Colquitz River Watershed
- As is the case for most of the rural areas of the region, black bears and cougars are occasionally seen in the more remote areas of the watershed. Columbian blacktail deer are common residents throughout.
- Several bat species are likely residents in the watershed. The three most likely residents are the little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus), Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis) and big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). These bats are all small in size and live in large old trees. They feed on insects, especially over and near waterbodies, at the edges of forests, and in clearings.
- Red squirrels, river otters, voles and mice are also fairly common, along with the introduced eastern grey squirrel.
- Beaver are resident in certain areas, (e.g. Swan Creek in 2012) although typically in low numbers.
The Colquitz River once supported an abundance and diversity of fish species, including annual runs of several hundred coho and chum salmon. Barriers to fish migration in the upper reaches of the Colquitz (e.g. dams and weirs), habitat degradation and declining water quality (see Concerns
) caused these numbers to drop significantly by the early 1990s. Some restoration and enhancement efforts by local stewardship groups and the District of Saanich have helped to increase the number of salmon heading up the river to spawn. This is one of the few remaining salmon spawning runs in the Capital Region.
Fish in the Colquitz River
|Common Name ||Scientific Name ||Notes |
|Coho salmon ||Oncorhynchus keta ||Native species |
|Chum salmon ||Oncorhynchus kisutch ||Native species |
|Cutthroat trout ||Oncorhynchus clarki clarki ||Native species |
|Three-spine stickleback ||Gasterosteus aculeatus ||Native species |
|Prickly sculpin ||Cottus asper ||Native species |
|Brown bullhead ||Ictalurus nebulosus ||Introduced species |
|Pumpkinseed ||Lepomis gibbosus ||Introduced species |
|Dolly-Varden char ||Salvelinus malma ||Native, extirpated |
The tree canopy layer in the Colquitz watershed, although much less extensive than it once was, still includes some mature trees in a variety of habitats. Douglas-fir is common in all except the wettest sites; Garry oak and arbutus are found in dry sites and rocky outcrops; big-leaf maple and red alder are typical in a variety of moisture regimes except the driest; and western redcedar, grand fir and black cottonwood are found in moist to wet sites.
Native species typical of wetland
areas include species of sedge and rush; ferns, hardhack (Spiraea douglasii
), willow (Salix spp
), red-osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera
) and salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis
Some of the native plant species in the Colquitz River watershed:
|Native Plants Species ||Common Name ||Scientific Name |
|Trees ||Douglas fir ||Pseudotsuga menziesii |
|Western red cedar ||Thuja plicata |
|Grand fir ||Abies grandis |
|Big leaf maple ||Acer macrophyllum |
|Arbutus ||Arbutus menziesii |
|Black cottonwood ||Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa |
|Red alder ||Alnus rubra |
|Willow ||Salix spp |
|Shrubs ||Common snowberry ||Symphoricarpos albus |
|Oceanspray ||Holodiscus discolor |
|Salal ||Gaultheria shallon |
|Oregon grape ||Mahonia spp |
|Nootka rose ||Rosa nutkana |
|Indian plum ||Oemleria cerasiformis |
|Hardhack ||Spiraea douglasii ssp douglasii |
|Red osier dogwood ||Cornus stolonifera |
|Black hawthorn ||Cretaegus douglasii |
|Salmonberry ||Rubus spectabilis |
|Herbaceous plants ||Skunk cabbage ||Lysichiton americanum |
|Lady fern ||Athyrium filix-femina |
|Sword fern ||Polystichum munitum |
|Bracken fern ||Pteridium aquilinum |
|Sedges ||Carex spp |
|Rushes ||Juncus spp |