The small community of French Creek, on Highway 19A, can be found just north of Parksville. French Creek is a well-protected harbor and is the base to a large commercial fishing fleet along with many tourist-orientated charter operations that take guests on a variety of wildlife adventures. The marina is well used by the yachting and boating communities from the local areas and from many other locations around the world. Along with the dock, you will find a coast guard station, seafood store, marine outfitter, general store and pub.
It is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, halfway between the City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach.
French Creek is not doing as well as it was up until the ’60s, the creek used to have great runs of coho, chum, steelhead and sea-run cutthroat trout, plus resident trout. The system was very healthy, it supported both animal and plants with the nutrients that were delivered with the spawning runs. You could see many types of animals here, black bears, blacktail deer, raccoons, pine martins, mink and a vast diversity of birdlife.
Since then, this creek has had declining runs of fish and this has brought about a decline in the health of the system, now you can hardly see any returning salmon and the creek shows this. It is classed as a sensitive watershed that is in dire need of help. This where the Friends Of French Creek Restoration Society has come in. They have been working at the restoration of French Creek and are having some success with this. We all can do our bit to help this and our other coastal streams, creeks, and rivers. We can volunteer to work with these various societies and if that is not possible, they are always in need of donations, as most do not receive any official funding to work with.
So if you would like to see French Creek or any other watershed become healthy, then pull up your sleeves and jump in to help.