Craigflower Creek Watershed
The Craigflower Creek watershed is comprised of all the lands that drain into Craigflower Creek, which subsequently flows into Portage Inlet. Much of this watershed is still in a relatively natural state, and supports many different types of ecosystems, wildlife and rare plants. Forests, meadows, rocky hills, lakes, wetlands and streams can all be found here, especially in the upper watershed, where farms and rural residential properties are also common. Suburban development is more extensive in the lower watershed, and includes roads and a major highway. As a natural area close to the city of Victoria, the Craigflower Creek watershed is also valuable for recreation, research and education. Francis/King, Mt. Work and Thetis Lake Regional Parks are found within this watershed, making up about 30 per cent of the total land area within it.
Craigflower Creek begins as several small streams on the southern slopes of Mt. Work, in the Highlands. These converge and flow southeast into Eagles Lake (a man-made lake), and then into Pike Lake. Upper and Lower Thetis Lakes drain into Prior Lake, which also receives flow from a tributary from McKenzie and Teanook Lakes, before joining Craigflower Creek.
- In 1997, the Capital Regional District commissioned a watershed assessment of Craigflower Creek. This report helped to characterise the hydrology of the watershed and to highlight some of the concerns in the area.
- In 1998, a forum was assembled, consisting of residents, nongovernmental organizations, and local and senior governments, who formed the Craigflower Watershed Management Plan. This plan outlines a vision statement, objectives, goals and actions necessary to protect the health of the watershed.
- Local governments have formed Official Community Plans to address development and preservation of natural areas.
- Parks staff, often aided by volunteers, attempt to monitor, remove and control invasive plant species.
- The CRD has developed a management plan for three regional parks, two of which are in the Craigflower Creek watershed.
Did you know?
- Coho salmon regularly spawn in Craigflower Creek, sometimes as far upstream as Prior Lake.
- Thetis Lake Park, originally created in 1959, was the first nature sanctuary in Canada.
- Songhees Nation
- Bullfrog's Seranade Signals Trouble in Canada: Nature
- Highlands Official Community Plan
- Species at Risk: Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team
- Thetis Lake, Francis King & Mill Hill Regional Parks Management Plan
- Mill Hill, Thetis and Francis King: a Cultural History of Three Regional Parks
- Craigflower Watershed Assessment (PDF )
- Yorath, C.J. and H.W. Nasmith. 1995. The Geology of Southern Vancouver Island. Orca Book Publishers.