The Colquitz River has one of the largest watersheds within the Capital Regional District, draining an area of about 49km2. It extends from Elk/Beaver Lake in the north and eventually drains into Portage Inlet
. The topography within the watershed is generally flat, with an average gradient of 0.6%. Several tributaries enter the Colquitz, including Swan, Blenkinsop, Viaduct and Durrell
creeks. The watershed lies within the Coastal Douglas fir
biogeoclimatic zone and includes a variety of land types from dry rocky outcrops to low-lying marshy lands with underlying clay and/or peat soils.
Did You Know?
- Elk/Beaver Lake was the main drinking water source for Victoria from 1872 – 1925
- A dam built in 1860 at the outlet of Beaver Lake was used to store water for a sawmill downstream at West Saanich and Wilkinson roads
- In the 1970s, District of Saanich adopted a program of land acquisition and protection for the watershed, resulting in the almost complete protection of the creek corridor by 2013
- Salmon were once so numerous during spawning season in the Colquitz that farmers speared them and tossed them on their fields for fertilizer
About the Colquitz River
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