Mosquito Creek Watershed
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Region History
Watershed History
Upper Watershed Logging
Estuary and Shoreline
Streams and Salmon
Habitat Restoration
Heritage Walk Brochure


In the upper Mosquito Creek watershed, the mountain slopes were logged in phases.
On the lower elevations, large old growth fir and cedar were logged by hand before 1915.
The upper slopes were cleared during the 1950's and 1960's.
The middle slopes were cleared in 1970 when a logging road was cut across both Grouse Mountain and Fromme Mountain.
Some areas of old growth trees were left untouched.

Estuaries are important transition zones for salmon fry as they adjust from freshwater to saltwater.
The Mosquito Creek estuary originally began just north of where the Bewicke bridge is located today, connecting with the MacKay Creek estuary and providing abundant intertidal habitat for wildlife.
It no longer exists.

The shoreline between Bewicke Avenue and Fell Avenue was built up and extended 500 metres into the inlet from 1912 to 1915.
The first part was done to accommodate the railway, the next part for shipbuilding facilities, and the rest for lumber mills.
The Mosquito Creek natural estuary and the foreshore east of Bewicke were filled in 1960.
The remaining estuary and shore area, west of Fell to MacKay Creek, was filled in 1970.

In the Mosquito Creek watershed, the waterfront was occupied by industries early on, with buildings concentrated close to the shoreline.
Most of the watershed itself was developed later in distinct phases.

In 1910, a streetcar line was extended west from Lonsdale, along Marine Drive, over Mosquito Creek, up Fell Avenue and over MacKay Creek to Capilano Road.
The earliest houses still standing in this area, date from 1910-11 and are close to that route.
The Fell-MacKay area, south of Cumberland to the railway, was developed en masse in 1941 when 400 small houses were constructed for wartime workers, working on shipbuilding and defense projects.
The upper plateau was developed from 1945 to 1960, primarily for housing.

People started hiking and climbing the North Shore mountains in the late 1800's.
By 1906, Grouse Mountain had become a popular place to visit, with designated trails from Capilano and Lonsdale.
There were guided tours for people coming from Vancouver, and a hotel near the Capilano River.

The first ski chalet was built on Grouse in 1926 when the toll road to the top of the mountain (Mountain Highway) was completed.
The first mechanical means to carry people from the bottom to the top was a chair lift which opened in 1949. It operated from the top of Skyline Drive until 1965, when it was replaced by the Skyride gondola at the top of Capilano Road.
The 48 km Baden-Powell Trail was constructed by Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in 1971. It traverses the mountains east/west from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay.

Not long ago, all streams on the North Shore supported healthy populations of salmon and trout.
Once development occurred, the streams were altered to control flood waters and to protect properties from flood and debris flows.
In the Mosquito Creek watershed, long sections of creek were straightened and bermed. Thain Creek was diverted. Catch basins, long culverts and storm drain systems were installed. Large areas of marshland and wetland were filled in.

The changes were harmful to fish. The culverts block fish access, the altered channels reduce instream habitat, and the storm drains carry concentrated pollutants directly into the streams and concentrate rain runoff, creating high velocity flows in the streams.

Volunteers have been monitoring the wild salmon populations closely since 1995.
From 1996 to 1999, six major projects were constructed to help restore salmon habitat and fish access in the watershed.
One of four culverts on Thain Creek was made fish passable in 2000. Another was made passable in 2003.
In 2001-2002, trails were fenced to protect the streams and native vegetation was planted.

The stream corridor is a migratory route for birds and home to a variety of indigenous wildlife, including animals such as deer, black bear, coyote, otter, eagle, owl, frog, salmon and trout.
Native plants include vine maple, big leaf maple, cedar, hemlock, alder, salmonberry, salal and fern.
In recent years, there has been an increase in efforts to improve habitat and to preserve the remaining natural spaces - the last of a unique heritage.