer, Black-tailed (Odocoileus hemionus ssp. hemionus)
Eagle, Bald (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Elk, Roosevelt (Cervus canadensis roosevelti)
Heron, Great Blue (Ardea herodias)
Otter, Sea (Enhydra lutris)
Oyster, Olympia (Ostrea conchaphila)
Oystercatcher, Black (Haematopus bachmani)
Salmon, Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
Salmon, Chum (Oncorhynchus keta)
Salmon, Coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
Salmon, Pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)
Swan, Trumpeter (Cygnus buccinator)
Whale, Grey (Eschrichtius robustus)