Shelly Creek is a small tributary that drains into the lower reach of the Englishman River, which is a significant salmon producing stream on Vancouver Island’s east coast. In 2011 and 2012 the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES) installed a smolt trap on Shelly creek, about 200 m upstream of the confluence with the Englishman River, to count fish passage during high flow conditions. Smolts were reported to be significant in numbers and it was suggested that the lower reach of Shelly Creek provides spawning and rearing habitat, as well as overwintering habitat for fish that migrate from the Englishman River.

MVIHES completed an assessment of the creek under the Urban Salmon Habitat Program (USHP) and indicated that some areas had relatively high value habitat, some areas become dry under low flow conditions, and other habitat areas are isolated by perched road culverts that block fish passage.

The MVIHES retained NHC to review data that was collected under the USHP, to conduct a field visit to review the creek condition, and to assist in the development of a habitat enhancement program. From this investigation NHC provided comments on the condition of the lower reach of Shelly Creek, from the highway to the Englishman River, including a description of potential habitat enhancement opportunities.