Bee Creek is a small stream in Colwood that flows into Esquimalt Lagoon. Its flow begins as groundwater seepage at the base of a rock escarpment, on federal land leased by Royal Roads University. The stream flows through young forest and shrubs on this land, then through the manicured lawns and gardens belonging to the Pacific Centre, before discharging into Esquimalt Lagoon in a small estuary. The surrounding watershed contains some ancient Coastal Douglas Fir forest, as well as residential areas and open fields that were once farmed. Unlike most streams, the flows in Bee Creek do not change much with the seasons, since it is fed by groundwater moreso than by rainwater. This unique characteristic has shaped much of the form, ecology and human use of the stream over the years.
Did you Know?
- In the early part of the 20th century, a small dam and hydro-electrical facility in Bee Creek provided electricity to several surrounding houses.
- The surrounding watershed contains some of the only remaining old-growth forest in the Victoria area, including a Douglas fir tree dubbed the “Magna-Carta tree,” which is over 800 years old.
- A restoration project is currently underway to improve the function of the stream and create spawning and rearing habitat for Pacific salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout.
- Only two months after the first phase of restoration was completed, an adult coho salmon was spotted in the stream.
About Bee Creek