Noons Creek Watershed profile

Noons Creek Watershed
Profile

Total Drainage Area = 4.7 km2
Length =Approximately 11.5 km
Elevation Range: 0 -875 m

Characteristics

  • Forested riparian ecosystem. Forested corridor along the lower reaches of Noons Creek is surrounded by residential development. This corridor is narrow and is extremely susceptible to disturbances. This corridor has high species diversity, vegetation complexity.
  • Source is the watershed beneath the peak of Eagle Mountain. A number of contributing ponds develop during spring runoff.
  • Noons Creek mainstem is approximately 11.5 km, with West Noons Creek, the largest tributary joining Noons mainstem 1.5 km from Burrard Inlet, having a length of 3 km. Creek lengths vary between studies.
  • Crossed by BC Hydro transmission line right of way, approximately 100 m wide, with an accompanying access road.
  • The lower 1.5 km of this creek is considered to be accessible to anadromous fish.
  • Resident populations of trout have been trapped above Panorama Drive.
  • Most of the Noons Creek corridor is protected as ‘Green Zone’ by the City of Port Moody as set out under the livable strategies Plan.
  • Intact continuous 30 m riparian buffer strip exists on both sides of the entire creek above Shoreline Park, with only a few exceptions. This riparian strip is protected from development encroachment by the City of Port moody By Law #2136.
  • Largest salmon spawning stream within Shoreline Park. The Port Moody Official Community Plan has stipulated that this creek be maintained to protect fish habitat.

History

  • 40 ha on east side of Upper Noons Creek logged prior to 1959; 100 ha on the west side of the upper watershed logged between 1968 and 1979; 50 ha north of Cypress lake logged after 1980.
  • Cypress Lake was stocked with rainbow trout (500) in 1985. A 1997 survey did not yield any fish.
  • Cypress Lake dam built first in 1911 for water storage. Dam replaced in 1999 as an additional water source for the Hatchery in periods of low-flow in Noons Creek.  This ‘augmented’ access to water in Cypress Lake is controlled by a number of varying size flow valves – ranging from 65mm to 300mm.
  • Significant seasonal low flows have occurred in this creek since 1980. These low flows are the result of dry summers and drainage redirection in the Noons Creek drainage area.

Watershed Use

  • Ownership: City of Port Moody and various private owners.
  • Landuse: Commercial, Industrial, Parks and Recreation, Residential, CP Right of Way
  • Fish: Chum, Coho, Chinook and Sockeye Salmon; Rainbow, and Coastal Cutthroat Trout; Three-spine Stickleback.
  • Vegetation: Douglas fir – Swordfern; Western redcedar – Foamflower; Western redcedar – Salmonberry. Many sections of Noons Creek are forested, providing shading, woody debris and spawning habitat should the creek be passable to those points.
  • Wildlife : The upper reaches are inhabited by wildlife species typical of coastal forests. Within the urban areas there are human encounters with bears,.
  • Human: Commercial, Industrial, Parks and Recreation, Residential, CP Right of Way
  • Crossed by BC Hydro transmission line right of way, approximately 100 m wide, with an accompanying access road.
  • The lower 1.5 km of this creek is considered to be accessible to anadromous fish.
  • Resident populations of trout have been trapped above Panorama Drive.
  • Most of the Noons Creek corridor is protected as ‘Green Zone” by the City of Port Moody as set out under the liveable strategies Plan.
  • Intact continuous 30 m riparian buffer strip exists on both sides of the entire creek above Shoreline Park, with only a few exceptions. This riparian strip is protected from development encroachment by the City of Port moody By Law #2136.
  • Largest salmon spawning stream within Shoreline Park. The Port Moody Official Community Plan has stipulated that this creek be maintained to protect fish habitat.

Concerns

  • Development has altered the hydrology of the creek and its tributaries through the increase in impervious surfaces and the redirection of flow into adjacent systems.
  • Many culverts along the mainstem are impassible to migrating fish.

Key Interest Groups/Government Bodies

  • Municipal Gov’t: City of Port Moody, City of Coquitlam,
  • Regional: GVRD, Vancouver Port Authority
  • Provincial Gov’t: Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks.
  • Federal Gov’t: Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
  • Local NGO’s: Port Moody Ecological Society
  • Other Stakeholders:Westbuilt Developments (constructors of Cypress Lake Dam in 1999)

Watershed Projects

  • Newly replaced dam at Cypress Lake is permitting control of base flows in Noons Creek.
  • Staff gauges have been placed in several locations along the mainstem to permit assessment of base flow control.
  • Dog access to the riparian corridor along this creek should be limited to minimize wildlife disturbance/ interaction.
  • Ongoing aquatic and riparian habitat restoration and protection need to occur.

Available Sources of Information

City of Port Moody
Port Moody Public Library
Port Moody Ecological Society Library

References

Dunster & Associates Environmental Consultants Ltd., and AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd. 1999. Port Moody Environmentally Sensitive Areas Management Strategy. Phase 1: An Inventory of Natural Areas. Prepared for the City of Port Moody.
Envirowest Environmental Consultants. 1995. Bio-Inventory Assessment of Suter Brook, Port Moody, B.C. Prepared for VLC Properties Ltd.
Fish Wizard. 2001. Noons Creek Stream Report. Online: http://
Fraser River Action Plan. 1999. Lower Fraser Valley Streams (Vol.1): Strategic Review. Queens Printer. ISBN 0-662-26167-4
Modien, D. 1996. Upper Noons Creek Stream Habitat Inventory. Prepared for BCIT Fish Wildlife and Recreation Program.
Olsen, C., Weber, S., Coombs, R., Firth, E., Ford, B. 1998. Ecological and Educational Plan for Shoreline Park Aquatic Ecosystems. Master Plan. Prepared for City of Port Moody and UBC Natural Resources Conservation 481.
Poirier, B. 1999. Noons Creek Preliminary Watershed Assessment. Prepared for City of Port Moody.
Pottinger Gaherty Environmental Consultants Ltd. 2000. Fish and Fish Habitat Assessment Noons Creek System, Port Moody, B.C. Prepared for Parklane Homes.
Precision Identification Biological Consultants. 1997. Lower Fraser Valley Stream Review (Vol. 3): Wild, Threatened, Endangered and Lost Streams of the Lower Fraser Valley. Prepared for Fraser River Action Plan. Queens Printer. ISBN 0-662-26029-5
Priority Connections Consultants Ltd. 1998. Master Plan for Shoreline Park: Increasing Connectivity via Ecological and Recreation Corridors. Prepared as Conservation 481: Final Project.
Waskiewich, S. 1993. Noons Creek Watershed Bird Baseline Study. Prepared as a Douglas College Project

Prepared by Matt Townsend, March 2003
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This page courtesy of The Pacific Streamkeepers Federation