SHELLY CREEK PARK IN PARKSVILLE IS A LIVING LABATORY: “Coastal Cutthroat Trout populations on Vancouver Island will perish unless there is ‘rainwater balance’ as watersheds are developed. The message for local governments is… GIVE STREAMS SPACE TO LIVE,” Peter Law, Past-President of the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES)
“Shelley Creek is typical of small streams on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Of the 5.5 km channel length, a mere 300m exists in its natural state. And this is only because the City of Parksville created an enhanced riparian zone for park purposes when the surrounding area was subdivided in 1998. We wanted to understand what factors influence the movement of resident cutthroat trout over their life history in Shelly Creek. We investigated how a small population of resident fish survives in a stream that undergoes significant changes to water flows over the seasons,” stated Peter Law.