Quatse Estuary Wildlife Management Area


Date Designated: April 5, 2013

Purpose: Maintain, enhance and rehabilitate the natural integrity of the area’s high-value habitats, and provide opportunities for compatible public recreation and education. 

Size: 157 hectares

Region: West Coast


Fish and Wildlife: The fish and wildlife habitat values of Hardy Bay are very significant; it is ranked amongst the top ten estuaries on Vancouver Island. All seven Pacific salmon species depend on the Quatse River Estuary at some point in their life cycle. This extensive fish rearing capacity provides support for the successful Quatse River Hatchery which has drastically improved fisheries stocks in the area. Several species of shellfish are also present in Hardy Bay. The estuary is part of the Pacific Flyway corridor and provides critical wintering habitat for over sixty species of waterfowl and other waterbirds. Year round, the estuary and adjacent highlands provide habitat to over 100 bird species. Common bird and waterfowl species include: Northern Shovellers, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, American Widgeon, Harlequin Duck, Trumpeter Swans, Hooded Mergansers, Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons. Tree species found in the terrestrial areas of the complex include Western Hemlock, Coastal Douglas-fir, and Sitka spruce. The understory consists of Salal, Red Huckleberry, Alaskan Blueberry, Oval-leafed Blueberry, False Azalea, ferns, and many species of mosses. Intertidal and marine plant species include American Glasswort and green algae. Eelgrass communities are also known to inhabit the area.

Physiography, Climate and Vegetation: The Quatse River WMA is within the Coastal Western Hemlock submontane, very wet maritime biogeoclimatic zone, and is made up of the Glen Lyon, Quatse and Quatsese River estuaries. It consists of estuarine/tidal marsh habitat, riparian river corridors and floodplain.


Information on management direction and possible restrictions on visitor activities are available from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development regional office.

Management Partners: