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Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Coquitlam River Wildlife Management Area

About This Wildlife Management Area

Date Designated: December 15, 1994

Purpose: Management of riparian forest habitats and conservation of a significant Great Blue Heron colony.

Size: 16.7 hectares

Region: South Coast

Location and Maps

At the confluence of the Coquitlam and Fraser Rivers in Coquitlam.

Nature and Culture

Wildlife

The primary wildlife resource in the Coquitlam WMA is an expanding colony of the blue-listed Great Blue Heron, one of the largest in BC. This robust colony is particularly notable since other heron colonies in the Lower Mainland are either shrinking or failing altogether. The area also supports nesting Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks and Wood Ducks. Waterfowl species using the area for feeding and loafing include Canada Geese, Mergansers, and dabbling ducks. Fisheries values include feeding and rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids and other freshwater species, including Long-nosed Dace, Coastrange Sculpin, Prickly Sculpin, Three-Spined Stickleback, Red-Sided Shiner, Northern Squawfish, Pea-Mouth Chub and Black Crappie. Black Bear, Black-tailed Deer, Coyote, Raccoon, Beaver, Muskrat and Mink also utilize the area.

Physiography, Climate and Vegetation

The Coquitlam River Wildlife Management Area is located upstream of the Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver, and is composed of three parts: two sections of riparian forest habitat, bisected by the main stem of the Coquitlam River, and one offshore islet, Essondale Islet. It resides within the Fraser Lowland ecosection and Coastal Western Hemlock biogeoclimatic zone. The area is generally flat, undyked riparian forest, subject to seasonal flooding of the Fraser River, along with mudflats and marshes. Vegetation is dominated by mature stands of Black Cottonwood with smaller areas of Red Alder, particularly on Essondale Islet. The understory includes Willow, Vine Maple, Salmonberry, Ninebark and Skunk cabbage, with localized occurrences of grasses and sedges.

Management Planning

Information on management direction is available from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations regional office.