The Lagoon is in Crippen Regional Park and is only a 5 min. walk from the Ferry.

This is the causeway as seen from the ocean side of the Lagoon. This fresh water Lagoon is the first stage for spawning Chum and Coho salmon and the last stage when the fry return to the ocean.

The Lagoon is the terminus of Terminal Creek and Killarney Creek before flowing west into the ocean. Some Coho and Chum will spawn right here at the Causeway gravel bed but most head up to the top of the Lagoon and the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls. Our Chum and Coho return to spawn any where from October through to the end of December if it is cold enough and the fresh water creeks are flowing with lost of clean fresh water.

Chum “can’t jump”, Coho “can jump”. Not actually, fish don’t really jump, they just swim fast upstream if they can. Chum are a weaker fish as compared to the Coho when swimming upstream and cannot go up the Falls or the Fish Ladder. Chum (and the weaker Coho) will spawn below the Falls and the stronger Coho will swim upstream into the Ladders. If successful the Coho will go as far as the Hatchery on Terminal Creek or as far as the dam on Killarney Lake.

pdf iconLagoon Spawning Bed Rehabilitation Story

Lagoon Spawning Bed Rehabilitation Project

Rebuilding the Spawning bed in the freshwater Lagoon
at the Public Causeway, Crippen Regional Park



This project is located on the east coast of Bowen Island in Deep Bay. What were salt/fresh water tidal wetlands was changed in about the 1920’s when this causeway was constructed to allow access to the Union Steamship Hotel. On the left of this photograph is the fresh water “Lagoon” and on the right is the ocean.


This Causeway is just a 5 min walk from the Ferry and is the Gateway of the Crippen Park trail system. The Causeway is also used by many locals every day to walk from a residental area to the Village and the Ferry. At spawning times this is one of the main “look outs” for both locals and tourists alike.


In and around April and again in June of each year this is one of the areas where we release some of our hatchery Chum and Coho and have the public take part.


Our Bowen Island Fish & Wildlife Club constructed this kiosk at the Lagoon which shows and explains about all the local wildlife and ocean life around this area. It also has photographs and description about spawning Chum and Coho salmon.


Just over the split rail fence on the left is the freshwater Lagoon. Some of the returning Chum and Coho will decide to spawn in this area or sometimes swim around before heading further upstream. All this is insight of persons standing on the causeway. For this rehabilitation project Crippen Park staff will remove and replace the fence to allow heavy equipment access into the Lagoon.


Crippen staff have removed the fencing the week of September 19, 2011 in preparation for start date of Tuesday September 27, 2011.


This photograph is taken at the Bowen Island Sand & Gravel Pit. It shows the nine loads of river gravel that were trucked from Squamish to Bowen for storage. Together with one load that was stored from a surplus in 2009, the total is about 250 cubic yards for rebuilding the Lagoon.


The gravel came from the grounds of the North Vancouver Outdoor School, in the lower Cheakamus River watershed in Squamish. It was part of a stockpile excavated during construction of several spawning/rearing channels on the property over the last decade or so.

The DFO has had an excellent working relationship with the Outdoor School dating back to 1979, with the construction of the first groundwater-fed spawning channel in the province and one of the first Public Involvement Program Salmon Hatcheries. This partnership has constructed approximately 75,000 square meters of spawning and rearing habitat on the NVOS property. A large portion of the School grounds has been dedicated as the Dave Marshall Salmon Reserve in honour of DFO’s first Senior Restoration Biologist. Carl Halvorson.

The property manager at NVOS has been instrumental in developing this partnership and agreed to the donation of this gravel for the Bowen Island Lagoon project.

Local Crippen Regional Park staff provided signage and pedestrian traffic supervision during our construction.

Construction Photographs taken September 27th and 28th, 2011


Since construction placed an excavator in the fresh water Lagoon, Crippen Parks staff arranged to borrow a “Spill Kit” from Bowen Municipality.


J&E Backhoe Co. Ltd was contracted to do the Lagoon work. They also transported the gravel from Squamish and stockpiled [at no cost for storage] at their Bowen gravel Pit location.


The trucks dumped the Squamish gravel on the lawn and the excavator moved it into the fresh water.


The operator then positioned the excavator to start the placement into a temporary road.


We had some of the locals looking at our work during construction.


Construction Photographs taken September 27 and 28, 2011


Shortly after the rehabilitation was finished but the fresh water level is still low.
Photographs taken September 29th, 2011


Fresh water levels higher and a more “natural, river like” flow to the ocean.
[The ducks love it!]
Photographs taken on October 4th, 2011


Crippen Parks staff has built a new Split Rail fence. They have also “Tidied” up all the surrounding area of where the machinery cut into the bank and the lawn. It looks good and, as always, a spot where Kids and Adults alike stop to view the Lagoon area.

Photographs taken January 13, 2012


Pacific Salmon Foundation grant.
Bowen Island Fish & Wildlife Club funds.

Bowen Island Fish & Wildlife Club
Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
J & E Backhoe Company Ltd.
Metro Vancouver Parks
Crippen Regional Parks Staff
John Hunter Company, Storage and loading of river gravel, Squamish
North Vancouver Outdoor School
Bowen Island Municipality

Groups and Organizations
Pacific Salmon Foundation
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Bowen Island Fish & Wildlife Club
Metro Vancouver Parks
North Vancouver Outdoor School

Report by:
Bill Newport
Bowen Island Fish & Wildlife Club