Site A: The Salmon River and Floodplain
This area is rich in both history and ecology. Down the Salmon River and to the right was the location of a camp of James MacMillan in 1824: the first European exploration in the area (see Historic Site off Glover Rd.). The ecosystem in the Salmon River floodplain has been largely taken over by reed canary grass, an invasive species that strongly inhibits the growth of other plants. Sitka and Scouler’s willow trees are common (with oblong leaves and fuzzy leaf undersides – Scouler’s produces catkins much earlier in the year), as well as the Pacific willow (long, thin, non-fuzzy leaves) and the larger black cottonwood tree (shiny, spade-shaped leaves), red alder, and black hawthorn trees. Also watch for wild roses, such as the clustered wild rose, that grows beside the path in places. Significant replantinsg has been done in this area, but this has been partially inhibited by the grass and damage by beavers and other rodents. A large planting was done here in March 2000 and another in March 2001, is maintained by the ESA staff. The Salmon River is one of the most important coho salmon-producing rivers in the Lower Mainland of B.C.