The Stikine River originates in the Cordilleran region of north central British Columbia. The river flows westward towards Telegraph Creek, and then takes a southward path towards its confluence with the Iskut River. The Stikine then continues westward across the Alaska border, discharging into the Pacific Ocean.
The Iskut River is the largest tributary of the Stikine River, and a number of mining operations exist in its watershed (Jang, 1996). Other tributaries include the Klappan and Tuya Rivers above Telegraph Creek, and the Chutine, Scud and Porcupine Rivers below. The Stikine River is under ice from November to April.
The water quality monitoring station is located 8.2 km upstream from the confluence of the Stikine and Iskut Rivers. Water quality of the Stikine River may be affected by mining and forestry activities. Also, the Stikine is important as a commercial fisheries resource. Telegraph Creek is located on the Stikine River, approximately 25 km downstream from the Tuya River and 100 km upstream from the water quality monitoring station.
Data for this report were obtained from samples collected primarily by Environment Canada between 1981 and 1994; the data are stored under ENVIRODAT station number BC08CF0002. The drainage area at the water quality station is about 42,250 km2. The water quality indicators are plotted in Figures 3 to 47. Water Survey of Canada operates a flow gauge located 2.4 km above Butterfly Creek and approximately 70 km upstream from the water quality station (site number BC08CF001). The drainage area at the flow station is 36 000 km2. Flow data from 1981 to 1993 are graphed in Figure 2.